Holding the same media job for 37 years is remarkable, and that’s the milestone Washington Huskies’ radio announcer Bob Rondeau has hit this season. Rondeau announced before the season that he was giving up his basketball duties after 32 years, and would be calling one final football season. While preparing for his final game, the Apple Cup against Washington State Saturday, he was featured in a Tacoma News-Tribune profile from Ryan Clark, and it has some great stories. In particular, there’s an amazing one about how he met his wife Molly:
Molly’s best stories are about how they met, got engaged and their wedding ceremony.
She said they met in the press box at Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe, Ariz. Molly, through her job, met and became friends with former Seahawks quarterback Sam Atkins.
Molly and another friend were on vacation in Arizona when she got a phone call from Atkins, who was Rondeau’s partner in the booth.
“Their spotters didn’t show up. Sam said, ‘I got a couple buddies who can spot,’ and Bob was like, ‘Go get them,’” she recalled. “They were getting ready to go on the air. He brought me up and my best friend up and we walked through the door and he’s always a gentleman.
“But he kinda looked at us like, ‘Really? Two girls are going to spot me?’ He didn’t say it but the look on his face was ‘I cannot believe you just did this.’ ”
Rondeau asked which of the two women knew football better and Molly said she did.
“He put me on Arizona State and I did not miss a play the whole first half,” she said.
That’s definitely a pretty good way to meet, one very fitting for a life in broadcasting. And it led to the two talking, and Bob finding out Molly’s father played football at Notre Dame. They then bet a dinner on the outcome of a Notre Dame – Florida State game; Molly won, so Bob bought dinner, and they started dating. It was 24 years ago that they met, and they’ve now been married for 20 years. Oh, and they got married at the 50-yard line of Husky Stadium.
That’s only part of Rondeau’s overall story, though, and Clark’s profile goes into that a bit more. He’s kept a lot of his life quite private despite being in such a high-profile role for 37 years, and doesn’t like to talk much about things outside the booth, but the profile discusses his love for fly-fishing, racehorses (the Rondeaus bought one this summer, and hope to start racing it in 2018) and gardening, amongst other things. But Rondeau is mostly known for the dedication he’s brought to the job over the last 37 years, and the many memorable Huskies’ moments he’s called. Some of Rondeau’s calls, such as last week’s buzzer-beating field goal against Utah, help show off why he’ll be missed:
Bob Rondeau calling a last-second game-winning field goal…
NEED WE SAY MORE?
ICYMI: @UW_Football ? pic.twitter.com/c1BZLdKrjx
— IMG Audio (@IMGAudio) November 19, 2017
Tony Castricone, previously the play-by-play voice for Clemson Tigers’ basketball, is set to take over as the Huskies’ director of broadcasting, and has already begun calling their basketball games. He’ll take over football duties next fall. But Saturday is all about Rondeau, and there’s a whole lot of love for him from many Huskies’ fans. He was inducted into the Husky Athletics Hall of Fame in 2016, and King County is proclaiming Saturday Bob Rondeau Day:
Bob Rondeau has been The Voice of the #Huskies for 37 years. Saturday’s #AppleCup will mark his final regular season broadcast; that day, we will officially celebrate Bob Rondeau Day. ? #godawgs pic.twitter.com/ofuK4xzYaR
— Dow Constantine (@kcexec) November 22, 2017
That seems fitting, and it’s nice that there’s a great Apple Cup matchup to send Rondeau off, with #13 Washington State against #17 Washington. He’ll certainly be missed by many, and Clark’s story is cool to see for its exploration of the man behind the microphone.