If there were an award presented for the Southside’s “first family of sports,” Steve and Sylvia McClure would be in the running for the honor.
Sylvia has held season tickets to Indianapolis Colts games since they moved here in 1984, and Steve is a 34-year member of the teams’ stat crew.
Steve is also the chief announcer for the Indiana Sports Radio Network, covering high school sports from football to baseball, softball and golf, and the sports voice of Southport High, where he graduated in 1963.
“I think Sylvia is actually a bigger sports fan than me. She can tell you all the stats for the Colts players,” said Steve, who enjoys annual snow ski trips with his wife to Park City, Utah. “I love it out West; it’s so beautiful out there.”
The couple met through the Indianapolis Ski Club during an outing to Boyne Mountain, Mich., on March 31, 1987, and they were engaged during a ski trip to Colorado and married Oct. 3, 1987. “We probably would have been married at a ski resort, but I had to cover football at that time of the year,” Steve laughed. “If we didn’t mutually enjoy sports together, we probably wouldn’t have come together as we did.”
The McClures have skied at resorts throughout North America.
Steve, who served in the Air Force from 1966-70, brings a vast amount of sports media experience to the internet-based network, which covers Indy metro schools.
He graduated from Ball State with a degree in radio-TV and journalism and began his career in radio in Rushville. He was a play-by-play sports announcer in Florida and Ohio before returning home to Indianapolis. He has served as sports information director at three colleges.
Steve was the public address announcer at the University of Indianapolis for 18 years and has done the same work for the past 15 years at Franklin College. He also is a sports and features writer and a photographer for the Daily Journal (Franklin), and he was employed by The Spotlight, where he was a writer and an account executive.
Sylvia, a 30-year breast cancer survivor, earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Ohio and Indiana universities, respectively. She taught in Warren Township Schools for 37 years before retiring.
At Indiana Sports Radio Network, Steve thinks he has found his niche. “I’ve been there four years, and I love calling the games. I have developed a close relationship with all the players and the teams,” he said. “You get to know the kids from Day 1 in their high school careers. They are like family.
“We have an excellent rapport with the athletes we cover. We really want them to do the best they can. If we (the broadcast team) see that some of the players are experiencing troubles – financial or otherwise – we will try to come to their rescue.”
And that’s the philosophy behind the network, which broadcasts sports while promoting Christian values and leadership skills to all athletes and their families. “We pray before each broadcast,” he said.
That same philosophy permeates the McClure household as Steve and Sylvia have “adopted” and supported young girls in South America through a program known as Compassion International.
“I like to think of them as my ‘daughters,’ ” Steve said. “The girl we are supporting now is Maria. We send a monthly contribution and correspond with her about as often. We hope to meet her in person someday.
“My (real) daughter, Jenni, is a special education teacher in the Tampa Bay area, and our only granddaughter, Erin, is a freshman in high school.”
At 72, Steve shows no sings of slowing down, as evidenced by covering the Center Grove girls golf sectional Monday at Hickory Stick.
“I will never retire. My dad, Harold, retired early from Eli Lilly and couldn’t adjust to retirement and died early. That’s not going to happen to me. My dad always told me that you had to have a plan when you get up in the morning. I didn’t really hear him at the time, but I do now.”