Dale Arnold gives a thumbs up from his Bellingham, Massachusetts home after doing his final sports radio show for WEEI on March 12. Photo provided by Dale Arnold

TOPSHAM — Dale Arnold was ready.

Ready to scale back. Ready to spend more time with family. And ready to enjoy a little downtime, especially in the warm New England summer months.

After three decades working for the Boston sports radio station WEEI, the 65-year-old Bowdoin native signed off for the last time on March 12.

Arnold, who is a studio host on NESN’s Boston Bruins broadcasts, said he looked forward to working just that one full-time job.

“I decided that one full-time job was better than two,” said Arnold, a Mt. Ararat High School and Bowdoin College graduate. “After my wife retired last year, it got me thinking about ratcheting back a bit to spend more time with her and my family.”

Arnold added that he’d contemplated retiring from WEEI more than a year ago, when the coronavirus pandemic forced him to co-host the station’s midday “Dale and Keefe” show from his Bellingham, Massachusetts home.

Arnold traces his radio broadcasting career to his freshman through junior years at Brunswick High School before going to Mt. Ararat. He would call some football and basketball games for the Dragons on WCME.

“I remember I would play in the junior varsity games, shower, then call the varsity game,” Arnold said with a laugh.

Dale Arnold, right, poses with former Bruins great Bobby Orr inside the TD Garden in Boston in 2019. Photo provided by Dale Arnold

In 1991, Arnold joined WEEI, working on a variety of shows as a host and co-host. He would later become a color commentator on the Red Sox Radio Network and was the voice of the Bruins for home games from 1995-2007.

In his decades-long career at WEEI, he’s interviewed some of Boston’s most renowned professional athletes.

“I’ve been blessed over the course of my long career to speak with a lot of great people, but there are two instances that come to mind,” said Arnold. “I was able to introduce Larry Bird and Ray Bourque to each other live on the air. I said, ‘Larry this is Ray, Ray this is Larry’ and (then) just listened to them talk.”

And the second instance involved Red Sox Hall of Famer Ted Williams.

“That moment was one I’ll never forget,” said Arnold. “It was myself, Ted, Bud Leavitt, and Curt Gowdy. We just talked for an hour about pretty much everything.”

Arnold aded that he met Williams in person a few years later when he was in Boston for an event.

“I was once told by (former Indiana University men’s basketball coach) Bobby Knight that Ted was the best in the world at three things; hitting a baseball, being a fighter pilot and fly fishing,” Arnold said.

After graduating from Mt. Ararat’s inaugural class in 1974, Arnold enrolled at the University of Miami, but came home with his “tail tucked between his legs” shortly after. He worked full time in Brunswick, while taking classes at what is now the University of Southern Maine. He was also calling Bowdoin College hockey games on the radio when a simple bet changed the direction of his life.

Unsure of his next move, a color commentator for Bowdoin hockey games urged Arnold to apply to Bowdoin.

Dale Arnold, right, poses with the great Ray Bourque after Bourque won the Stanley Cup with the Colorado Avalanche in 2001. It was Bourque’s final season in the NHL. Photo provided by Dale Arnold

“He told me that if they don’t accept me, he’d pay for my application fee, but if they do accept me, I have to enroll,” Arnold said.

Indeed, Arnold was accepted, which prompted him to reach out to the school’s admissions office to inform it of a “mistake.”

“I went to (admissions counselor) Harry Warren and told him my scenario, his response was ‘Dale, we wouldn’t have let you in if we didn’t want you to stay’, so I did,” Arnold said. “I can now say that attending Bowdoin was the best thing to ever happen to me.”

Arnold graduated with a degree in psychology in 1979 and was soon after hired by the Maine Mariners, a professional hockey team in Portland. He still remembers the call he received to come work for the team.

“Ed Anderson was the president of the Mariners at the time; he’s the one who called me,” said Arnold. “He told me to work under their current announcer who wouldn’t be there much longer, and I could replace him when the time came.”

That announcer was none other than the great Mike “Doc” Emerick, who just recently retired as the lead announcer for NHL games on NBC and NBCSN after the 2020 Stanley Cup finals.

“I took my dad’s teachings and applied it to the hockey world while learning from one of the best,” said Arnold, whose second book — a biography of former Bruins defensman enforcer Shawn Thornton — is set for release this fall.

Arnold added that a return to Maine is in his future.

“We’re coming back for sure, hopefully it’s sometime in the fall,” he said. “I’ll probably come back down to Massachusetts for a few days at time to do the Bruins games, but my wife and I want to come back to Maine very soon.”

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