When analyzing some of the most decorated members of the Texas A&M athletic program, Dave South might not be the first name to come to mind.
However, the former voice of the Aggies has 22 championship rings at his home from his 32 years of calling play-by-play for Aggie football, men’s basketball and baseball that quantify his special place among those teams and coaches.
Now in retirement from calling Aggie football and basketball, South chronicled some of his favorite short stories about the games he called and the people he met in those four decades in the book You Saw Me On The Radio, published by the Texas A&M University Press.
The book was the culmination of journaling his favorite stories and compiling speeches he’s given around the state, said South, who continues to call Aggie baseball games.
In the book, South details his relationships with each coach he worked with, including a behind-the-scenes look at his call-in TV show with former head football coach Jackie Sherrill. Beyond the football field, South had the opportunity to interview many celebrities, including one chance encounter with country music singer Dolly Parton, who used his guitar for a radio interview. South says in the book he regretted not getting her to sign the instrument.
South says one of the most memorable moments of his career was the 1999 Bonfire game in which the Aggies defeated Texas 20-16 after the tragedy of the Bonfire collapse.
“The good Lord knew that the Aggies everywhere needed this win,” South writes.
“We won that game that day,” South said. “And I think it helped in the healing process. I mean, it was so important for A&M at that point in time that we win the game, and we could just feel better about what was happening. But we’ll never get over, of course, the loss of those 12 lives.”
Also included in the reflections are 25 pages of color photos from South’s career, including his early TV show days to receiving a customized jersey from former A&M coach R.C. Slocum before his last game in the radio booth at Kyle Field in 2017.
“That was a thrill for me that he would be the one that they picked to come out and present that jersey,” South said.
Of all the stories that tell what made up South’s career in Aggieland, one stands out as why he decided to put the book together.
During a 2013 men’s basketball game at Reed Arena against Kentucky, South was asked if he had an extra radio for a Kentucky fan, who could not see. South invited the fan, who turned out to be retired Marine Cpl. Matthew Bradford, to sit next to him during the game. In those few hours, the two struck up a relationship that would continue for years.
While deployed in Iraq in 2007, Bradford stepped on a roadside bomb, resulting in his loss of sight as well as both legs and an arm. In continuing his support for those injured in the line of duty, South is donating all of his royalties from the sale of his book to the Wounded Warrior Foundation, he said.
“He’s just an inspiration because you’d never know that he’s been through what he’s been through,” South said. “You know what he does for me? He takes away my right to complain about anything. And so that’s the reason that we decided to go in the direction of the Wounded Warriors.”
Copies of You Saw Me On The Radio can be purchased at the A&M bookstore or online at Amazon.com.
South has not second-guessed his decision to retire, he writes, and is spending plenty of time working on side projects and riding his three-wheeled motorcycle. Another book with his memories of the Southwest Conference could be a possibility down the line, he said. However, his main focus now is selling copies of his current book to honor one of the most inspirational people he’s met and live up to the line with which he signed off every broadcast.
“Matt Bradford is the reason I finish each broadcast with ‘God bless our wounded warriors and pray for our wounded warriors.’”