Francisco Romero Biography

Personal Achievements, Education, Accomplishments   

 

Francisco was born in Nogales, Sonora, Mexico; without knowledge of the English language, he arrived in Tucson in 1981 along with six other siblings. At the age of 12, he started junior high and went on to graduate as an honor student from Pueblo High School in 1987. 

 

Francisco is a graduate of the University of Arizona’s College of Letters Arts and Sciences (Global and Intercultural Understanding) and, through the University of Arizona Graduate College, completed a fellowship on Environmental Justice and Community Empowerment. The University of Arizona Press published his research and findings in 1994.

 

Throughout his life as a student and a professional, Francisco has not only touched the Hispanic community of Tucson, but the Latino community in the United States and Latin America. 

 

While still in college, Francisco worked for the Pima County Board of Supervisors offices where he also interned for Pima County District 2 Supervisor Dan Eckstrom.  For Francisco, the Pima County Board of Supervisors Office offered him an education of its own. His duties made him the first point of contact with constituents, elected officials, county department directors and for all those who sought communication and interaction with the Board of Supervisors office.  

 

In a county of almost one million residents, Francisco had to channel constituent requests to the appropriate departments, such as recreation, health, development, business, community, environment, and government. 

 

In 1995, Francisco was hired by the Arizona-Mexico Border Health Foundation (AMBHF), a 501(c) (3) non-profit entity that focused on education and outreach in the areas of substance abuse prevention and public and environmental health. 

 

Francisco developed and implemented educational and training programs for the United States-Mexico Border and Latin America in epidemiology, pre-natal care, nutrition, AIDS, environmental health, substance abuse prevention, leadership development and volunteerism. 

 

Through research and development at the foundation, Francisco was able to collect data, evaluate projects and recommend curriculum and projects to elected officials, health officials and community organizations in the United States, Mexico, and Latin America. The AMBHF was an integral element of the Arizona – Mexico Commission Health Committee and the AMBHF’s research, and findings benefited both sides of the border in establishing public policy. 

 

In 1996, Francisco was recruited to work at the Pima County Department of Environmental Quality through an Environmental Protection Agency Grant on a Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) Community Outreach Project. Francisco developed and implemented the Household Hazardous Waste Outreach and Education Project for the community of South Tucson. He implemented an advisory and working group for the project including elected officials, city and county department heads, community organizations, school boards, non-profit organizations, residents, and volunteers. 

Sports Broadcaster / Journalism Career 

 

Francisco made a career change in 1998 when his love for sports and journalism became his full-time livelihood.  

 

Francisco once again was recruited, this time to head the Department of Hispanic Marketing for the newly acquired Tucson Sidewinders Baseball Club (Triple-A Affiliate of the Arizona Diamondbacks).  

 

Francisco oversaw all Hispanic Marketing duties and was the main Spanish broadcaster for the baseball team.  

 

At the same time, the local Telemundo Spanish television station hired Francisco to become their Sports Director. Since then, Francisco has become one of the most renowned Spanish sports broadcasters and journalists in the United States and Latin America.  

 

As a journalist, Francisco has covered and reported on border issues such as immigration, drug trafficking and environmental health and has written human interest stories on professional athletes and sports achievements amongst others. 

 

As a sports commentator/broadcaster, Francisco has worked in the following professional sports, becoming one of only a handful of broadcasters to do so in the country: 

 

  • Major League Baseball (MLB): Francisco has worked for six teams (Houston Astros, Milwaukee Brewers, Minnesota Twins, Cincinnati Reds, Kansas City Royals and Arizona Diamondbacks).

 

  • National Football League (NFL) Arizona Cardinals Half-Time Report. 

 

  • National Basketball Association (NBA): Phoenix Suns hired Francisco to write articles in Spanish for the Suns Spanish website.  In 2017 the Suns hired Francisco to accompany the team to Mexico City (NBA Global Games) to produce original content for the Suns Spanish social media platforms. 

 

  • Major League Soccer (MLS): Broadcasting the Desert Diamond Cup for various MLS teams (pre-season tournament. 

 

  • National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA): Francisco has been the lead Spanish broadcaster for the University of Arizona (Football, Men’s Basketball, Women’s Basketball and Baseball) since 1999. 

 

  • Minor League Baseball: Tucson Sidewinders (Dir. of Hispanic Marketing and Broadcaster).

