Football: Bostick joins radio team

By Kelly Flanigan

After a season with huge turnover of faces — players and coaches included — Pitt football… After a season with huge turnover of faces — players and coaches included — Pitt football has gotten a new voice as well, in the form of a former quarterback.

Pat Bostick, who led Pitt to two of its most exciting victories in recent memory — a 13-9 upset of West Virginia in 2007 to keep the Mountaineers out of the National Championship and a 36-33 quadruple-overtime win at Notre Dame in 2008 — will join Pitt’s radio broadcasting team on Sportsradio 93.7 The Fan as the newly hired color commentator.

“There is a high level of pride associated with being a Pitt person,” Bostick said. “I really want to give back. I love this place and want to be a part of its exciting future.”

On Feb. 15, Bostick, now a graduate student, announced he would forego his fifth and final year of eligibility.

“After the season ended I really had a chance to evaluate my life and decide which path I wanted to take going forward,” Bostick said. “Foregoing my last year of eligibility has allowed me to develop personally and professionally. I’m really at peace with my decision.”

Bostick will work alongside longtime play-by-play man Bill Hillgrove to broadcast all of the team’s games this season, starting with the home opener against Buffalo on Sept. 3.

Former Panther Bill Fralic stepped down from the position after seven years, citing the strains of the time commitment and travel as his reasons as the radio broadcasters not only announce Pitt’s home games, but travel to announce team’s away games as well.

“I’ve greatly enjoyed the opportunity to work Pitt football radio broadcasts the past seven years,” Fralic said in a Pitt news release. “It has been an honor to call the games with Bill Hillgrove, who is truly the best in the broadcast business as well as a dear friend.”

Bostick said his playing days will help him call games.

“I have put a lot of hard work into understanding the game of football,” he said. “You have to be mentally prepared to play the quarterback position and I, someone who is not as athletically gifted as others, had to depend on my mind to stay competitive.”

He said that he’ll bring the same level of preparation and understanding to the broadcast booth.

While Bostick will be entering his first season calling games, Hillgrove begins his 38th year as the “Voice of the Panthers,” and his 42nd overall year participating in Pitt sports broadcasts.

Bostick said he hopes to learn from Hillgrove, whom he called the “best in the business.”

“His experience will certainly be something I draw from,” Bostrick said. “I cannot wait to sit down with him and pick his brain. He is simply a legend.”

Bostick earned his bachelor’s degree in communications in just three years and also has a degree in media and professional communications. Currently he is pursuing a master’s degree in Pitt’s School of Education.

Bostick has been with the Panthers since 2007, when he joined the team under then-head-coach Dave Wannstedt.

A three-year letterman for the Panthers, Bostick battled Bill Stull to replace Tyler Palko, and spent the following two years backing up starter Stull and later Tino Sunseri.

In the news release, Fralic said that he’s excited for Bostick.

“[He] has made Pitt very proud on and off the field,” Fralic said. “I know he will do a great job on the air. Although I’m stepping away from the booth, I will certainly continue to follow the Panthers very closely and wish Coach Todd Graham and the team the very best this year.”

E.J. Borghetti, senior associate athletic director for media relations, called Bostick a “broadcast star in the making” in the same news release.

Bostick is just one former Pitt athlete who found a place at the University following an athletic career.In addition to broadcasting on game days, Bostick will have a weekly segment on radio station 93.7 The Fan. He will also write a weekly column for the Pitt website and the official athletic department newspaper Panther Eyes.

Former Pitt point guard Brandin Knight is an assistant coach for the men’s basketball team, while former player Mallorie Winn holds the same position for the women’s basketball team. Kristy Borza, a one-time tennis star for the Panthers, is now an assistant coach for the tennis team.

Bostick said he always wants to be a part of the Pitt family.

“The University of Pittsburgh is such a wonderful place to go to school and participate in athletics,” he said.

“The people, the community and the city of Pittsburgh make Pitt so unique. It truly is a family environment. For those reasons, I think it is natural for Pitt student-athletes to stay in the area. People want to be a part of something special, something bigger than themselves.”

As a former member of the Pitt football program, and having spent time around the team and the new coaching staff in the spring and summer, Bostick said this season is going to be exciting.

“Coach Graham has implemented a fast-paced, high-energy and attacking style of play that I think fans will really enjoy watching,” he said. “With all of the talent and experience coming back on both sides of the ball, I think fans have a lot to look forward to.”

Bostick said that sports broadcasting always intrigued him.

“I don’t know what the future will hold, but I’m thrilled to have this opportunity and I am hoping to make the most of it.,” he said.