One of the giants of Seattle sports broadcasting is calling it quits.
Bob Rondeau, the legendary Voice of the Huskies, is retiring after the 2017 football season. It will be his 37th season as the play-by-play voice of Washington Huskies football.
Rondeau, who began calling UW men’s basketball games in 1985, will not return to the hoops sideline – which ends a 32-year run with the team.
“Being the voice of the Huskies has been the centerpiece of my professional life for nearly 40 years,” Rondeau said in a statement released by UW. “It has allowed me to witness and to chronicle some of the greatest moments in University of Washington athletic history. Also, some of the most difficult. Throughout, I have cherished both the opportunity and the challenge to properly represent a great institution and to be connected to those who so passionately support it.”
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Steve Gahler, general manager of Washington IMG Sports Marketing, said a national search for Rondeau’s successor will begin immediately. Ideally, a new hire would be in place by the end of the summer.
“There will never be another Bob Rondeau. That’s like trying to find another Michael Jordan,” Gahler said.
UW, he said, is open to the possibility of hiring two new broadcasters — one specifically for football and one for men’s basketball.
“We’ll do an all-encompassing search, and I’m sure we’ll have a great deal of interest,” Gahler said. “Seattle is a top-15 market in the country — I can’t think of too many jobs better jobs than this. We’ll open it up and see what’s out there.”
Rondeau, a 67-year-old Denver native who graduated from the University of Colorado, got his start in broadcasting in 1972 as a news director at KVFC radio in Cortez, Colo.
He moved to Denver’s KLAK radio for a news anchor/reporter position in 1973 and took a similar job for KRUX radio in Phoenix in 1975.
Rondeau started at KOMO radio in Seattle in 1977 and worked as an analyst for UW football and men’s basketball in 1978 and ’79. He replaced Bruce King and assumed play-by-play duties for football in 1980.
Over the past four decades, Rondeau became one of the greats in Northwest broadcasting. In 2016 he received the National Football Foundation’s Chris Schenkel Award, which recognizes individuals who have had distinguished careers broadcasting college football with direct ties to a specific university.
Rondeau is the fourth Schenkel Award recipient with ties to the Pac-12 Conference, joining Bob Robertson (Washington State, 2004), Larry Zimmer (Colorado, 2009) and Joe Starkey (California, 2010).
In 2009 Rondeau was inducted in the Pacific Northwest Football Hall of Fame and he’s a 10-time winner of the…