According to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Bill Hillgrove, longtime voice of both the Pittsburgh Steelers and University of Pittsburgh Athletics, has been charged with driving under the influence after police said he drove his SUV into the front of a supermarket in Murrysville, Pa.
The accident occurred at a Ferri’s Shur Save supermarket late in the afternoon on Monday June 15. Murrysville is approximately a half-hour east of downtown Pittsburgh.
Vehicle Driven ‘Directly Into the Two Glass Panes’
Per the Post-Gazette, the grocery store manager reported that Hillgrove, “a regular at the store, pulled into the parking lot and drove his vehicle ‘directly into the two glass panes,’ then walked into the store to fill a prescription…. After his prescription was filled, the police complaint said, Mr. Hillgrove entered his vehicle and drove away.”
Police subsequently went to Hillgrove’s home. It was there that Hillgrove “confirmed to police he was at the scene and said he had ‘a couple of beers,’ according to the complaint.”
The Post-Gazette also reports that the police gave Hillgrove a preliminary breath test, which tested positive for alcohol, as well as a blood test.
Separately, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reported that the breathalyzer test found that Hillgrove, 80, had a blood alcohol level of “at least 0.16%,” twice the legal limit in Pennsylvania.
Hillgrove has been the play-by-play radio voice of the Pittsburgh Steelers for more than a quarter-century, serving in that role since 1994, his ‘rookie year’ coming when he was 53 years old. He started working at the University of Pittsburgh in 1969.
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Hillgrove’s ‘Dream Job,’ Not One He ‘Really Sought’
Interestingly, the job as Steelers’ play-by-play man is not one that Hillgrove formally applied for. When he celebrated 25 years of making the call in 2018, he revealed how he already had a “full plate” covering University of Pittsburgh football and basketball, while also working nights at WTAE-TV. But he had heard how Steelers’ owner Dan Rooney had acquired a tape of his work and was comparing it against tapes received from an untold number of applicants.
“Then a few weeks later Tom Donahoe, the [Steelers’] director of football operations, called and said we had a meeting last night and things are looking pretty good,” Hillgrove recalled. “I was like ‘Oh my goodness,’ I am a candidate for a job I never really sought. [But] the more I thought about it, to become a play-by-play announcer, it made sense.”
Hillgrove has said that the highlight of his career was calling the Steelers’ victory over the Arizona Cardinals in Super Bowl XLIII, which took place on February 1, 2009.
Earlier this month Super Bowl XLIII was re-aired on NBCSN. The rebroadcast featured new interviews with Santonio Holmes, most valuable player of Super Bowl XLIII, who literally cried tears of joy recalling his MVP performance and the Steelers’ victory.