Opelika High School names new “Bulldog Broadcast” team

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Special to the Opelika Observer

Opelika City Schools is proud to announce the new members of the Friday night
football “Bulldog Broadcast” team.

Van Riggs will be the lead announcer, legendary coach Spence McCracken will provide color commentary and Mac McCracken will be the sideline announcer.

Riggs is a 2007 graduate of Auburn University and currently serves as Senior Vice
President of Programming for iHeart Media. He has been the host of the 97.7 Kicker FM morning show since 2008.

Riggs’ broadcast experience includes serving as the play-by-play announcer for Smiths Station Football from 2009-2017 and as the Auburn University baseball play-by-play announcer from 2012-2016. He is a three-time ABBY winner for Sportscaster of the Year (2013, 2015, and 2017). He and his wife Bobbi have two children, Braden and Josie.

Spence was the head coach and athletic director at Opelika High School from
1995-2008. He led the Bulldogs to seven region titles and compiled an overall record of 130-35 while at Opelika.

Spence attended Robert E. Lee High School in Montgomery and earned a football scholarship to Auburn University where he lettered three years. He began his coaching career at Decatur High School in Decatur, Georgia, as an assistant coach in 1974. After one year, he returned to Robert E. Lee as an assistant football coach and head track coach.

After five years, Spence was hired as the head football coach at Montgomery Academy in 1979. From Montgomery Academy, McCracken rejoined his alma mater, Robert E. Lee, where he coached for 11 years and won three state championships. He began his coaching career in Opelika in 1995 and ended his time coaching the Bulldogs in 2008 with a record of 280-76-1.

Coach McCracken received the USA National Coach of the Year Award in 1986 and was inducted into the AHSAA Hall of Fame in 2004. He and his wife Pegge have three sons and seven grandchildren and attend Trinity Lutheran Church.

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