James Frank Crowell Jr.

“Show … Your … Gold!”

Crowell with his grandson Reid (Courtesy of Frank Crowell III)

Frank Crowell, game-day announcer for Commodore football and men’s basketball for 22 years, died July 9, 2013. He was 71.

A Nashville native and graduate of the University of North Carolina, Crowell was an actor and director throughout the 1960s and ’70s for productions of the Circle Players and Theatre Nashville. For more than 10 years, he also directed the annual Nashville Gridiron Show, at which local media spoof the city’s events and celebrities.

In 1981, when Vanderbilt Athletic Director Roy Kramer was looking for a new and dynamic voice for Commodore football, he found it in Crowell, who was doing the public address for the Iroquois Steeplechase, Nashville Sounds baseball, and other local sports events. With his “Stand up and show … your … gold” directive, Crowell inspired fans into a frenzy. “He was so effective that a rival school athletic director actually introduced an SEC policy designed to limit not only what could be said over the public address but how it should be said,” writes Rod Williamson, director of communications for Vanderbilt athletics. “Some chuckled and called it the ‘Frank Crowell Rule,’ but more tried to copy him.”

Also a businessman and philanthropist, Crowell worked with his family’s business, Crowell & Harris (later Consolidated Central Supply), before founding JFC Enterprises, a real-estate development, investment and management firm. He also founded Main Event Inc., an events management company that raised awareness and proceeds for local charities, including the Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt.

He is survived by a son, daughter, four grandchildren and his former wife.