Change is always hard. Our recent threads around the state of the basketball program underline that particular point.
Nevertheless, change always “is”, even when the “is” is not necessarily what the masses want.
Husky nation is feeling that same sensation today upon news that legendary Husky broadcaster Bob Rondeau has decided to call it a career after the 2017 football season.
Rondeau has been associated with Washington athletics since 1978 in a career that has spanned duties as both play-by-play and color analyst roles for both basketball and football. Prior to coming to Washington, Rondeau was a graduate of the University of Colorado. He got his “break” in the world of sports broadcasting after recording himself calling horse races from a track in Phoenix and sending his tapes out to different regional outlets. Those recordings caught the attention of KOMO radio and led to his first job in Seattle.
Since then, Rondeau has risen to the pinnacle of his profession. He has had the opportunity to call some of the greatest and most important moments in Washington sports history. “All I saw was purple”, the Whammy in Miami, IT’s “cold-blooded”, Tui’s 300/200 day and the tragic injury to Curtis Williams were all moments in time that were brought to us through the channel of Bob Rondeau’s voice. Last year, he was recognized with the prestigious National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame Chris Schenkel award. This prize is given annually to the most distinguished broadcasters in college sports.
For many young-ish Dawg fans, myself included, Rondeau’s voice is the only one that they’ve ever associated with the UW. Always pleasant and easy on the ears, his smooth, baritone voice has always possessed the power to tell it like it is even when things were not going well. His history with the program and linkages to both the best and worst of times gave him the credibility and the platform to provide Husky fans the right perspective on the action that was playing out on the field or on the court in any game. “Turn down the sound” was a constant refrain for Husky fans who preferred Rondeau’s play-by-play dubbed over television broadcasts of Husky sports.
There is not yet any word on who the athletic department might be looking at to replace Rondeau. Odds are pretty good that they will take their time in assessing a nationwide candidate pool. Whomever it is - whether it is an experienced PAC 12 voice or a young buck with east coast ties and no experience in the top job - that candidate will have big shoes to fill.
Here is the full statement from Bob Rondeau:
Being the Voice of the Huskies has been the centerpiece of my professional life for nearly 40 years. 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. I hope I have succeeded. As I retire from that role, I wish to thank both the University and my employer, IMG and the Washington/IMG Sports Network and its affiliates, including flagship stations KOMO and KJR. Through their partnership, we've been able to do, I think, some of the best sports broadcasting in America.
In the process, I have been blessed to work with any number of wonderfully talented people, forming lasting relationships and, in many cases, lifelong friendships. The list is far too long to itemize here. It includes those with whom I've worked directly on-air, those who've worked so hard behind the scenes to create a first-class radio product and those administrators, coaches and players who strive so relentlessly to excel on the field. Finally, I'd like to express my profound appreciation to the Husky fan base for their enduring support, their encouraging words and yes, from time to time, their constructive criticism. I very much look forward to being a part of that fan base in the future.