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1999 Wayne ECSU hatAwards | The Wayne Norman Show | Articles | Photos

WILI'S WAYNE NORMAN

He's got the longest continuously running morning show in Connecticut. He's Wayne Norman, who started at WILI doing afternoons on August 24, 1970 before taking over the morning show "temporarily" on November 1, 1971.

Wayne has been heard statewide as color analyst for University of Connecticut  basketball and football broadcasts since 1979 on a network of stations that includes WILI.  He worked with Joe D'Ambrosio to call UConn's 2011, 2004 and 1999 NCAA Men's Basketball National Championships, and broadcast from the 2009 Final Four in Detroit.  He broadcast his 1000th UConn game  on the network in 2004.   Wayne is the play-by-play voice of  WILI's broadcasts of Eastern Connecticut State University baseball , winners of four NCAA national championships, most recently in 2002.  He was given the Distinguished Service Award by the New England Collegiate Baseball Coaches Association in 1985.  He has also been the color commentator for the New England Sports Network (NESN) telecasts of the Norwich Navigators- -the former New York Yankees "AA" affiliate, later the Connecticut Defenders, a former San Francisco Giants franchise.  And he has broadcast countless high school baseball, football, basketball, American Legion baseball games including Windham High School's 1979 and Lyman's 2007 and 2008 State Championship Softball games. In 2003 he teamed with WILI's John Tuite to broadcast play-by-play of a Boston Red Sox game at Fenway Park.
 

The first of Wayne's over 300 WILI broadcasts of ECSU baseball was literally done from a phone booth behind home plate of Eastern's 1-0 1973 NAIA Area 8 Regional Championship game from Springfield, VA.


In February 2004, then-Lieutenant Governor Jodi Rell proclaimed Wayne a "Connecticut Treasure."

Wayne is a published author, with the March 2005 release of " Hoop Tales: UConn Huskies Men's Basketball ," which tells stories from the last fifty years of Husky Hoops.


Wayne Norman in Hollywood on his seventh birthday

Wayne is a fifth-generation Californian, growing up in Hollywood and Glendale, before moving to Trumbull, CT in 1965.  Four years at UConn introduced him to eastern Connecticut, where he has lived ever since.  His radio roots came at UConn's WHUS, and he worked at WADS in Ansonia, CT, before coming to WILI.


Wayne Norman at WHUS in 1967 

Wayne is an avid weather aficionado and compiles the WILI Eastern Connecticut Weather Calendar  every year.  He is an occasional visitor to the home of the "world's worst weather"--Mount Washington, NH. 
 
Wayne's childhood home in Hollywood.  That's not snow--it's HAIL!  Wayne is peeking through the living room window.  He can't play in the hail--he has chickenpox!
 
Wayne loves baseball, and can frequently be found at Fenway Park, home of the Boston Red Sox .  He ranks the Bosox 2004 World Series Championship right up there with the UConn and ECSU championships.  He attended games 1 and 7 of the 1975 World Series, saw Bucky Dent's 1978 homer live, was at ALCS game seven of the Red Sox/Yankees playoff in New York in 2003, and attended the Sox first home playoff win in 2004.  He had a ticket for World Series Game Seven in both 2004 and 2007, but didn't need them because the Bosox swept! 

Wayne interviewed his all-time favorite baseball player and boyhood idol--Hammerin' Hank Aaron--in 1995.  He emulated Hank on the baseball field, playing with Superior Auto in the Willimantic Twilight League from 1972-1974, and each summer in three local softball leagues.  He played in the Willimantic men's softball league from 1972 to 2002, was an all-star three times in the '90s, and played again from 2007-2009.  As a player/coach, his Sport Hut team won a league championship in 1976, his Vernon team won the League championship in 1998, his Beaver Brook/A.W. Hastings team won the Willi-Mac "C" League title in 1999, and his Willi-MAC Legends team won the "D" League playoffs in 2008.  Wayne was named to the inaugural Willi-MAC Hall of Fame class in 2007 in both the player and non-player categories.  And he was inducted into the Eastern Connecticut State University/E-Club athletic Hall of Fame in 2011.

He likes to clown around on the radio, but in 1995, he actually WAS a clown when the circus came to town.  He was Romantic Willimantic's first Cupid in 1982.

He also likes theater--especially Broadway musicals, and even made a cameo appearance on stage with the Windham Theater Guild in 1995.


Wayne Norman at WILI in 1971

Wayne loves to travel, having so far seen 44 states and 22 countries, including Russia  and Sweden in 1998.  He also took a ride on a World War II B-17 and B-24.  He has flown a plane four times. He backpacked  the Grand Canyon for five days in 2002.  Many times, he tapes interviews on the road which are played back on his morning show...another reason why every morning is different when you "Wake Up With Wayne" on WILI.


WILI's Wayne Norman walked his sister Kimberly down the aisle in Santa Barbara on December 29, 2001.

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