- Stan Torgerson
Stan Torgerson, (
May 25, 1924– June 26, 2006), Stanleigh Torgerson was born May 25, 1924, in Madison, Wisconsin. He developed a passion early in life for football. He played tackle for Central High School. After one year at the University of Minnesota, Stan left college to enlist in the U.S. Navy, taking active duty Jan. 13, 1943.
Stan served as a torpedo man until Mar. 31, 1946, serving overseas at Adak in the Aleutian Islands for 18 months. During the last 6 months overseas, he developed his second passion in life, radio. He transferred to the Armed Forces Radio Service radio station in Adak. In the fall of 1946, he was hired by KGLO Mason City, Iowa, as a disc jockey and sports announcer. He worked color commentary at local high school games and at the University of Iowa.
It was in 1947 he found his muse and his third passion in life, Dorothy Anderson, who he married in 1947.
In 1949, he was hired by WLCX in LaCrosse, Wis., as program director and sports announcer; he covered high school and LaCrosse State Teacher’s College football games.
In 1950, the Torgersons moved to Eau Claire, Wis., where Stan served WBIZ as station manager and sports announcer. He delivered play-by-play for high school and college football and basketball as well as for the Eau Claire Bears, a farm club of the then-Milwaukee Braves.
When Milwaukee brought Henry Aaron on board, Aaron was assigned to Eau Claire, where Stan called the first home runs he ever hit in organized baseball. The two remained in contact over the years.
In 1954, Stan was hired by WHBQ in Memphis, Tenn., to do Memphis State football and Memphis Chicks baseball. Memphis was a farm club of the Chicago White Sox. The star player was Louie Aparicio, now a member of baseball’s Hall of Fame.
Stan called Memphis State games in 1954-55 and, in 1955, he moved to WMC Memphis, calling Ole Miss during 1955-56. He became manager at WMC and discontinued air duties.
Stan took up basketball refereeing and worked 12 years in Memphis and Miami. He was selected to officiate the Memphis High School championship game.
In 1966, he was hired by WQAM in Miami as manager. In 1967, he became manager of KCBQ in San Diego.
Soon, Stan got the bug to own his own station. It was Meridian Mississippi that caught his eye. Ole Miss officials asked him to come back to their network, doing play-by-play and creating a coaches’ television show for the Ole Miss network. Stan commuted every weekend to Oxford, Miss., and started the television show, which is still on the air.
In 1968, Stan moved back to Mississippi as owner of WQIC Meridian. He created the Ole Miss basketball network and returned to the football network in 1968.
Stan called both football and basketball through 1973, when Ken Cooper was named head football coach. Cooper wanted his own man for football, so Stan left his football duties, but continued to broadcast Rebel basketball.
In 1978, Steve Sloan was hired as head football coach and asked Stan to come back. He did, and stayed until 1984. In all, Stan had 17 years calling Ole Miss play-by-play in basketball and 15 years doing the same for football. All in all, he called about 450 basketball games and 185 football games.
Stan sold his radio stations in 1990 and worked as a senior reporter for The Meridian Star for five years. He was hired by WTOK-TV in May 1997 as a senior contributing reporter. He retired on his 82nd birthday, May 25, 2006.
Stan’s honors include induction into the National Football Foundation Hall of Fame and recognition by the Jackson Touchdown Club as one of the Four Most Famous Voices in Mississippi Sports. He also received an Award of Merit from the Ole Miss Alumni Association.
Stan was appointed an elector by the Heisman Trophy Committee in 1985 and was named chairman of the Mississippi Heisman Trophy Committee in 1993. He was re-appointed chairman in 2005 for the 12th consecutive year.
In 2005, Stan was appointed by Gov. Haley Barbour to a six-year term as a member of the Mississippi Athletic Commission, the governing body for boxing and wrestling matches in the state.
Until his death, Stan continued to write weekly sports columns for two daily newspapers and a monthly wine column.
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