The 1970’s, 80’s and 90’s were decades of great achievement for the football and basketball teams of HHS. From his perch in the press box at Memorial Stadium or courtside at the Claude Warren Field House, Jack Cavanaugh’s resonant voice kept Blue Streak fans informed of the actions before them. For more than 30 years, thousands of HHS athletes, from role players to hall of famers,
heard Jack announce their deeds to the fans over the public address systems of these venues.
Jack’s career as PA announcer began without fanfare. While a young staff member at Thomas Harrison Junior High in the late 1960’s, Principal Joe Meyers (HOF 2008) asked Jack to “help him out” with announcing home games. Jack agreed and soon thereafter the job was his alone. He remained the PA announcer until his retirement from the city schools in 1999.
Mr. Cavanaugh graduated from Cambridge, Maryland High School where he excelled as a pitcher on the baseball team. He is a 1960 graduate of Bridgewater College, then taught and coached in the Rockingham County Schools for three years before joining the Harrisonburg City Schools in 1963. He served as Principal at Thomas Harrison for 10 years and retired as a supervisor in the central office.
Jack was very active in civic affairs in Harrisonburg, serving as President of both the Lions club and the Jaycees, as well as Chairman for several years of the Elks Club Boys’ Camp. In 1970, Jack became PA announcer for the James Madison football team, and in 1980 as announcer for the JMU men’s and women’s basketball teams, a position he still holds. In his “spare time” Jack also spent 7 years as owner/driver of a race car which he ran at the Eastside Speedway in Waynesboro.