Bangor native Tim Throckmorton, the sports director at WABI-TV5 in Bangor, is retiring next month after 39 years at the station. Credit: Courtesy of WABI-TV5

Tim Throckmorton loves living on Phillips Lake, doing home projects and hitting golf balls.

The sports director at WABI-TV (Channel 5) in Bangor, will have the opportunity to spend a lot more time on each in 11 days when he retires after 39 years with the station.

His last broadcast will be Friday, May 3.

“I’ve been thinking about it for a few years. It’s not a last-second decision,” the 62-year-old Throckmorton said. “Thirty-nine years is a pretty good run.

“I live on a lake, and it’s so hard to drive away from that place every day for six months,” Throckmorton said. “I like to work on home projects, and I never seem to have enough time for them. And golf always gets pushed to the back burner.”

Throckmorton also will be able to spend more time with his second wife, Emilie, and stepchildren Skyler and Reed.

“Emilie is an English teacher at Bangor High and is home all summer, and the two stepkids are in middle school and they’re home all summer, too,” Throckmorton said. “Now I’ll get to be home all summer.”

Throckmorton is a graduate of Bangor High School and the University of Maine. He played varsity football and tennis at both schools.

He said he will miss his co-workers, his viewers and the athletes he has covered.

“It’s all about the people. The people you work with become your extended family,” Throckmorton said. “That will be real hard to leave, to say nothing about roaming our hallways and the energy you get from those hallways. It inspires you to do what you do.”

He said he enjoyed reporting on popular athletes that the viewers followed.

“You had the chance to tell their stories. I’ve been blessed to share in the lives of athletes I’ve admired for years,” he said.

It all came full circle for Throckmorton this year.

“The first time I saw Matt Rossignol [play basketball] was amazing. I had been working at the station for a few years, and I heard about this kid from Van Buren. And then I got to cover his daughter, Parise, at UMaine. It was pretty cool,” Throckmorton said.

Matt and Parise each scored more than 2,200 points at Van Buren. Matt, a member of the New England and Maine basketball halls of fame, scored 1,297 points at UMaine. Parise won the America East Sixth Player Award two years ago at UMaine and was an All-AE second-team pick last season. She led the Black Bears to back-to-back America East championships.

Throckmorton began his broadcasting career at WABI-AM and WBGW-FM radio as a board operator and on-air radio personality in 1980. He began adding television work to his resume, and became the station’s sports anchor and director in 1984.

He was honored as the Maine Sportscaster of the Year by the National Sports Media Association two years ago.

In addition to his sports reporting duties, Throckmorton also has handled play-by-play chores, primarily for the TV station.

He considers covering the University of Maine’s NCAA hockey national championships in 1993 and 1999 as two of his career highlights, and mentioned having the chance to call the UMaine women’s basketball team in its first-ever NCAA Tournament game in 1995.

The Black Bears lost 105-75 to future Basketball Hall of Famer Rebecca Lobo and her University of Connecticut Huskies at Gampel Pavilion in Storrs, Connecticut.

“There were thousands of people rooting against our players, many of whom were from our local towns. I was really proud,” said Throckmorton, who has two children from his first marriage to Emily Ellis: daughter Hillary and son Ellis.

Throckmorton will retire as the longest-serving television sportscaster in the state.

The station is planning to run two half-hour specials chronicling his life May 1 and 2.