Bob Barry announces retirement as voice of Sooners
BY GUERIN EMIG World Sports Writer
Tuesday, August 31, 2010
9/01/10 at 5:20 AM
Sports Editor Mike Strain’s blog: Bob Barry’s career: If you focus only on the last few years, you’re missing something special
NORMAN – Bob Barry's 50th season of college football play-by-play will be his last.
The man with as unique a resume – he broadcast Oklahoma games from 1961-72, switched to Oklahoma State in '73, then returned to the Sooner Network in 1991 – as a voice will retire following OU's 2010-11 men's basketball season.
Barry made a formal announcement during a news conference on OU’s campus this morning. The university will conduct a search for Barry’s successor, according to sources familiar with the situation.
“It’s time. I had been thinking about it for a couple of years, and kind of pointing toward this year as my last,” Barry said in a statement released by the school.
Barry, 79, will continue to have a role with OU, including special projects and pregame shows, because the school would not be the same without him, university president David Boren said.
"Bob Barry to me projects the Sooner spirit in every sense of the word, in his attitude, in his support for this program and his loyalty to it," Boren said.
Barry's start in radio included calling Norman High School sports, and hosting "Uncle Bob's Wake Up Jamboree" on Oklahoma City's KNOR.
His big break came in 1961. Bud Wilkinson selected him to broadcast OU football and basketball after a tryout with 13 other broadcasters. Thus began Barry's first run as "Voice of the Sooners."
After a 14-year stint as OSU play-by-play man and a season calling TU basketball games, Barry replaced John Brooks back on the OU mic. He's been there since, despite having both knees operated on nine years ago and both hips replaced last year.
"I've gotten to the point where it's very difficult to walk," Barry told the World before the hips replacement. "I've always been very active, so this has been frustrating for me. The travel is such a hassle."
Barry, who was also the 26-year sports director for Oklahoma City NBC TV affiliate KFOR, has won 15 Oklahoma Sportscaster of the Year awards.
He was inducted into the Oklahoma Journalism Hall of Fame in 1998. The following year, Barry went into the Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame as well as the Oklahoma Association of Broadcasters Hall of Fame.
The 2010 football season will be the last for Bob Barry calling OU games on the radio. TULSA WORLD FILE