The longtime voice of the Washington Huskies has been selected to receive one of the top honors in the college football broadcasting profession.
Bob Rondeau, UW’s play-by-play man for football and men’s basketball, will be the 2016 recipient of the National Football Foundation’s Chris Schenkel Award, which since 1996 has honored “individuals who have had long, distinguished careers broadcasting college football with direct ties to a specific university.”
Rondeau certainly qualifies. He is entering his 36th season as UW’s football play-by-play man (1980-2016), and has also called UW basketball games for the past 30 years. His voice -- as well as his signature “Touchdown Washington!” call -- is as recognizable as any in the Northwest broadcasting game.
“Bob Rondeau has had an exceptional broadcasting career as the Voice of the Huskies, spanning more than 35 years, and during that time, his voice has become synonymous with one of the greatest college football traditions in the country,” said NFF President & CEO Steve Hatchell in a statement. “We are pleased to honor him with the 2016 NFF Chris Schenkel Award in recognition of his distinguished career.”
Rondeau will be recognized at the 59th NFF awards dinner on Dec. 6 at the Waldorf Astoria hotel in New York.
The NFF release provides some background on Rondeau’s entry into the profession:
“After graduating from the University of Colorado, Rondeau bounced around different news stations in Denver and Phoenix. He launched his sportscasting career in 1977 by recording himself calling horse races from the roof of the press box at Turf Paradise Race Course, a horse racing track in Phoenix. Discouraged and about to discontinue his sportscasting dream, he received two offers from Seattle radio stations, accepting the sports director job at KOMO.
“The following year, KOMO landed the broadcast rights for Washington football and basketball games. The station hired King and paired him with Rondeau, who had never called football play-by-play, to cover the Huskies. When King left two years later, Rondeau assumed the lead role as the Voice of the Huskies.”
He is the fourth broadcaster at a Pac-12 school to receive the Chris Schenkel Award, joining Bob Robertson (Washington State), Larry Zimmer (Colorado) and Joe Starkey (California).