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Updated Aug 12, 2013, 3:40 pm Originally posted Aug 12, 2013, 11:04 am
William David Sitton, a University of Arizona sports broadcaster for three decades and a former GOP congressional candidate, has died at age 58.
Sitton died of a heart attack early Monday morning after being taken to Tucson Medical Center. Sitton — who was known to all by his middle name — last posted on Facebook on Friday night.
Sitton was diagnosed with anaplastic large cell lymphoma eight years ago, but the cancer disappeared following chemotherapy.
Sitton, who coached the UA rugby team for 39 years, began broadcasting UA baseball games on radio after injuring his shoulders as a student-athlete. He played both baseball and rugby, putting in time as a coach for the rugby team while playing during his senior year.
He announced UA football and baseball games from 1990-2012, and won multiple Emmy awards for his work, which included appearances on ESPN, ABC and NBC.
In June, Sitton led the Wildcats to the quarterfinals of the USA Sevens Collegiate Rugby Championships, losing to California 26-12. The Wildcats lost the 2012 championship in the fast-paced sport to Dartmouth, 24-5, after a key senior broke his arm early in the match.
In 2012, Sitton was a primary candidate in the spring special election to pick a Republican in the race to fill Gabrielle Giffords' seat. He garnered 17 percent of the vote in the four-way primary, which was won by Jesse Kelly — who went on to lose to Democrat Ron Barber.
Sitton was active in the community as a member of the Tucson Conquistadores, and served on the board of the Pima County Sports and Tourism Authority.
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He ran Enterprise Communications Group, and had worked as marketing director for the UA Cancer Center, and as a Southern Arizona vice president for Clear Channel Outdoor.
Sitton is survived by two adult daughters, Olivia and Blakeney.