His voice has been prominent throughout Southwest Virginia for 43 years.
Now, Dave Ross will take his place among the greats from all over the state.
Ross has been selected by the Virginia High School League’s Hall of Fame to receive its prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award. The Lifetime Achievement Award recognizes individuals for long-standing service of at least 15 years and exceptional dedication to the VHSL or its programs as administrators, athletic coaches or contributors. Ross will be inducted at a ceremony in Charlottesville later this year.
Ross’ name and achievements were put in nomination to the VHSL last summer by a four-person committee that included former Play-by-Play publisher John Montgomery, Roanoke Star sports editor Bill Turner, former Roanoke College head basketball coach and athletic director Ed Green and current Lord Botetourt athletic director and girls basketball head coach Chuck Pound.
The committee was informed in late-February that Ross had been accepted by an unanimous vote. He becomes only the third media contributor from the Roanoke Valley to be recognized by the VHSL, joining former Roanoke Times sports editor, Bob McLelland, long-time high school broadcaster Jim Carroll and former WDBJ7 sports anchor Roy Stanley.
Ross, a Butler, PA native and Bowling Green State University graduate, came to Roanoke in 1975 after a start in radio and television broadcasting with the Bowling Green campus radio station and local PBS TV station where he did news and sports. A ROTC member at Bowling Green, Ross completed a two-year stint in the U.S. Army that included a deployment to Vietnam where he was awarded the Bronze Star for meritorious service.
After Vietnam, Ross joined WUTR in Utica, New York as their sports director, covering a full spectrum of high school sports and area colleges such as Utica, Hamilton, Colgate and Syracuse University. While at WUTR, Ross was one of the first to do tape delay broadcasts and he was a pioneer in weekly sports shows that featured top area sports stories. The ideas were so innovative for the time that he was presented Utica’s Key to the City.
Ross came to Roanoke as sports director of WSLS TV where he remained until 1982. After a brief stint as radio broadcaster for Virginia Tech basketball, Ross joined Fox 21/27 where he took high school sports to a new level, producing playoff football and following with a football game of the week throughout the area.
Ross eventually expanded his coverage to basketball where he broadcast regular season games as well as statewide matchups during VHSL regional and state playoffs. Along the way he also added high school wrestling, high school golf in the form of the Scott Robertson Memorial, Virginia Slims tennis, Big East softball, ice hockey, Tour DuPont cycling, soccer, lacrosse and various regular coaches shows to his resume.
As his longevity in sports has cemented his legacy, Ross has garnered numerous honors along the way. He has been the President of the Roanoke Valley Sports Club on two occasions and remains on their Board of Directors. He has also emceed the annual Elks Club Valedictorian Night that honors the top high school academic students from 18 Roanoke and surrounding area high schools that is now in its 40th year. Ross also has shared his name with the Susan B. Komen For the Cure, Virginia Blue Ridge in its annual breast cancer benefit youth football game, known now as the Dave Ross Bowl.
Married in 1974, Ross lives in Roanoke County with his wife Joyce. They have a daughter, Sarah Boswell, son-in-law Billy and two grandchildren, William and Grace Elizabeth.