Simons celebrates 50 years as the voice of Hereford sports


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KPAN longtime radio broadcaster Tom Simon, left, his wife Cindy, and color commentator Kris Bridwell get set to call a Hereford football game at Dick Bivins Stadium last Thursday. Simons is celebrating his 50th year of being the voice of Hereford athletics. [Provided photo]

“It’s a great day to be a Whiteface”

That motto has become a staple for decades through Hereford in part to legendary KPAN radio broadcaster Tom Simons.

Simons has reached a true milestone through his craft celebrating his 50th year of broadcasting Hereford sporting events.

Simons has been a county judge for 28 years for Deaf Smith County, the mayor of Hereford for six years, but nothing he’s done has compared to his passion of calling games for the Whitefaces.

“I truly enjoy it,” Simons said. “It’s fun. I enjoy getting to know the kids, and it’s been great to see all the guys and gals that could really play. I really enjoy getting the personal side of it and building relationships.”

Simons is retired, however, continues his dedication to calling football, volleyball, basketball, baseball, and softball for KPAN radio.

He’s called five Hereford state volleyball championships, been through 10 head football coaches, and seen generations of Hereford athletes come through the programs.

One of those athletes is Don DeLozier. Simons called DeLozier’s games as a player till he graduated in 1982. Simons then called DeLozier’s games the past 18 seasons as the head football coach of the Whitefaces before DeLozier moved to administration last spring.

“Tom is Hereford,” DeLozier said. “He’s been a judge, a mayor, but he’s known as the voice of the Whitefaces. So many people love how enjoyable he is to listen to. He’s a quality person and top notch broadcaster. He’s always so supportive and so good he can make you sound better than you’re actually playing. It says a lot how much he believes in Hereford.”

Simons legendary saying lives in the Hereford field house. [Provided photo]

Hereford girls athletic director Brenda Kitten, who stands as one of the best volleyball coaches in Texas history after leading the Lady Whitefaces to five state championships (1996, 1997, 1999, 2001, 2008), is now a color commentator with Simons during volleyball season. Kitten says Hereford is truly blessed to have such a passionate personality like Simons.

“Tom’s a special guy,” said Kitten, who is the 160th member of the Texas Panhandle Sports Hall of Fame. “He’s so good and could have been lot of other places doing bigger games on a bigger stage. What I love is he’s really great at bringing the listener in to see the game. He’s done every sport and enjoys them. Most of all he loves the kids and loves the competition.”

Former Texas Tech quarterback and one of the best to come through the Hereford football program, Cody Hodges, says just getting to do a postgame interview with Simons remains a lifetime memory.

“Tom Simons has been as loyal to Hereford athletics as anyone,” Hodges said. “There is no telling of the amount miles driven and sacrifices made by Tom and his wife, Cindy, to cover Hereford athletic competitions. Tom was, and is, a constant encourager and his love for Hereford is unparalleled. Personally, he believed in me way before I probably believed in myself. As a player it was an honor to get to do a postgame interview with Mr. Simons. I’m forever grateful for his friendship.”

What has been one of the cherished moments for Simon is having his wife Cindy sitting next to him keeping stats for the last 35 years during football contests. Even today, Cindy can’t believe how much enthusiasm her husband shows for Hereford athletics.

She’s always amazed by his memory, and constant drive.

“He really loves the kids,” Cindy said. “He remembers all of them, and they all know him. He doesn’t forget anyone. That’s pretty special. I think also it’s his passion of doing this. He really loves this and getting to cover the kids of Hereford.”

Hereford graduate Kris Bridwell is in his second year color commentating with Simons. Listening to the legendary broadcaster since childhood, Bridwell says it’s a true honor to sit next to him under the Friday night lights.

“Tom is a guy that I have looked up to for a really long time,” Bridwell said. “Getting to call some of the Hereford games is so much fun for me. The fact that I get to call the games with him makes it that much more special. He just makes it so easy. It’s just like sitting at home watching the game with good friends.”

Growing up in east Texas, Simons never planned on staying in Hereford. But his children loved the community growing up, and he and Cindy decided Hereford is where they wanted to be.

“I had planned on living in Hereford for a little while,” Simons said. “I thought about leaving then my kids loved Hereford. So we stayed and we enjoy it. I’m glad my kids wanted us to stay. We love the community.”

Tom Simons, right, and former longtime Hereford football coach Don Cumpton always enjoyed calling games together. [Provided photo]

Simons turned 78 today, and couldn’t be happier to be doing another Hereford football game when the Whitefaces open the home schedule against Bushland at 7 p.m. Friday. As for how much longer he wants to continue broadcasting? Well, don’t expect him to slow down anytime soon.

“I don’t plan on stopping for now,” Simons said. “Last year was rough. I had COVID, and it was a hard year. But I’m having fun, and I plan on continuing to call all the sports as long as I can.”


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