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Posted on Wed, Oct 26, 2011 : 11:33 a.m.

Remembering legendary Michigan broadcaster Bob Ufer, who died 30 years ago today

By Nick Baumgardner


In this September 1981 file photo, the Graduate M Club presented Bob Ufer with a plaque in connection with the establishment of the Bob Ufer Distinguished Graduate M Club Award.

File photo

Wednesday marks the 30th anniversary of the passing of legendary Michigan football broadcaster Bob Ufer.

Ufer was in the booth for 363 consecutive Wolverines football games from 1945-1981 and was known for his legendary "Uferism" game calls before passing away on Oct. 26, 1981.

Prior to his career in the booth, Ufer was an All-American sprinter at Michigan and set a world indoor record in the 440-yard dash in 1942. He also played freshman football in the same backfield as Heisman Trophy winner Tom Harmon.

Since his death, the Bob Ufer Scholarship Fund has raised more than $1.3 million, helping provide 145 scholarships to student-athletes from Pioneer and Huron high schools.

To hear some legendary Ufer sound clips and for more information on the Ufer fund, visit

Nick Baumgardner covers Michigan sports for He can be reached at 734-623-2514, by email at and followed on Twitter @nickbaumgardner.



Thu, Oct 27, 2011 : 2:04 p.m.

At first, I did not like his style. Pretty amazing that was my first impression. He grew on me very fast and by the end of my first season of exposure to his style, I couldn't imagine ever listening to a Meechigan football game without hearing his voice, expertise and unmatched enthusiasm and passion. For TV broadcasts, you can turn the down the volume and listen to Bob Ufer call the game, since both were in sync. My career took me to the Cincinnati area during the final two years of the Ufer era. It was just close enough to pick up the radio signal from the 760-AM station. I was able to continue the Ufer voice over during the TV games. My friends down there were also turned onto the Ufer passion and quickly became big fans of his. I made me feel proud. Sadly, Bob left us way too soon and one our local sports talk stations will broadcasts some of his games and wow, you think Ufer had internet access or googled all the information he added to his broadcasts. That man was more amazing than imagined. If there are ever Mt Rushmore faces of Meechigan men; Bob Ufer would be at the top. I wrote a letter to Don Canham after Bob Ufer's passing to say that Michigan Stadium be renamed Bob Ufer Memorial Stadium. I still believe that today and wish it would happen. In some ways, it is sad that the University Athletic Department did not pay more tribute to him. There is a Bob Ufer scholarship fund but there should be so much more. If any wants to know what a Meechigan Man is, the answer is Bob Ufer! Gone, but NEVER FORGOTTEN.

Matt Cooper

Thu, Oct 27, 2011 : 4:33 p.m.

MR, I'm with you on the stadium thing, except I think it should be Ufer/Shembechler Stadium. They both lived, bled and died Maize 'N Blue.

Matt Cooper

Wed, Oct 26, 2011 : 8:40 p.m.

Bob Ufer at his cotton pickin' best!! <a href="" rel='nofollow'>;v=c0sp8AjhUE8</a>

Matt Cooper

Thu, Oct 27, 2011 : 4:31 p.m.

spm, you're very welcome!!! There will never be another like him! The voice, the charisma, the charm and the absolute and unflinching love of all things Meeeechigan (and in particular Meechigan football) are unequalled. If you think about it, here in southeast Meeechigan, we've been blessed to have two of the best sports broadcasters to ever pick up a mike in Bob Ufer and Earnie Harwell.


Wed, Oct 26, 2011 : 11:08 p.m.

Thanks for the clip. Gee, I've forgotten how entertaining he was to listen to.


Wed, Oct 26, 2011 : 10:45 p.m.

That is a remarkable clip, as he appears to be doing it all from memory. He's talking to cotton-picken fast to be reading it. Bless you, Bob Ufer!

Matt Cooper

Wed, Oct 26, 2011 : 8:19 p.m.

Another famous Uferism: &quot;He coughed it up! THE QUARTERBALK COUGHED IT UP!!!!!&quot; Michigan football will never be the same without the voice of Bob Ufer. When I was a kid we'd turn on the TV but leave the volume all the way down and then turn up the radio as high as we could stand it just so we could here &quot;Meeeeeeeeechigan!!&quot;, and that godawful horn he used to blow whenever Meeechigan would score a touchdown. We miss you, Bob.