 

As a general assignment journalist, Francisco has also worked for the most important news outlets in the 

world such as:

 

  • NBC / Telemundo 

  • Univision

  • Mundo Fox

  • TELEVISA Internacional

  • CBS 

 

In 2012, Francisco’s journalism skills proved to be worthy of an international viewership as his coverage of the presidential elections was seen by millions in the United States, Central and South America through TELEVISA Internacional. The international coverage also included news stories on the controversial immigration laws in Arizona, which had become ground zero on immigration issues at the time.  

 

Currently, Francisco will be entering his 15th season as the main Spanish radio broadcaster for the Houston Astros Baseball Club, and just finished his 21st season as the main Spanish broadcaster for the University of Arizona Wildcats football and basketball teams. 

 

Since June 2021 the University of Arizona Athletics hired Francisco to manage and oversee its Official Spanish Social Media Platforms and produce original content (Twitter, Instagram and Facebook).

 

During the baseball offseason, Francisco serves as an international news correspondent for TELEVISA Internacional.

 

The Following are Francisco’s accomplishment in sports broadcasting:

 

  • Francisco finished the 2021 season with the Houston Astros surpassing 2,000 games broadcasted for the organization. 

 

  • Romero and broadcast partner Alex Treviño are one of the longest-tenured broadcast duos in Major League Baseball, having been together since the 2008 season. They’ve called close to 2,000 Astros games together and have called 73 postseason games since the 2017 season, the most in Major League Baseball (5 American League Championship Series and 3 World Series). 

 

  • Francisco produces “Contacto con Los Astros” a series of Spanish Webisodes profiling players, coaches, fans and front-office personnel, the original content is shown on the Houston Astros Official Spanish Social Media Platforms.

 

  • Francisco joined the Astros in 2008 after spending five seasons broadcasting Milwaukee Brewers games in Spanish on Telemundo Wisconsin. His Major League broadcasting experience also includes selected Minnesota Twins games over five seasons from 2003-08.

 

  • His Major League broadcast debut was for the Arizona Diamondbacks on Telemundo Arizona in 1999, and he spent two years on Diamondbacks broadcasts from 1999-2000.

 

  • Other Major League broadcasting experience includes selected games on Spanish radio with the Cincinnati Reds in 2005. He also spent four seasons as the play-by-play broadcaster and pre and postgame show producer on Spanish radio broadcasts for the Triple A Tucson Sidewinders of the Pacific Coast League.

 

  • Additional sports broadcasting experience includes both football and basketball for the University of Arizona Spanish Radio Network 1999-2021, as well as three seasons on the Arizona Cardinals radio halftime report.

 

  • In 2015, Francisco and his broadcast partner Alex Treviño had the distinction of starting the Spanish broadcast efforts for the Kansas City Royals as they were asked to simulcast for both markets (Houston and Kansas City) during the Royals Hispanic Heritage Celebration while playing the Houston Astros. 

 

  • Francisco has been part of three Spanish broadcast effort debuts (Brewers, Reds and Royals) and is the only Spanish broadcaster in Major League Baseball to have broadcasted games for six different Major League Baseball teams (Diamondbacks, Brewers, Twins, Reds, Royals and Astros).

 

  • In addition to broadcasting baseball games, Francisco was the English as a Second Language instructor for the Arizona Diamondbacks and the Chicago White Sox (extended spring training) players from 1998 - 2001.

 

  • Francisco spent 10 years as the sports anchor for the Telemundo affiliate in Tucson, Arizona, as well as one year as general assignment reporter.

 

  • In 2014, Francisco was invited to Nicaragua by the Association of Sports Broadcasters of Nicaragua to speak on Major League broadcasting.

 

  • Francisco has been behind the microphone with the Houston Astros for four no-hitters and one perfect game. 

 

  • As a sports anchor/reporter for Telemundo, Francisco has covered some of the most important sports events in the world, including several MLB World Series, MLB All-Star Games, Super Bowl Games, NBA Finals, the Road to the World Cup, NCAA Basketball Tournaments, NCAA Softball Tournaments, NCAA Baseball Tournaments, NASCAR, and Championship Boxing.

 

  • In 2017 Francisco was inducted into the Pueblo High School Warrior Foundation Hall of Fame. 

 

Honors and Awards

 

  • Over the years, Francisco has received numerous honors and awards for his professional and personal accomplishments.  

 

  • In 1995, Francisco was appointed to serve on the Pima County Sports Authority by Pima County Supervisor Raul M. Grijalva. 

