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Paul Strelzin, El Paso Sports Legend Dies At Age 75

Paul Strelzin with his daughter Laura Strelzin. Photo courtesy of the El Paso Times.

Paul Strelzin began his career in El Paso as a sports announcer in 1968 as the public address announcer for UTEP track meets.  Sadly, this El Paso sports legend passed away at the age of 75 on Friday night.

Strelzin’s career as a sports announcer really took off in 1969 when he became the PA announcer for UTEP football and basketball.  Additionally, he was the Diablos, Buzzards and El Paso Patriots announcer.

Strelzin also hosted “Back Talk” for us here at 600 ESPN El Paso for years.  Strelzin left a lasting impact on anyone he met.  I will always remember asking The Strelz for advice when I was a kid about becoming a sportscaster.  Not only did he offer me exceptional advice, but he also offered to help me pursue my dream.  For that, I am eternally grateful.

So many El Pasoans will never forget Strelzin’s enthusiasm as the PA announcer for various sports throughout the city.  In the 1980′s UTEP basketball was the hottest game in town, the team made several NCAA tournament appearances.  Paul Strelzin was a unique part of those Miner teams, he helped made the 80′s such a memorable decade for UTEP basketball.

UTEP basketball created the theme “Bringin Back 80′s” this past season, Sportstalk host Steve Kaplowitz advocated to bring back Strelzin as the PA announcer for at least one game to truly remember the winningest decade for the Miners.  Sadly, it never happened, but anyone who lived in the sun city back in the 80′s knows that UTEP basketball would have never been the same without Strelzin’s presence at the games.

Strelzin AKA “The Mouth” was also an inspiration to numerous kids here in El Paso, he was a teacher at Hilside Elementary School and the Principal at Bowie High School.  His career lasted for 28 years with the El Paso Independent School District.  The man was a positive influence and made a difference in the lives of countless individuals here in El Paso.

Certain people come into our lives that we will never forget.  We may only meet them once, or get to know them rather well.  For so many El Pasoans, that individual was Paul Strelzin, truly one of the most unique people that one would come across.  My condolences to his family, and to all of the people who’s lives he touched, we lost a true legend today.  May he rest in peace.

 

 

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