Bob Arthur and his humor have served the Napoleon athletic community well for the past 39 years while announcing for both the junior varsity and varsity Napoleon football teams.
Pictured above: Head football coach Derrick Shell, John Long, Paul White, Bob Arthur, Karl Hess, Doug Rendell, and Gene Conaway all celebrated Arthur’s recognition as a Lifetime Honorary Member of the Michigan High School Football Coaches Association Award recipient.
By Debbie Naylor
There were no football players taking the field, no cheerleaders taking a bow, and no referees calling penalties. No, the name being announced at this ceremony was the man behind the microphone, Robert “Bob” Arthur.
The Lifetime Honorary Member of the Michigan High School Football Coaches Association Award was presented to Arthur for his “contributions to the community high school football program and to Michigan high school football statewide” during a ceremony held in Lansing on Friday, January 14. Arthur was one of only three other people in the state to receive the award this year.
Anyone who has ever attended a Napoleon football game has been entertained and enlightened by the powerful voice coming from the press box as Arthur provides the play-by-play stats, acknowledges the cheerleaders and gives thanks to the field crew. He can also be heard offering suggestions for snacks from the concession stand if “anyone would like to feed the hungry crew in the press box.” Arthur and his humor have served the Napoleon athletic community well for the past 39 years while announcing for both the junior varsity and varsity Napoleon football teams. (more below)
A 1973 graduate of the Napoleon “gold medal class” as he calls it, Arthur was born and raised in Napoleon, going on to graduate from Jackson Community College and Wayne State University where he obtained his bachelor’s degree in Mortuary Science. He continued to be active in the Napoleon community serving as a bus driver for the school district from 1983 to 1993 and is currently a member of the Napoleon Mason Lodge 301. He took over as football announcer when the former announcer moved to a different district and has since only missed two games: One when the game was called due to lightning and the rescheduled game that interfered with a planned trip to Las Vegas, and the other missed game due to his required attendance at a friend’s wedding.
There is also a special bond between Arthur and the rest of the press box crew with few changes to the staff over the years. Both John Long and Gene Conaway have served in the press box for more than 20 years, while Paul White has been part of the crew for 13. The entire press box crew attended the Lansing award ceremony, along with head NHS Football Coach Derrick Shell.
Bob Arthur, shown above has been named a Lifetime Honorary Member of the Michigan High School Football Coaches Association.
Although high school football is his passion, he does enjoy college football, especially when a local athlete goes on to play for a college team and he has someone specific to watch. He sponsors a pizza and pop night for the junior varsity football team every year, as well as opening his home in northern Michigan to the Napoleon bus drivers for their annual retreat. Arthur himself enjoyed snowmobiling at his northern getaway until his body told him it was time to stop. He still enjoys a trek or two to a northern casino, where he has been known to be quite lucky.
For the past 43 years, Arthur has served the Michigan Center and surrounding communities as co-owner of Nichols-Arthur Funeral Home and now Arthur-Day Funeral Home. He is also a member of the Michigan Center Lions Club. He was active with the Boy Scouts for over 30 years, mostly serving as a cook and his famous “Chuckwagon Bargoo” is still a fan favorite.
Arthur has no plans to retire from his announcing duties and so it is likely you will continue to hear his famous sign-off line, “it’s not over till the lady sings, and it appears she is warming up now.”