The Man behind the PJC Microphone

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The Man behind the PJC Microphone

Wade MannsThe Corsair

He’s one of the loudest voices in the PJC sports community — literally.

Robbie Harvey, 26, is stadium announcer at the Hartsell Arena for the Pensacola Junior College womens’ and mens’ basketball games. It’s his job to make sure the crowd is pumped up for the Pirates and Lady Pirates. He’s really enthusiastic when the Pirates score, but he also lets the crowd know how he feels — as well as how they should feel — when the opposing team scores. He may have to announce it, but he doesn’t have to like it.

“When it comes to the other team, I just announce their names with a monotone type of voice,” Harvey said. “Not very exciting; we don’t want to excite them.”

Self-taught, yet talented, Harvey started announcing when he was 15, having won a contest sponsored by the city’s hockey team, the Ice Pilots. He then went on to DJ at weddings and school dances, “and from then on, the rest is history,” he said.

Few can say they truly enjoy their job, but Harvey does.

“There’s really no inspiration (to become a public address announcer),” he said. “I don’t do this to garner fame or money or get to a different level. I simply do this to just have fun.”

In addition to announcing games at PJC, Harvey is the voice you’ll hear at Five Flags Speedway and its biggest annual race, the Snowball Derby. He also is the announcer for the Pensacola Pelicans minor league baseball team. And his voice isn’t the only thing paying his bills; he’s also a video editor and documentary producer.

Shawntez Patterson, power forward/combo forward, is in his first year of playing for the PJC men’s basketball team. He said he usually tunes out the announcer’s voice, except when Harvey mentions his name. Harvey helps energize him and is “trying to get the fans into it… so I try to give him a good enough reason to call my name,” Patterson said.

Harvey said he is PJC women’s basketball coach Chanda Rigby’s biggest fan. Rigby, a head coach for 20 years, five at PJC, said she likewise appreciates Harvey’s work.

“We are extremely fortunate to have Robbie here,” she said. “Out of all the gyms I’ve been in… even (compared to) some big-time programs, we have the best announcer there is. Not only is he very talented, he’s got a great voice, he’s very sharp. He’s passionate about what he does, and he is very easy to work with. He’s a nice guy.”

When Harvey announces the starting lineup, he pumps up the team, Rigby said.

“Even if there is no crowd here, the way he announces and calls out that starting five…,” she said. “There are two big-time things about (playing in the Lou Ross Center). The players are big time, and Robbie’s voice is big-time.”