Thursday evening, one last time, Peter Gribbin announces the starting lineups prior to a Portland High basketball game. Gribbin, 84, is stepping away from the microphone, but his legacy will remain. Courtesy Ann-Marie Gribbin-Bouchard.

PORTLAND—He is a gentleman and a scholar.

A historian, author, teacher and the soundtrack to thousands of games played at the Portland Exposition Building, Hadlock Field and Fitpatrick Stadium.

Peter Gribbin has worn a lot of hats over the past six-plus decades, but one word describes him best.


That’s because Peter Gribbin is the man most synonymous with Portland High School, its unrivaled history as an institution and athletic power and Thursday evening, he stepped to the microphone one last time, in front of family, friends and admirers from near and far.

And first, in a ceremony at the Expo, he received a parade of well-wishers and was showered with a well-deserved mountain of praise.


“It’s very nice,” said Gribbin, 84, the father of four and grandfather of nine. “I knew something was going on, but I didn’t expect this. I liked being the center of attention and seeing some familiar faces.”

“I think it’s really nice,” added Gribbin’s daughter, Ann-Marie Gribbin-Bouchard. “I don’t know if he really expected this. Portland High’s been a huge part of his life. He bleeds blue.

“When I got married, I couldn’t think of a good song for my Dad and I to dance to. Tony Boffa slowed down the ‘Wearers of the Blue,’ (the PHS school song), so that’s what we danced to.

“I’ll go to games where my Dad didn’t announce and people would say, ‘Who’s that? That’s not the voice of Portland High School.’ Not that they didn’t like the other voices, but they were just used to my Dad.”

Joe Russo, the longtime coach of the Portland boys’ basketball team, recalled Gribbin announcing his games back in the mid-70s.

“My connection with Peter is from when I went to Portland High as a student and as a player,” Russo said. “In 1990, I started teaching there and that’s when I got to know him even better. He’s been a part of the program with me since I’ve been here. He’s been a nice influence on me. He’s been part of our fabric. He’s the voice. When I think of Portland High School, I think of Peter Gribbin. He brought notoriety to Portland High School.”


Mort Soule, a standout football and baseball player at Portland’s crosstown rival, Deering, and later at Bowdoin College, is a longtime contemporary of Gribbin’s and overflowed with praise for his friend and colleague.

“I’ve known Peter 40 years or more and he’s the finest man I know,” Soule said. “It’s the truth and many, many people would say that. He combines humor, wisdom, intellect, knowledge, on and on. He is a Bulldog. No question about it. I’ve been in several secondary schools, but I’ve never been in one where someone is so admired by students, faculty, staff and administration.”

Gribbin, who scored just one point in high school, a feat immortalized as Gribbin’s Point, circa Feb. 12, 1957, studied at Bowdoin College, then returned to PHS as a history teacher. Soon after, he became the voice of Portland sporting events.

“Jack Wilkinson was doing the games and he stopped and then he asked me to do it,” Gribbin said. “I’ve been doing it quite awhile. I just took to it, I think. I’ve seen some great teams and some great athletes.”

Gribbin also became a published author detailing the school’s athletic history, providing those in the media with an invaluable resource.

Gribbin had received his share of acclaim long before Thursday’s festivities.


Thirty-two years ago, Gribbin was honored by the city of Portland with the “Outstanding Citizenship Award.” In 2012, the press box at Fitzpatrick Stadium was renamed the Peter E. Gribbin Press Box. Four years ago, Gribbin received the Maine Principals’ Association’s “Voice Above the Crowd” award. Gribbin has also been inducted into the Portland High Football Hall of the Fame and the Maine Basketball Hall of Fame.

Gribbin now has a scholarship to boot.

“This is the first year they’re giving a scholarship in my Dad’s name,” Ann-Marie Gribbin-Bouchard said. “Either a history major or someone interested in broadcasting or communications and someone with a sense of humor. That’s the criteria.”

Once the pre-game party came to a close, Portland took on Lewiston in a late-season showdown (won by the Bulldogs, 58-47). Peter Gribbin, as he has done countless times, took a seat at the scorer’s table and for the umpteenth time over many decades, welcomed fans to the Expo and proceeded to announce the starting lineups.

And then, he waltzed into legend.

Where he belongs.

And where he’ll remain.

Sports Editor Michael Hoffer can be reached at For game updates and links to game stories, follow him on Threads: @foresports2023

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