Joe Starkey Honored by National Football Foundation
Courtesy: Cal Athletics  
Release:  07/07/2010

July 7, 2010

BERKELEY - Cal football play-by-play broadcast Joe Starkey, who will begin his 36th season behind the microphone this fall, will receive the Chris Schenkel Award from the National Football Foundation for his long and distinguished career calling Golden Bear games.

Starkey will accept the honor at the NFF Annual Awards Dinner on Dec. 7, 2010, at the Waldorf-Astoria in New York, an event that will also include recognition of the National Scholar-Athlete class, presentation of the Campbell Trophy for the top student-athlete in college football and induction of the 2010 College Football Hall of Fame Class.

In addition to the Schenkel Award, the National Football Foundation announced three other award winners Wednesday:

*Outstanding Contribution to Amateur Football - Dr. Joseph Kearney (longtime athletics administrator)
*John L. Toner Award - Robert Mulcahy III (former director of athletics at Rutgers
*Outstanding Football Official - Rogers Redding (SEC Coordinator of Officiating)

"The 2010 recipients of these awards have given tirelessly to college football, and it is a privilege to recognize them for their dedication," said NFF President & CEO Steve Hatchell. "They now join an elite few who have claimed these national awards as college football pioneers who have made significant contributions in their respective professions."

Named in honor of its first recipient, the Chris Schenkel Award recognizes a sports broadcaster who has enjoyed a notable career broadcasting college football at a single institution.

"This is an incredible award and one that goes far beyond all expectations," Starkey said. "It has been a great honor to be part of college football at the University of California for so many years. Chris Schenkel was a much revered broadcaster, and it is a privilege to be associated with him in any way. My thanks to Sandy Barbour and the rest of the Athletic Department for allowing me to be a part of Cal football for so many years. I've enjoyed, and will continue to enjoy, every minute of it."

Perhaps best known for his legendary call of "The Play," Cal's famous five-lateral kickoff return to win the 1982 Big Game that has become a part of college football lore, Starkey has been named the Best Play-by-Play Announcer in the state of California nine times.

A graduate of Loyola University, after briefly playing football at Thornton Junior College, Starkey began his career as a television and radio broadcaster for the California Golden Seals in 1972. Three years later, he became a freelance announcer for Cal games, a relationship that continues to this day. He joined KGO Radio as its sports director in 1979, leading the station to a No. 1 ranking in the market for 15 consecutive years. After stints with the Minnesota Vikings and with the USFL's Oakland Invaders, Starkey became the play-by-play announcer for the San Francisco 49ers until his retirement from the franchise in 2008.

During his tenure with the Bears, Starkey has called games during a pair of conference co-championship seasons - 1975 and 2006 - and broadcast 12 bowl games, including the 1991 Citrus Bowl win over Clemson and the 2004 and '06 Holiday Bowls.

Starkey has narrated for NFL and HBO films and has offered his vocal talents for various commercials and civic organizations. He and his wife Diane have three children, and they reside in Walnut Creek, Calif.

For more information on the National Football Foundation and the award recipients announced Wednesday, visit