Originally published November 24, 2015 at 07:39a.m., updated November 24, 2015 at 09:48p.m.

Voice of the Jayhawks’ Bob Davis to retire following 2015-16 basketball season

Radio broadcaster Bob Davis gets into conversation with color commentator Greg Gurley prior to the Jayhawks' tipoff against Georgetown on Saturday, Dec. 21, 2013 at Allen Fieldhouse. Davis is in his 30th year of broadcasting Kansas basketball games. At right is technician Bob Newton.

Radio broadcaster Bob Davis gets into conversation with color commentator Greg Gurley prior to the Jayhawks' tipoff against Georgetown on Saturday, Dec. 21, 2013 at Allen Fieldhouse. Davis is in his 30th year of broadcasting Kansas basketball games. At right is technician Bob Newton.


— Bob Davis, who for 32 seasons has been play-by-play voice of Kansas University football and men’s basketball, has announced he will retire following the current hoops season.

What that means is Saturday’s Kansas-Kansas State football game will be his last football broadcast for the Jayhawk Radio Network. He’ll remain on board broadcasting basketball through the final game of 2015-16.

“I’ve had a chance to know Bob since 1985, but to actually work with him for the last 121⁄2 years, there is nobody, in my opinion, who is any better associated with the University of Kansas at doing their job than what Bob Davis is doing his,” KU basketball coach Bill Self said. “He’ll be missed. Not only is he good at his job, he’s a terrific person. He’s fun and has become a very dear friend. I’m happy for him from a retirement standpoint so maybe he can enjoy those grandkids a little bit more, which I know is important for him and (wife) Linda, but certainly he will be missed.”

Podcast episode

Press Conferences & Post-Game Interviews

Bob Davis talks about his career and announcing his retirement

Prior to KU's tip-off against UCLA in Maui, broadcaster Bob Davis talked about his career and announcing his retirement, which will come at the end of the 2015-16 college basketball season.

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Davis, who teamed with Max Falkenstien for 22 years and currently works with football analyst David Lawrence and basketball analyst Greg Gurley, started with the Jayhawk Radio Network in fall 1984.

He has broadcast eight of the Jayhawks’ 14 NCAA Final Four appearances, including KU’s 1988 and 2008 national championships and half of KU’s 12 football bowl games, including the Jayhawks’ victory in the 2008 Orange Bowl. He has also served for many years as host of the weekly radio show “Hawk Talk,” featuring the Jayhawk football and basketball coaches.

A graduate of Topeka West High and Washburn University, Davis also spent 16 years working Fort Hays State University football and basketball. He also broadcast KC Royals games for 16 seasons.

“I’ve been really lucky to be the ‘Voice of the Jayhawks’ for 32 years,” Davis said. “It was a dream job for me when it happened. I had a wonderful first job out in western Kansas at Hays; 16 years there with college and high school sports and a lot of baseball.

“Then to come to Lawrence and be able to follow the Jayhawks — bowl games, eight Final Fours and some terrific moments, seeing a team win an Orange Bowl and two national (basketball) championships and three other national championship games.

“But the people are what made it amazing. All the people I’ve been able to get close to — great players, the coaching staffs, administrators. I’m going to miss it a lot, but it’s been really fun. I’ve also been able to tack on a little baseball on the other side and do that, too, was a dream come true. It’s been a real lucky situation for me.”

Davis said “it seemed to be natural,” to announce it halfway through the sports year.

“I talked about doing it last year. They kind of talked me out of it a little bit. The numbers are good. This is 32. I did Fort Hays for 16, the Royals for 16, worked for KMBZ 20 years, so it’s a good, round number. I’ve had a lot of fun. I’ve tried to talk Bill into making this thing go into April to make this go as long as possible. He doesn’t seem opposed to the idea,” Davis added, smiling.

He noted that some of his personal highlights have included: “Reesing to Meier, the chop play, Manning at the line late in the ballgame.”

Noted KU athletic director Sheahon Zenger of Davis, who won Kansas sportscaster of the year 13 times: “Bob Davis is an institution in the state of Kansas, and we thank him for everything he’s meant to KU. Jayhawk fans here and around the country have grown up listening to Bob and consider him a member of their family. We at KU will always consider Bob part of our family.”

Davis is married to Linda Michaelis. They have a son, Steven; a daughter-in-law, Katie; two grandsons, Landon and Will, and a granddaughter, Millie.

A nationwide search for Davis’ successor will begin in the spring. Interested candidates for this position should direct their inquiries to Chris Ferris at IMG College via the following email address:

More news and notes from Kansas vs. UCLA


Aaron Paisley 6 years, 10 months ago

One of the best of all time. Enjoy retirement Bob and maybe on senior day, KU can raise a banner right next to Max's for Bob since they really are one of the greatest duos in sports broadcasting.

Joe Ross 6 years, 10 months ago


He should definitely have his own banner.

Brett McCabe 6 years, 10 months ago

Congratulations, Bob. You're the best. Many of the happy moments of my life have been have been accompanied by your play-by-play calls. You ARE the voice of the Jayhawks.

Josh Galler 6 years, 10 months ago

holy cow SWWISSSSHHHHH I will miss that call. Time to get his son Steven Davis or Kevin Harlin.

Bryce Landon 6 years, 10 months ago

Kevin Harlan has a good thing going nationally with the NFL and NCAA on Westwood One. I doubt he'll come back.

Stan Unruh 6 years, 10 months ago

Always listen to Bob's radio call and turn down the TV. Bob is the best. Jayhawks need another final 4 run to keep Bob working into April.

Steve Hilker 6 years, 10 months ago

I do the same thing. Even with the delay. Sad day for the listeners. Won't be the same. That's for sure.

Jason Stubbs 6 years, 10 months ago

One class act!!! Thanks for all the memories and hopefully many more this year!!! Thanks Bob

Steve Tramba 6 years, 10 months ago

Congrats to Bob Davis. Grew up with him & have many a memory of days listening to radio games while I was in-transit to sports or leaving/coming back from road trips.

Respectfully - I'd settle for a new team altogether, but that's just me - I'm just not a GG fan in that role.

Bryce Landon 6 years, 10 months ago

Gurley's voice is, admittedly, tough to listen to on either radio or TV. I personally thought Chris Piper had the better broadcast voice when he was teamed with Bob.

Mick Allen 6 years, 10 months ago

I've known Bob probably longer than he wants to acknowledge. He is the best. One of the many reasons I'm such a fan is that Bob has never tried to conceal his allegiance to KU. A typical Bob call would be "Oh my, they called a foul on Kansas" said in a very disbelieving tone. The man has a great sense of humor. He may be a Fort Hays grad, but he is KU through and through.

Mick Allen 6 years, 10 months ago

Correction, Bob is a Washburn University grad, not Fort Hays.

Joe Ross 6 years, 10 months ago

This is sad indeed. Bob has the ability to call a game, filling you in on all the action, and somehow doing so in a tone that is patently "Kansan". A very tough thing to describe, but it's all in that voice.

Gonna miss him.

Tom Jones 6 years, 10 months ago

Yet another sign that KU's winning it all this year to send Bob out on top.

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