Central Connecticut athletics will honor Joe Arnone, the longtime public address announcer for its teams, at the men's and women's basketball doubleheader on Saturday, Feb. 24. Arnone will be retiring from the microphone following the season, his 56th season as "The Voice of the Blue Devils." Arnone, one of the Blue Devils' most loyal supporters, will be recognized throughout the day and will be celebrated for his contributions in a ceremony at halftime of the men's basketball game against St. Francis Brooklyn.
Arnone has filled many roles with the Blue Devils because of his love and devotion for the school and its student-athletes. He began his affiliation with the University, then known as Teachers College of Connecticut, as an undergraduate in 1955 and was a member of the Blue Devils' football team, earning MVP honors in 1958. Arnone majored in mathematics and physics, graduating in 1959, and would continue his affiliation with CCSU athletics as an assistant football and baseball coach from 1962-64. He would also serve the department as the sports publicist from 1962-64.
Arnone's longest-running role with the University began in 1962 when he filled in as the public address announcer. He would become a fixture and has been "The Voice of the Blue Devils" ever since. Currently in his 56th year as the PA announcer, Arnone is one of the longest-tenured announcers in the country and has been a mainstay at many Blue Devils athletics events, including the men's and women's basketball games.
He was a long-time educator in Connecticut and was a member of the CCSU faculty in the physical education and science departments. He taught at Farmington High School (mathematics and science, 1962-65) and Bloomfield High School (physics and AP physics, 1965-68) before joining the faculty at CCSU from 1969-1995. During his time with the University, Arnone has been recognized with the Harrison J. Kaiser Award (1991) and the Distinguished Alumni Service Award (1993). Arnone was inducted into the Central Connecticut State University Alumni Athletics Hall of Fame in 1981.
Arnone was also a prominent former football and baseball official at the high school and college levels. The final football game he refereed was the 1994 NCAA Division I-AA National Championship, before going on to work 16 years for the NFL officiating department as a scout, evaluating college officiating applicants. Among his numerous honors are being recognized with the Greater Hartford Baseball Umpires Distinguished Service Award (1995) and the Connecticut Sports Writers Alliance Award (2008). He is a member of several Hall of Fames, including the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame (1996), Connecticut Football Officials Hall of Fame (2007) and the City of New Britain Sports Hall of Fame (2008). A former U.S. Marine, he served in the Korean War and has three daughters and nine grandchildren. He has also been an announcer for the CIAC boys and girls basketball finals (1970-2014), the Nutmeg State Games in 1991 and the Northeast Conference baseball tournament (1995-2016).
The CCSU women's basketball team will play Saint Francis U at 1:00 p.m. on Feb. 24, followed by the men taking on St. Francis Brooklyn at 3:30 p.m. Tickets for CCSU home games can be purchased at CCSUTickets.com or at the box office upon entry to Kaiser Hall and Detrick Gymnasium. Admission for all CCSU students, faculty and staff is free of charge with a valid Blue Chip card.