LINCOLN – Brian Orr’s voice has been a beacon of optimism and excitement for hundreds of Louisville students over the past 16 years.
He was honored for his work announcing student activities March 6 with a major state award.
Nebraska State Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association (NSIAAA) members saluted Orr with the group’s Outstanding Service Award. Scores of people from across Nebraska applauded Orr for his dedication to Louisville activities. The event took place at Wilderness Ridge Golf Course’s large banquet room in Lincoln.
Louisville High School Activities Director Rob Geise nominated Orr for the award. He said Orr had dedicated a large amount of time and energy to school district events. He also said Louisville residents respected Orr for his volunteer service in town.
“Brian truly cares about the school and community,” Geise said. “He was always driven to ensure everything he did ensured a special experience for the kids participating. Louisville Public Schools appreciates his time and dedication as well as his commitment to our students.”
Orr moved to Louisville in 2003 and soon began coaching youth baseball in the community. He taught fundamental baseball skills to many children and helped them learn about items such as sportsmanship and following the rules.
“As a coach, Brian volunteered countless hours teaching his players to play the game the right way while always trying to pass on the passion he had for the game,” Geise said.
Orr also became the public address announcer at many Louisville activities. He began announcing varsity football and basketball games at the high school, and he later added volleyball, softball and track and field events to his schedule. Geise said Orr earned the nickname “The Voice” for his distinctive play-calling skills and his presence at many games and meets.
“He took a lot of pride in his work, arriving early for games,” Geise said. “He always put in extra time to ensure he made the experience special for the players and fans.”
Louisville head girls basketball coach Wally Johnson and LHS head football and track and field coach Chase Rasby both said Orr had helped the community in many ways. Johnson said he appreciated the way Orr cared about all of the students who took part in Louisville activities.
“Brian really took to Louisville as he became more involved during his years here, starting as a baseball coach to announcing basketball games to announcing football, and then finally marking the field and grounds for football and track meets,” Johnson said. “Brian really poured his heart and soul into LHS and our student-athletes. Brian took so much pride in our facilities and our kids and only ever wanted what was best for all of us. The Voice was a part of our athletic culture and Lion family and always will be.”
Rasby said Orr had made a major impact on the football program with his work marking, mowing and painting Louisville’s home field. Orr has overseen how the yardage lines, sidelines, end zone boundaries and hash marks appear on the football field each fall. He has determined how the field will be laid out and has then proceeded to create a well-groomed playing surface for each junior varsity and varsity contest.
“Each year, people come to Louisville for home football games and are always in awe of how good our football field looks,” Rasby said. “Rain or shine, sleet or snow (and he has done it in all of these), Brian makes LHS look better than any field we play on all year. Brian has also on several occasions come from working all night to painting the field most of the day before he goes to sleep. Sometimes he has to mow twice and paint twice in a week because of JV and varsity games.
“No one on the planet is more meticulous when it comes to how a field looks. He will see imperfections and stew over them for hours and no one else will even see a blemish even when he points it out to them. No one knows every curve and bump on the football field better than he does because of all the mowing and painting he has done for all of these years.
“And by the time he gets done mowing and painting the field, his job is just half done, because he then announces each football game.”
Rasby said he has been impressed with Orr’s ability to deliver concise and knowledgeable remarks during every LHS event. Orr has introduced players prior to games and has welcomed groups such as dance teams and cheerleaders at halftime. He has also provided recaps of each football play after the down is over, read track and field results at home meets and delivered school-related announcements over the loudspeakers.
“Some people have believed that he has done radio or live broadcasting for a career and are always surprised when they are told he is just a volunteer who has accepted the community, school and coaching staffs as they are part of his family,” Rasby said. “He has been nominated by the players as an honorary coach every year we have had the award, which tells you how much he has meant to the players.”
Rasby said he was happy when he learned Orr would receive the NSIAAA award. He said the words “outstanding service” were a perfect description of Orr’s actions over the years.
“There are very few ways for me to describe how much he has meant to me and all of the coaching staffs that have come before me, but I can only say he has been a cornerstone on which many of our programs have been built,” Rasby said. “Brian has remained steadfast in his devotion to LHS through good years and bad. He has always been there being a supportive rock we can all depend on.”