WSU

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)
(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 Cougfan.com 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.

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