Grambling Athletics shaken by loss of iconic voices Gipson, Thomas

For the second time in less than three weeks, Grambling fans have lost an iconic voice with the passing of longtime public address announcer Larry Gipson.

Visitation for the beloved Gipson, 64, will be Friday from 3-5 p.m. at King’s Funeral Home in Ruston. His funeral service is Saturday at noon in Grambling at Springhill Baptist Church.

Gipson died over the weekend after battling cancer since 2019. He spent many years as the PA announcer for Grambling men’s and women’s basketball, and had also done PA for many football games through the years, along with other sports and events.

Also taken by cancer, on June 23, was Leon Thomas, 50, the GSU football and band announcer.

While Gipson was mostly idled from GSU public address role since his 2019 diagnosis, when able, he did step in as needed. His last turn at the microphone came in May at the 2021 NAIA Football Championship Game held at Eddie G. Robinson Memorial Stadium.

Robinson’s granddaughter, Cherie Kirkland, asked Gipson to be the stadium voice for that event.

In a Facebook post Sunday, she paid tribute to him.

“He always made himself available, even for the most last-minute request,” she wrote, adding Gipson told her he wasn’t “allowed to say no to Grambling.”

Gipson was a communications student at Grambling when he got his start on the PA mic. He was a former sports director for Ruston radio stations KXKZ and KRUS.

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