A DenverBroncos.com tribute graphic to Larry Zimmer. A tribute graphic to Larry Zimmer. (DenverBroncos.com.)

The Colorado sports scene has lost a long-time icon. Larry Zimmer, who called Denver Broncos’ games on KOA Radio from 1971-96 (first as a color commentator, then as the play-by-play voice from 1990-96) and called Colorado Buffaloes football games for 42 seasons (through 2015), has passed away at 88.

Over the years, Zimmer called more than 500 Broncos’ games and was on the team’s Ring of Fame committee for more than three decades, giving him 52 years of being associated with the team overall. He also called more than 1,000 Buffaloes sporting events. And he did many other things, including covering the Olympics, NFL Europe, the College World Series, World Cup ski events and NCAA basketball for NBC, CBS and ESPN. David Plati, the Buffaloes’ SID emeritus/athletic historian, illustrates just how many games Zimmer called across teams and leagues in a piece on Colorado’s website:

He was involved in either play-by-play or commentary duties for 50 college football seasons, 42 for CU, and 26 seasons with the Denver Broncos among his many other assignments throughout a seven-decade broadcasting career dating back to his college days at the University of Missouri.

At CU alone, he was behind the microphone for 486 football games (22 bowls), along with 525 men’s basketball contests for 1,011 overall. He started out as an analyst on Bronco games in 1971 and took over the play-by-play duties for Super Bowl XXIV in 1990 through the ’96 season, working a total of 536 preseason (122), regular season (394) and postseason (20) games combined, including four Super Bowls.

When including the football games he called for the University of Michigan (51) and Colorado State University (34), it raised his overall total to 571. That adds to 1,107 games between the college and professional ranks.

Zimmer’s long and remarkable career made an impact on many. That’s been shown in some of the tributes that have popped up to him:



Zimmer certainly had a remarkable career. And he’ll be missed by many.


About Andrew Bucholtz

Andrew Bucholtz has been covering sports media for Awful Announcing since 2012. He is also a staff writer for The Comeback. His previous work includes time at Yahoo! Sports Canada and Black Press.