Bob Robertson, legendary voice of WSU Cougars, dies at 91

Sep 7, 2020, 12:15 PM | Updated: 3:21 pm
Bob Robertson WSU...
Bob Robertson's storied broadcasting career is best known for his time with WSU football. (AP)

Bob Robertson, the legendary former voice of WSU Cougars football, died Sunday at his home in University Place. He was 91.

Paul Sorensen, Robertson’s long-time broadcast partner, reported the news of his death to on Monday morning.

Robertson called WSU football games for 52 years, first as play-by-play announcer from 1964 to 2011, then as an analyst beginning in 2012. Just as well known as Robertson was among Cougar fans for his voice was his signature way of signing off: “Always be a good sport. Be a good sport always.”

“Today is a sad day for Cougs all over the world,” WSU Director of Athletics Pat Chun said in a statement Monday. “Bob Robertson is an iconic figure in the history of Cougar Athletics and sports radio broadcasting. His ability to vividly paint a picture of our football and basketball games brought generations of Cougs together for over half a century. We are thankful for his impact on WSU. We send our deepest condolences to the entire Robertson Family.”

Robertson retired from the booth in October 2018. His tenure with WSU football was just part of his story as a broadcaster, however. He also called WSU basketball games for 23 years, Pacific Coast League baseball for three decades and three years with the University of Washington. There were also stints broadcasting Notre Dame football and basketball, Pacific Lutheran University basketball, professional soccer in Seattle, Spokane Indians baseball, and some Seattle Mariners games in the late 1990s.

Though he was born in Fullerton, Calif., that was a result of his father, then a baseball player for the Seattle Indians of the Pacific Coast League, being with the team in spring training. He graduated from Blaine High School in northwestern Washington state and began his broadcasting career while attending Western Washington University in Bellingham.

Robertson signed to play professional baseball in 1948 but gave up playing after a year for his first chance to be a full-time broadcaster, becoming the voice of the Wenatchee Chiefs of the Western International League.

He was married to his wife Joanne for 59 years before she died in 2011. They have four children – Hugh, Janna, John and Rebecca – and seven grandchildren.

Robertson is a member of both the WSU Athletic Hall of Fame and the Inland Empire Hall of Fame, a 12-time Washington Sportscaster of the Year winner, and the 2004 recipient of the Chris Schenkel Award presented at the College Football Hall of Fame in South Bend, Ind.

In 2009, the Cougars’ radio booth in Martin Stadium was renamed the Bob Robertson Broadcast Suite.

Members of 710 ESPN Seattle and organizations that Robertson spent time with shared memories and statements Monday on social media.


WSU Mouhamed Gueye...
The Associated Press

Bamba, Gueye lead WSU over Northern Kentucky 68-47

TJ Bamba scored 22 points on 8-of-12 shooting, Mouhamed Gueye added 14 points and 10 rebounds and WSU beat Northern Kentucky 68-47 Wednesday night.
3 days ago
WSU Utah...
The Associated Press

Worster scores 19, Utah outlasts WSU 67-65 in overtime

Rollie Worster scored 19 points, including the go-ahead free throws in overtime, and Utah defeated the WSU Cougars 67-65 in overtime.
6 days ago
UW Huskies Kalen DeBoer...
Brent Stecker

Bowl Games: UW Huskies vs Sark, Texas in Alamo Bowl; WSU to LA Bowl

The UW Huskies will get an intriguing matchup against their former coach in the Alamo Bowl, while WSU is headed to the Jimmy Kimmel LA Bowl.
6 days ago
The Associated Press

Dante leads Oregon Ducks past WSU Cougars in 2nd half 74-60

N'Faly Dante scored 16 of his 22 points in the second half when Oregon used a 13-2 run to jump start a 74-60 win over WSU in a Pac-12 opener.
9 days ago
Apple Cup Michael Penix Jr....
The Associated Press

No. 12 UW Huskies outlast WSU Cougars 51-33 in Apple Cup

Michael Penix Jr. threw for 484 yards and had five total touchdowns and the No. 12 UW Huskies reclaimed the Apple Cup with a wild 51-33 victory over WSU.
14 days ago
WSU TJ Bamba...
The Associated Press

WSU makes program record 19 3s, beats Detroit Mercy 96-54

Jabe Mullins scored 22 points on 7-of-10 shooting and WSU hit a program record-tying 19 3-pointers to beat Detroit Mercy 96-54.
15 days ago
Bob Robertson, legendary voice of WSU Cougars, dies at 91