TEXAS GIANTS

Oct. 19, 2005

by JERRY HILL

The fact is, any town or university would count itself extremely lucky to have a media icon like Dave Campbell or Frank Fallon in its midst. Waco and Baylor have been doubly blessed. And, by association, so have I.

It's fitting that Campbell and Fallon will be inducted into the Texas Sports Hall of Fame together as part of the inaugural media class -- an all-star lineup of Texas' finest that also includes writers Dan Jenkins, Mickey Herskowitz and Blackie Sherrod and broadcasters Jack Dale, Kern Tips and Verne Lundquist.

The induction ceremony will be held Oct. 18 in Houston.

Dave and Frank, forever linked with Baylor, were the pen and voice of the Bears from 1953 until Frank's retirement in 1995. Forty-two wonderful years.

Although Dave retired as the Waco Tribune-Herald sports editor in '93, he still is writing his prose as editor of Dave Campbell's Baylor Bear Insider Report. Fallon, who was diagnosed with Parkinson's in '94, was a regular at Baylor events until he died April 30, 2004.

While Campbell had a loyal readership at the Tribune-Herald, his legacy was built as founder and longtime editor of Texas Football Magazine.

It's amazing to think of Dave, longtime associate Hollis Biddle and their families putting together "The Bible" on a kitchen table at the Campbell house. But that's how it all started in 1960.

Nobody, before or since, has put together such a comprehensive magazine that covers the pros, colleges and especially high schools in the state of Texas. Which everybody knows is the best place in the world for football.

Hired by the Tribune-Herald in 1983, I was intimidated by the mere thought of working under such a legend. But what I found out very quickly is that he's as genuine and humble as he is great.

I treasure the 10 years that I worked under Dave, learning from one of the best in the business and hanging on every word from the king of story tellers.

And more than anything, I cherish the friendship of Dave and his wife, Reba. What a wonderful couple and example for the rest of us to follow.

While Dave grew up in Waco and has never left, Frank was a native of San Antonio who made Waco his home for life.

Fallon was a tender 23 years old when he was hired by KWTX radio in 1953, becoming the "Voice of the Bears" for basketball that same year and adding football two years later. He was the radio play-by-play announcer for both until he retired.

Frank also was recognized across the nation as the "Voice of the Final Four," serving as the public-address announcer for the NCAA men's basketball championships for 26 years.

Although I wasn't as close to Frank, I had a great respect for his talent, expertise and professionalism. As a broadcasting minor in college, I could appreciate his incredibly rich voice and how unbelievably good he was at the trade he loved.

Dave and Frank also were named to the Texas High School Football Hall of Fame and won enough professional honors and lifetime achievement awards to fill a house.

And no matter what they wrote in the newspaper or said over the airwaves, they always loved Baylor.

Congratulations to two of the best ever.

-- Jerry Hill serves as assistant sports editor and Baylor football beat writer for the Waco Tribune-Herald

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