NOTRE DAME, Ind. (WNDU) - The University of Notre Dame announced Friday that longtime Notre Dame Stadium public address announcer Mike Collins is retiring after the 2020 football season.
Mike Collins and retired Indiana State Police Sgt. Tim McCarthy
The former WNDU anchor told his wife that if the Rev. Ted Hesburgh can retire at 75, that's good enough for him.
This fall will be Collins' 39th and final Notre Dame football season.
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Mike Collins ‘67, the public address announcer at Notre Dame Stadium since 1982, has announced that the 2020 season will be his last at the microphone for Fighting Irish football games.
“I told my wife, ‘If Fr. Ted (Hesburgh) can retire at 75, that’s good enough for me,’” Collins said. “There is no one reason, but I can walk out with my head held high, good health and be proud that I’ll be better for my last game than my first. I’ve always viewed myself as an ambassador of Our Lady’s University, not merely an employee of the athletics department. I was able to do that for the most prestigious institution in the world, which just happened to be my alma mater.”
Collins’ tenure began with the first night game in the House That Rockne Built, a 23-17 Irish victory over No. 10 Michigan. Notre Dame has won another 166 games since he stepped in the booth, including the last 18 straight, thriving in a home-field advantage Collins helps foster. Following six home games this coming fall, Collins will have called 233 straight home football games at Notre Dame.
Collins, a proud Pittsburgh native, was the sports director of the student radio station while an undergraduate at Notre Dame, calling hockey and basketball games. He went on to a decades-long career in television news at both WNDU and WSBT in South Bend. Collins will continue as the public address announcer for Pittsburgh Pirates spring training in Bradenton, Florida.
“I’ve been able to do public address for my alma mater and my beloved Pittsburgh Pirates,” Collins said. “I can’t think of anything better than that.”
He also contributed to Notre Dame’s Strong of Heart series, profiling the inspirational stories of Notre Dame Athletics, with features on Rev. Theodore Hesburgh, Chuck Lennon and Manti Te’o to his credit.
Plans to celebrate Collins are forthcoming and will be announced at a later date.
The Irish open the 2020 home schedule against Arkansas on Saturday, Sept. 12 following the regular-season opener against Navy in Dublin, Ireland, on Saturday, Aug. 29.