Death of Dave Bristow, the voice of Manatee County, leaves un-fillable void

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For more than 30 years, there's one voice that's echoed through Joe Kinnan Field during Hurricanes games at Manatee High School.

Tonight as the team takes the field for homecoming they'll remember the man behind the voice: Dave Bristow.

He unexpectedly passed away Sunday night.

"It's just unbelievable that he's not going to be there tonight. That's the passion we are going to miss," said Gene Brown. 

Through the ups and downs of 33 years, the team's play by play announcer Dave Bristow was there to see and shout it out. His voice drew listeners in and his excitement kept them on the edge of their seats. 

Brown partnered with Bristow on their radio broadcasts. 

"You know [his game calling was] going to be detail-oriented and it [was] going to be right. That's the play-by-play. That's what was fun; watching him do that at a level that most colleges don't have," said Brown.  "Dave and I both didn't graduate from Manatee, but nobody knows that." 

Bristow's love for the Manatee Hurricanes grew from his wife, Lisa. She was a Manatee High School graduate. 

Bristow graduated from the University of Florida with a degree in telecommunications. After working as a broadcaster in Sarasota, he spent 31 years with the Manatee County Sheriff's Office as their public information officer. 

His job was to bring a calm, clear message to the public during tragic situations. His wife, Lisa and his daughters, Courtney and Cara were his passion. 

"Coaching with him and the girls, with his family, was the most important [to Bristow]," said Brown. 

In 33 years, he only missed one Manatee High School game. 

He also worked to raise more than $2 million for the school and the students.

His memory and voice will never be forgotten. 

"This drives you to make him proud because of what he's done for it. We want to be there for him," said Brown.