Legendary broadcaster Max Falkenstien, the longtime voice of the Kansas Jayhawks, dies at 95
Falkenstien called KU basketball and football for 60 years before retiring in 2006
Legendary radio broadcaster Max Falkenstien, who called University of Kansas men's basketball and football games for six decades, died on Monday afternoon, the university announced. He was 95 years old.
Falkenstien's 60-year tenure calling KU games began in March 1946 when he called an NCAA Tournament game in Kansas City between Kansas and Oklahoma A&M. He retired as a color commentator after the final game of the 2005-2006 men's basketball season, just two years before the men's team won a third national championship in the program's history. He was witness to the other two, which came in 1952 and 1988.
"I spent a lot of time with Max – doing radio shows in Topeka, traveling to games – and I saw how Max impacted so many people in a positive way," Hall of Fame coach Larry Brown, who won a national championship at KU in 1988, said of Falkenstien. "He was one of a kind. When I got the job at Kansas, Coach (Dean) Smith told me about all the great people at KU, the love they had for the school and for basketball. When you talk about those great people, and everyone connected with all that tradition, Max is one of the first people you think about."
"I've known Max since 1985, and back then, even being young in the profession, I quickly realized that Max was as big a part of the great history of KU basketball and football as the players and coaches were," added Jayhawks coach Bill Self. "He was an absolute joy to be around, and he will be remembered as an absolute treasure. He was loved by everyone. His personal touch made every fan, player coach and administrator feel they were part of the KU family. I hope Max realized the positive impact he had on KU and everyone connected with it. He'll be missed, but his legacy will never be forgotten."
To pay tribute to Falkenstien's contributions, Kansas made him the only non-player to have his "jersey" -- the No. 60, representing the number of years he called KU games -- honored in the rafters of historic Allen Fieldhouse. Falkenstien was also honored during his career with the Curt Gowdy Award by the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame, and by the College Football Hall of Fame with its Chris Schenkel Award.
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