Wed, Oct 26, 2011 : 6:59 p.m.

Wow, where has the time gone! I was a freshman at UM and remember the tribute game to Ufe, he sounded healthy thanking everyone and then 2 weeks later he died. I remember listening to Ufer all through the 70s growing up. Back then most Michigan games were not televised, may be 1 or 2 a season, so it was great listening to Bob and during the televised games against OSU and the Rose Bowl, we would turn the TV down and turn up Bob's broadcast. I always enjoyed his uferism poems before the OSU game...they were great!


Wed, Oct 26, 2011 : 6:45 p.m.

As silly as it sounds, Ufer is one of the reasons I came to Ann Arbor. I figured anything good enough to warrant that kind of enthusiasm was worth looking into.

Craig Lounsbury

Wed, Oct 26, 2011 : 6:15 p.m.

Nothing I can add to what others have said. Bob Ufer was indeed a one of a kind.


Wed, Oct 26, 2011 : 6:08 p.m.

I have many fond Ufer memories. My all-time favorite took place on January 1, 1981. After seeing Meechigan win a great football game giving Coach Schembechler his first bowl victory a buddy and I headed to the hotel where the team was staying. We had just arrived and were standing in the lobby talking to Don Canham when the doors flew open and in walked Ufer. The first words out of his mouth when he saw Canham standing there was "Hey Don, we're going to party tonight".


Wed, Oct 26, 2011 : 5:43 p.m.

A Ufer memory that stands out for me is the 1976 Purdue game, when Michigan went to West Lafayette unbeaten and ranked number 1. Michigan lost that game. They could have won it on a last second field goal, but the kick went wide. Ufer: &quot;The kick is up and it's ... it's ... ... ... no good, no good, no good.&quot; His tone went flat for each &quot;no good.&quot; But then he came back and though I don't remember his exact words it was something to the effect of &quot;Those are the breaks of football.&quot; A moment of downcast, then he pulled himself back up and went on like a pro.

chill out

Wed, Oct 26, 2011 : 5:21 p.m.

Ufer was one of a kind. I remember him going absolutely nuts and after touchdowns hearing General Patton's horn go off (which was in fact at one time mounted to Patton's jeep), his unmatched enthusiasm, and his great descriptions (i.e. Ohio Stadium crowd is &quot;10,000 alumni and 74,000 truck drivers&quot;). His passion for Michigan football, and all things Michigan, was incredible. If you haven't heard his call of Anthony Carter winning the game against Indiana in 1981, Google it, it's well worth hearing. Mr. Ufer, RIP in football Valhalla, along with all the great Michigan legends...


Wed, Oct 26, 2011 : 5:18 p.m.

How in the cotton-picken world has it been 30 years since we lost this passionate Meeeechigan Man and his touchdown horn? Brandstatter is good, but no one has ever come close to Ufer's standard for calling Meeeeeechigan football games with such passion and energy. Whether you heard these live, have listened to them in the past, or have never heard Ufer, I recommend you take a listen here: <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a> His call of &quot;Johnny Wangler to Anthony Carter&quot; still puts tears in my eyes and a smile on my face every time I hear it.

Craig Lounsbury

Wed, Oct 26, 2011 : 6:14 p.m.

In fairness to Brandstatter , he's just the sidekick/color commentator for Rush Beckmann. I think he does a nice job as a color commentator for both M and the Lions. I could do without The right-wing nut-job PBP guy though.


Wed, Oct 26, 2011 : 5:14 p.m.

..The Voice of The Wolveriiines! R.I.P. Mr. Ufer, Go Blue! v


Wed, Oct 26, 2011 : 5:04 p.m.

Its &quot;Meeechigan&quot;, not Michigan.


Wed, Oct 26, 2011 : 4:54 p.m.

Alas, two weeks ago I mentioned to a couple of Michigan fans Ufer's name. One 30ish and the other 50ish and neither knew of Bob. If you go to Forest Hills cemetery you will see Bob Ufer's gravestone facing Fielding Yost's. Perfect.


Wed, Oct 26, 2011 : 4:43 p.m.

I don't think there will ever be another like Ufer, either by talent and enthusiasm, nor allowed by the broadcasting network in terms of homerism. i can't believe it has been 30 years since he was on the air. I remember those broadcasts vividly. Thanks for making me feel old!!