Longtime announcer McClure facing biggest challenge of his lifetime

A person in Steve McClure’s situation wouldn’t be blamed for curling his or her fists, staring at the sky and asking simplest, yet most complex of questions:

Why me?

Only that isn’t McClure’s style. Never has been.

McClure, who celebrated his 77th birthday on Father’s Day and has spent most his years exuding positivity regardless of the endeavor, values the time he’s been given, as well any remaining cherished experiences a higher being might have mapped out for him.

On June 6, McClure, whose Steve-of-all-trades skill set has been part of the local high school, college and professional sports landscape for decades, was diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer in his liver and colon.

How much time remains on life’s scoreboard isn’t known.

“Steve’s faith is very strong, so he’s just trying to live each day as best as he can. To its fullest,” said Sylvia McClure, his wife of 34 years. “This is how he is.”

The energy McClure utilized in years of interviewing athletes, rattling off starting lineups at Spurlock Center or adding his old school, nuts-and-bolts style to broadcasts, is now channeled into maximizing every minute of every day.

Born and raised in Indianapolis, McClure attended Southport High School, graduating in 1963. He attended Ball State University, and while he dropped out to enlist in the United States Air Force, he completed his degree in radio, television and journalism once his military service was over.

McClure worked at Sharp Ford in Indianapolis in fleet sales for approximately 18 years. He’s since spread himself thin broadcasting, announcing, writing about or taking photographs of a continuous cycle of local prep and college athletes.

Never did his enthusiasm or professionalism take time off.

“You talk about passion for what he did. Steve loved being in the press box, and you would’ve thought it was his first broadcast with that big smile,” said Kevin Conrad, who since 2008 has been the lead sports announcer and producer of the Center Grove Sports Network.

“He never took it for granted. Nothing.”

McClure’s impact in Johnson County has been significant.

He has been the public address announcer at the University of Indianapolis and more recently at Franklin College home football and basketball games. He’s typed stories on deadline (and taken photographs) for the Daily Journal, and served as a color commentator alongside Conrad for boys and girls tennis and golf, softball and even some baseball.

McClure has also broadcast Greenwood Christian boys basketball, and during the 2021-22 school year, he served as the PA announcer for Whiteland football, girls basketball and softball. He also helped broadcast Southport football and boys hoops for a time.

Dating back to the 1980s, McClure’s schedule also included working as a spotter and/or statistician for Indianapolis Colts home games.

If he had a favorite, McClure would never let on.

“He loves it all,” Sylvia McClure said. “That’s just his passion.”

Considering McClure almost always shows up wearing a shirt of whatever school or franchise he’s working for, he’s added quite a few red, blue and white short-sleeve polo shirts to his wardrobe.

McClure wore Franklin College’s colors with great pride.

“Steve reached out to me after he had done some work at UIndy, and it happened that it coincided very well for us,” said former Grizzlies men’s basketball coach and athletic director Kerry Prather, now the school’s president. “And he’s been a fixture for us ever since in football and men’s and women’s basketball.

“He’s just a naturally optimistic, uplifting person. I can’t remember Steve coming to a game and he wasn’t excited to be there. That’s his makeup, which I’m hoping serves him well in his latest challenge.”