 

  • In 1999, he was chosen to serve on the City of Tucson’s City Attorney Selection Committee by Councilman Jose J. Ibarra, where candidates were extensively interviewed by the committee in different areas. The committee then presented results to the mayor and council.

 

  • In 2003, the Arizona Daily Star newspaper named Francisco one of the Top 100 Sports Figures in Southern Arizona.  

 

  • In 2004, Francisco was nominated and won a distinguished Emmy Award in the Sports Reporting Category for the Rocky Mountain Region in the same year he won the Communicators Award in Sports Reporting.  Francisco became the first Emmy Award winner for Telemundo Arizona.  

 

  • In 2005, Francisco was once again nominated for an Emmy Award in Sports Reporting. That same year, he was inducted into the Pueblo High School Media Hall of Fame. 

 

  • In 2006, Francisco’s experience during his first Major League Baseball broadcast was featured in sports columnist Corky Simpson’s book: 30 Years of Sports Commentary; Heroes, Egos, Gloves, Sweat & Tears.

 

  • Francisco was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Instituto Tecnologico Regional de Nogales (Sonora, Mexico) in 2006. 

 

  • In 2007 Francisco’s news story on immigration was nominated for an Emmy Award, this time as a general assignment reporter. 

 

  • In 2013, Francisco was given a Human Rights Award by the Coalicion 1ero de Mayo for his service to the community as a journalist. 

 

  • In 2014, Francisco received his second international recognition as he was invited by the Nicaraguan Association of Journalist to conduct a workshop in Major League Baseball broadcasting. While in Nicaragua, he received an award from the association. 

 

  • In 2016, Francisco was featured in another book, this time in Spanish, by Franklin Otto: Locutores Hispanos, Perspectiva desde las Grandes Ligas. 

 

  • In 2017 Francisco was inducted into the Pueblo High School Warrior Foundation Hall of Fame.

  • In 2017 the Arizona Daily Star newspaper ranked Francisco number 3 in the Top 100 Sports Figures in Southern Arizona.

Volunteer and Community Service

 

Francisco has always been actively involved in the communities in which he has lived. His passion for education through sports since a young age has taken him to coach, visit schools and assist the youth of his community in any way possible. 

 

  • “Coach Frank,” as he was known at Tucson’s Rodeo Park American Little League, was Francisco’s home from 1990 – 1996 where he coached and guided hundreds of kids.  As a volunteer coach, he not only taught the art of playing baseball, but instilled life values and the meaning of an academic education to those he coached. 

 

  • Francisco was very active during the Trichloroethylene contamination hearings in Southern Tucson during the mid-90’s; he volunteered his services and served as an interpreter (English-Spanish) during the hearings for the Spanish speaking community who lived in the contaminated area. 

 

  • While working for the Arizona Mexico Border Health Foundation AMBHF, Francisco volunteered his services in Mexico and the United States.  In conjunction with the Arizona Department of Health Services, Francisco led the efforts of the AMBHF for the donation of ambulances to the cities of Cananea and Caborca, Sonora, as well as the donation of medical equipment to the City of Puerto Peñasco, Sonora.

 

  • Francisco also led a group of University of Arizona students to participate in alternative break programs. In association with the University of Arizona Student Health Department, Francisco would take groups of students to volunteer their services in the border area during spring break.  The students would spend a week painting over graffiti, feeding the homeless, helping with the construction of clinics in Sonora and helping the Patagonia Animal Reserve maintain its facilities.  

 

  • Through the Houston Astros Baseball Club, Francisco currently participates in their community service efforts by helping rebuild and maintain baseball fields in low-income communities in the Houston area. 

 

  • Francisco participates and visits schools alongside Major League Baseball players to provide educational outreach to students. 

 

  • During the baseball offseason, Francisco returns to Tucson and is a frequent visitor to Tucson-area schools, including the Pueblo High School Media Department, where he talks, and guides students interested in a career in media after high school. 

 

  • Francisco has provided hundreds of Houston Astros items to local organizations for fundraising efforts, including to the Pueblo High School baseball team, the Sahuarita High School baseball team, the John Valenzuela Center, and several other organizations throughout the year. 

 

  • One of Francisco’s favorite events to attend is the annual “Si Se Puede Day” at Pueblo High School, which gives him a chance to show the students that Pueblo is a very special place where strong foundations are built, and that its students can succeed anywhere.