Sept. 21, 2010
DALLAS - The University of California and The National Football Foundation (NFF) & College Hall of Fame announced Tuesday that they will jointly honor radio play-by-play broadcaster Joe Starkey, the renowned voice of Cal football, with an NFF On-Campus Salute Saturday, November 27 in Berkeley during the final game of the 2010 Cal football season against Washington.
On July 7, the NFF named Starkey as the 2010 recipient of the organization's Chris Schenkel Award. Named in honor of its first recipient, the Chris Schenkel Award seeks to recognize a sports broadcaster who has enjoyed a long and distinguished career broadcasting college football at a single institution. The Chris Schenkel Award is one of several NFF Major Awards, and throughout the football season, the recipients of these awards return to their schools for special on-field events. They subsequently travel to New York City for national recognition at the NFF Annual Awards Dinner, which will take place Dec. 7 at the famed Waldorf-Astoria Hotel.
"For so many of our fans, Joe Starkey's voice is the only one they've ever heard broadcast Cal football games on the radio," Cal Director of Athletics Sandy Barbour said. "Joe is practically synonymous with Cal football. Over his more than three decades in the booth, he has called some of the greatest moments in Golden Bear history, and he is richly deserving of this honor."
"I am grateful to the National Football Foundation, Director of Athletics Sandy Barbour, and loyal fans and alumni of Cal football for permitting me to be part of this extraordinary sports program for such a long period of time," Starkey said. "Receiving the Chris Schenkel Award is an enormous and unexpected honor. From Joe Roth to Chuck Muncie, to Aaron Rodgers and Jahvid Best, it has been a thrilling experience to broadcast football for the University of California."
Starkey is in his 36th season in the Bears' radio booth this fall. Perhaps best known for his legendary call of "The Play" in 1982 - when the Cal football team famously returned a five-lateral kick-off return for a touchdown in between Stanford band members - Starkey has been named the Best Play-by-Play Announcer in the state of California nine times.
"Joe Starkey has entertained and energized Cal football fans for generations. His famous words "the band is out on the field" quickly conjures up memories of one of the greatest finishes in all of college football history," said NFF President & CEO Steve Hatchell. "His contributions, which span almost four decades, clearly rank him among the greatest college football broadcasters of all time. We look forward to celebrating his career with the Golden Bear faithful November 27 in Memorial Stadium."
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 the USFL's Oakland Invaders, Starkey became the play-by-play announcer for the San Francisco 49ers in 1989 and stayed on the job for 20 seasons until his retirement from the franchise in 2008. He was also a color analyst for San Francisco in 1987 and 1988. 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.
Past Chris Schenkel Award Recipients
The other 2010 NFF Major Award recipients include entertainer and humanitarian Bill Cosby (Gold Medal); respected journalist and author Tom Brokaw (Distinguished American Award); longtime athletics administrator Joe Kearney (Outstanding Contribution to Amateur Football Award); former Rutgers Athletics Director Robert Mulcahy (John L. Toner Award); and SEC Coordinator of Officiating Rogers Redding (Outstanding Football Official Award). For ticket information, please contact Will Rudd at the National Football Foundation, 972-556-1000 or by email at email@example.com.
Attendees to the event will also witness the induction of the 2010 College Football Hall of Fame Class from the Football Bowl Subdivision, which includes Dennis Byrd (North Carolina State); Ronnie Caveness (Arkansas); Ray Childress (Texas A&M); Randy Cross (UCLA); Sam Cunningham (Southern California); Mark Herrmann (Purdue); Clarkston Hines (Duke); Desmond Howard (Michigan); Chet Moeller (Navy); Jerry Stovall (LSU); Pat Tillman (Arizona State); Alfred Williams (Colorado); and coaches Barry Alvarez (Wisconsin) and Gene Stallings (Texas A&M, Alabama).