Ric Smith’s voice booms over a stadium full of fans as he announces the tribulations of Auburn football.
His voice can be recognized by any Auburn football fan.
Smith has been announcing for three seasons, starting in 2006.
For Smith, announcing football games is a personal satisfaction.
“It’s a great honor to be a part of Auburn football,” Smith said. “Auburn is as good as it gets.”
Before each game, Smith rehearses what he is going to say during the games.
“It takes about two hours to prepare the script,” Smith said. “I don’t write the script, but I take what is given to me and put it in a form that makes it easier for me to announce.”
When the opportunity presented itself, Smith said he took the job with no hesitation.
“Carl Stephens had been the announcer for almost 30 years,” Smith said. “When he retired after the 2005 season, I was offered the opportunity. For anyone who has ever been involved in announcing, this is a dream job. As I said, Auburn football is as good as it gets.”
Auburn senior Cole Cunningham said Smith is a great person to have as an announcer.
“He’s pretty cool,” Cunningham said. “He’s one of the top tier guys in the conferences, so it’s cool getting to hear him here at Auburn and at the SEC Championship.”
Smith said he enjoys announcing and that each game presents something new.
“They are all special in their own way,” Smith said. “If I were to make a list, there are two games that would have to go at the top: The Washington State game in 2006 – that was my first game – and the Alabama game in 2007.”
Smith has a routine which gets him ready for his job.
“I get to the press box about three hours before kickoff,” Smith said. “That gives me and my spotter, Eric Canada, time to go over the rosters and do a few other things to get ready for the game.”
Smith said he will talk with the other team’s sports information director to check pronunciations, usually get something to eat and then it’s time to get started.
He begins making announcements more than an hour before kickoff.
To stay at the top of his game, Smith said he relies on the fans’ involvement.
“There is immediate feedback,” Smith said. “One of my favorite announcements is what we call the One Hour Warning: The correct Jordan–Hare Stadium time is ... It’s always great to hear the roar from the student section when I say that. When I made the weather warning announcement during the West Virginia game asking everyone to leave the seating area and seek shelter, the student section booed. That was pretty funny and none of them moved. That was a fun night.”
Steven Dixon, owner of Tiger motion productions, said Smith’s announcing always gets the crowd excited.
“I like him,” Dixon said. “I’ve known Ric for a long time. I listen to him all the time, and he does a wonderful job.”
Smith is looking forward to being an announcer for a long time.
He said the best part about being a football announcer is the opportunity to be a part of Auburn gameday and to be part of the experience for the fans.