KU Legend Max Falkenstien to Relinquish Color Commentator Role on Radio after 2005-06 Season
Aug. 30, 2005
LAWRENCE, Kan. –
Hall-of-Fame broadcaster Max Falkenstien will retire as color commentator on the University of Kansas radio networks after the last game of the 2005-06 men’s basketball season – his 60th season of covering Jayhawks athletics.
“Although I still am in good health,” Falkenstien said, “I realize there finally comes a time when one must call an end to something, no matter how much he enjoys it.”
The Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame and the College Football Hall of Fame have both honored Falkenstien. He has been inducted into the State of Kansas Sports Hall of Fame and the KU Athletics Hall of Fame, and was the first inductee of the Lawrence High School Hall of Honor. In addition, he has been awarded an honorary “K” by the Kansas Lettermen’s Club.
“No one can replace Max,” KU Athletics Director Lew Perkins said. “We will always be indebted to him for what he has done and what he means to Jayhawk athletics. He will continue to play a role for us on the broadcasts and at KU Athletics; there will always be a place for him here.”
The Sporting News in 2001 named Falkenstien “the best college radio personality in the country,” and television’s Dick Vitale selected Bob (Davis) and Max to his “Sweet 16” of the best college basketball announce teams in the country.
Falkenstien broadcast his first basketball game – an NCAA tournament game in Kansas City between KU and Oklahoma A&M – on March 18, 1946. His next broadcast was KU’s football opener against TCU on September 21, 1946. He served as play-by-play voice of the Jayhawks for 39 years, and switched to the commentator’s role in September 1984, when Bob Davis assumed the play-by-play duties. That duo has become so well known over the last 20 years that they are referred to simply as “Bob and Max.”
Max also made his mark on television along the way. He provided the play-by-play on the Big Eight Conference men’s basketball Game of the Week between 1968 and 1971. And for more than three decades he hosted football and basketball coaches’ television shows, including those for Don Fambrough, Pepper Rogers, Mike Gottfried, Ted Owens, Larry Brown and Roy Williams.
Falkenstien said he treasures the friendships he has made and maintained with coaches, players, administrators and the many who have worked with him on his broadcasts. He singled out Gerry Barker, Bob Fromme, Al Correll, Jim Fender, Paul DeWeese, Jerry Waugh, Fred White, David Lawrence, Bob Newton and, “of course, my good buddy, Bob Davis.”
“We always want Max to be a part of our KU Athletics family,” Perkins said. “He does not plan to just fade away, and that’s just fine with us.”