Bobby Norman began working at Pikeville Medical Center (PMC) in 1998 as a nursing assistant and moved to an emergency room technician the following year. In March of 2001 he became an RN and now serves as a shift supervisor in the emergency room. His wife Alanne also works for PMC in physician billing.
Off the clock, Norman can be heard on Friday nights as the voice of the Belfry Pirates on 93.1 WDHR.
The Belfry Pirates football team, led by Kentucky Hall of Fame Coach Phillip Haywood, will kick off this season at the Pike County Bowl on their home turf against Huntington High on Aug. 25.
Norman will be there giving the play-by-play just like he has done for every single Belfry game since 2005. That was the year the Pirates moved into their brand-new school with state-of-the-art football facilities. After that, Eastern Kentucky Broadcasting (EKB) decided to broadcast every Pirate football game.
With Norman's ties to the school and having grown up in the area, he was the obvious choice to broadcast the games and "I haven't missed a game since" said Norman. "When I count them up, that's 168 consecutive Belfry games at home and away."
His radio career has come a long way from working at a little 1000 watt AM station broadcasting Lawrence County games in Louisa in 1992. Norman was a sales rep for EKB and began tagging along to games to do sideline work, occasionally filling in at the broadcasting booth doing color commentary.
That snowballed into more seasons and more games. "My parents always taught me, if you have an opportunity to do something, do your best," said Norman.
It was that drive and willingness to go to any game, no matter what school or what sport, to become a better announcer and ultimately perfected his craft.
Norman doesn't do it all by himself. He gets help from Wes Hicks, who gives the statistics, and former Belfry football assistant coach and retired teacher, Steve Mickey.
After the 2008 season, Coach Mickey had just retired from Belfry and was brought on to do the color commentary.
"Coach Mickey is the Rick Flair of radio," according to Norman. "He gets you fired up!"
The two have known each other for years and their on-air chemistry is perfect.
"I paint the picture with the play-by-play," explained Norman, "but Coach Mickey adds the color."
Coach Mickey said that the time they spend together calling Belfry football games has only made them better friends.
"If he's your friend, you'll want to call him first if you ever need help," Mickey expressed. "He's always there when you need someone. He puts the Lord first and he has his priorities in line."
After 25 years of broadcasting high school sports on EKB, Norman appreciates having the flexibility at PMC to be able to pursue his radio career.
"I've always been grateful to Mr. May and the hospital for allowing me to be off on Friday nights from mid-August through the first part of December," said Norman.
At the heart of Pirate football is Coach Haywood.
"The reason Belfry is so good is because of the consistency that Coach Haywood has brought for over 30 years," stated Norman. "He has the ability to motivate the boys and they play hard for him."
Haywood hopes to turn that effort into another successful season as Belfry sets their sights on their fifth consecutive state championship this year. Norman will be there to bring it all to life for the Pondcreek Nation.
Norman moved to the Belfry area as a child with his family in the 70s when his father came to pastor a church there.
"It's not hard to love Belfry once you've lived here for a while," he said.
Norman grew up around Belfry football and next to the field.
"My dad, Brother Bob Norman, was the team chaplain for Belfry from the mid-70s up until we moved to Tennessee in 1983," said Norman. "He was just as much a part of the team as anyone else and that's how my love for Belfry football began."
Norman has fulfilled his childhood dream in Belfry football.
"My biggest dream when I was a young boy was to be the UK radio announcer for football and basketball," said Norman, "but I get to be the radio voice of the Belfry Pirates and that's even better."