Death of A Sports Professional

By L.A. Batchelor
Updated: April 5, 2005

Long-Time Voice Of The Rams Bill Franklin Passed Away At Age 60 On SundayWinston-Salem, NC – Bill Franklin, A name and man who served as the voice and Liason of the WSSU Rams sports for 24 seasons passed away on Sunday morning in his home in Winston-Salem, NC officials from the Winston-Salem State University Department of Athletics confirmed today.

Franklin, the longtime play-by-play announcer for Winston-Salem State University football and basketball was synonymous with the coverage of WSSU Athletics for almost a quarter-century.

Franklin served as the general manager of WSSU on-campus WSNC 90.5 FM radio station for nine years. Prior to his nine years serving as the general manager of WSNC 90.5 FM, Franklin was with WAIR-AM (1340) in Winston-Salem, NC for 12 years. Williams started in the communications business his freshman year at North Carolina A & T State University, an institution that he attended until 1966.

Franklin was found in his home in Winston-Salem, NC by a member of his church after no one had heard from him in several days officials confirmed.

He is the survived by four children, Janine (40), Jennifer (27), a former Washington Redskin and Dallas Cowboy cheerleader, Jessica (23), and William III (17).

WSSU Director of Athletics, Dr. Chico Caldwell issued the following comment on the tragic passing of Bill Franklin:

“It was shocking to hear the tragic news of Bill’s passing. In athletics, people always talk of key athletes being hard to replace. In my opinion, replacing a man like Bill Franklin will be far more difficult a task than replacing a key athlete. His knowledge of WSSU Athletics, and his dedication to the University and the Athletic Department over the past 24 years have been second to none. Though he is no longer with us, his legacy will live on forever. Finding someone to try to fill the void left behind by his passing will be difficult as very few people knew WSSU Athletics as well as Bill. However, through his teaching efforts with the younger generations of WSSU students and fans, it may make it easier to find someone who may allow us to carry on his legacy. That legacy will undoubtedly live on in the WSSU Athletic Department, local community and University family. He will be sorely missed.”

Funeral arrangements have yet to be announced. For more information call Winston Salem State University or go to www.WSSURAMS.COM