Dave Sitton touched a thousand points in the community and will leave a void like few others. Bigger than life had real meaning.
— Tom Duddleston (@TomDudd) August 12, 2013
When I wrote Friday that Dick Tomey was chosen to the Polynesian Football Hall of Fame selection committee, one of the first Facebook likes for the story came from longtime Arizona broadcaster Dave Sitton.
Sitton always had an appreciation for the underlining themes of the Wildcats’ sports department. He went beyond the obvious and his mannerisms on the air were commonly outside the box. He talked much more about a player’s story than about the player’s stats.
As coach of the UA rugby team, he always managed to inject a line or two about that sport while calling a football game. Tucson and rugby are not synonymous but Sitton never wavered in his belief and support for that sport. He often called world-class rugby events on ESPN or other networks.
The last I saw Sitton was a couple of years ago at Tucson restaurant establishment Bob Dobbs, a popular gathering spot close to the UA where patrons talk about Wildcat sports while tipping a few. Sitton went from table to table, practically chair to chair, talking to everybody. He knew everybody. Everyone enjoyed his engaging, colorful personality.
Now they only have the memories. Sitton, 58, has died. Details of his death and when it happened are yet to be confirmed. His battle with lymphoma a few years ago hit close to home because my father endured that disease for almost 13 years before passing in 2010.
Sitton was active member of the Tucson community, serving with the Tucson Conquistadores and served on the board of the Pima County Sports and Tourism Authority.
Sitton broadcasted UA football and basketball games from 1990-2012. He won the national Academy of Television Arts and Sciences Emmy Award for basketball play-by-play in 2010 and football in 2011. He ran in a Republican special primary to replace former U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords in 2012, but lost to Jesse Kelly.
Sitton attended the UA on a baseball scholarship. One of the stories he liked to tell was sharing a dorm area with former basketball standout Bob Elliott. Sitton and Elliott later announced UA games on TV during the Lute Olson era.
Somewhere in heaven today, Dave Sitton is talking Beach Boys with Carl Wilson and Dennis Wilson, two Beach Boys originals, just like Dave
— Greg Hansen (@ghansen711) August 12, 2013
WILDABOUTAZCATS.net publisher, writer and editor Javier Morales is a former Arizona Press Club award winner. He also writes blogs for Lindy’s College Sports, TucsonCitizen.com and Sports Illustrated-sponsored site ZonaZealots.com.