He’s got the longest continuously running morning show in Connecticut. He’s Wayne Norman, who started at WILI doing afternoons on August 24, 1970 before taking over the morning show “temporarily” on November 1, 1971.
In October 2018, Wayne was inducted into the 16-member Connecticut Broadcasters Association Hall of Fame.
The first of Wayne’s over 300 WILI broadcasts of ECSU baseballwas literally done from a phone booth behind home plate of Eastern’s 1-0 1973 NAIA Area 8 Regional Championship game from Springfield, VA.
Wayne is a published author, with the March 2005 release of “Hoop Tales: UConn Huskies Men’s Basketball ,” which tells stories from the last fifty years of Husky Hoops.
Wayne is a fifth-generation Californian, growing up in Hollywood and Glendale, before moving to Trumbull, CT in 1965. Four years at UConn introduced him to eastern Connecticut, where he has lived ever since. His radio roots came at UConn’s WHUS, and he worked at WADS in Ansonia, CT, before coming to WILI.
Wayne interviewed his all-time favorite baseball player and boyhood idol–Hammerin’ Hank Aaron–in 1995. He emulated Hank on the baseball field, playing with Superior Auto in the Willimantic Twilight League from 1972-1974, and each summer in three local softball leagues. He played in the Willimantic men’s softball league from 1972 to 2002, was an all-star three times in the ’90s, and played again from 2007-2009. As a player/coach, his Sport Hut team won a league championship in 1976, his Vernon team won the League championship in 1998, his Beaver Brook/A.W. Hastings team won the Willi-Mac “C” League title in 1999, and his Willi-MAC Legends team won the “D” League playoffs in 2008. Wayne was named to the inaugural Willi-MAC Hall of Fame class in 2007 in both the player and non-player categories. And he was inducted into the Eastern Connecticut State University/E-Club athletic Hall of Fame in 2011.
He also likes theater–especially Broadway musicals, and even made a cameo appearance on stage with the Windham Theater Guild in 1995.
Wayne loves to travel, having so far seen 44 states and 22 countries, including Russia and Sweden in 1998. He also took a ride on a World War II B-17 and B-24. He has flown a plane four times. He backpacked the Grand Canyon for five days in 2002. Many times, he tapes interviews on the road which are played back on his morning show…another reason why every morning is different when you “Wake Up With Wayne” on WILI.