Larry Zimmer, the longtime voice of Colorado football and basketball games, has died at 88

· Jan. 21, 2024, 3:42 pm
Obit Zimmer FootballObit Zimmer FootballDavid Zalubowski/AP
Colorado Buffaloes radio voice Larry Zimmer checks in for his final home broadcast as Colorado hosts Southern California in the first half of an NCAA college football game, Nov. 13, 2015, in Boulder, Colo.


By Pat Graham, Associated Press

Larry Zimmer, the longtime radio voice for University of Colorado football and basketball who also called Denver Broncos games, died Saturday. He was 88.

The school announced his death before the third-ranked Colorado women's team hosted No. 6 Southern California on Sunday. A moment of silence was held before the game.

Zimmer had been hospitalized for the last 10 days in Lakewood, Colorado. He received numerous visitors and text messages from the university and the Broncos before his death.

Zimmer spent seven decades in broadcasting since his college days at the University of Missouri. He called 486 football games at Colorado (22 bowl games) and 525 men's basketball games. He also worked 536 preseason, regular season and postseason games with the Broncos, including four Super Bowls.

In addition, he was on the microphone for football games at the University of Michigan (51 games) and Colorado State (34).

"His voice was synonymous with our athletic program and he was most beloved by our coaches, players and fans," Colorado athletic director Rick George said in a statement. "He is truly a part of our overall athletic history."

Zimmer was hired in 1971 by KOA sports director Bob Martin to be the play-by-play person for Colorado football games and to serve as the color commentator for the Broncos. Zimmer also had a stint as the voice for the Denver Rockets, who were members of the American Basketball Association, and the Colorado Caribous of the North American Soccer League.

In the middle of the 2014 season, Zimmer experienced health issues and was hospitalized for five months. He returned in 2015 for what was his final season. His last home game was on his 80th birthday against Southern California, where he was honored in a pregame ceremony.

"There was only one guy in the country who sounded like him and when you heard him, you knew it was a CU or Bronco game," said Alfred Williams, a standout at Colorado from 1987-90 who also played for the Broncos.

Born on Nov. 13, 1935, in New Orleans, Zimmer attended LSU before he transferred to Missouri and earned a degree in journalism in 1957. He broke into the business by broadcasting high school football and basketball games in Columbia, Missouri, and Lawton, Oklahoma.

He is survived by his wife of 51 years, Brigitte; son, Lawrence III; daughter, Tracey Robb; and granddaughter, Shannon Robb.

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