Voice of the Jayhawks, Bob Davis, discusses retirement at season’s end

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LAWRENCE, Kan. -- The Voice of the Kansas Jayhawks will soon call it quits. After 32 years on the mic, Bob Davis is retiring.

Davis says there’s no single call or moment that sticks out for him. He's called eight NCAA Final Fours, and six bowl games. He’s enjoyed it all, including just talking basketball like he was on his weekly radio show in front of a crowd at the Salty Iguana in Lawrence. It's called "Hawk Talk" with Coach Bill Self.

Fans get there hours early to reserve their seats, snapping photos of one of KU’s biggest celebrities. Davis' voice is synonymous with KU basketball and football.

“I don’t know what it’s going to be like in the future, after so many years listening to Bob,” fan Larry Guenther said.

Jayhawk fans will soon find out, as Davis plans to retire at the end of season.

Tuesday was his penultimate Hawk Talk broadcast. Callers thanked him for his career, as have plenty of coaches, players, and even refs this season.

“When you get feedback from people about a broadcast that’s one of the neatest things that can possibly happen to us," Davis said. "When you first start in the business you think are there really people out their listening? And you find out there are.”

Davis says he’s received gifts from every Big 12 team this season, from a horned frog belt loop, to an autographed Pistol Pete OSU Cowboy hat. But he’s just having a good time seeing old friends and doing what he loves.

“It’s got to be your job, your passion, and your hobby all rolled into one, and the fact I get to do play-by-play that I really wanted to do as part of it, made it all the more fun,” said Davis.

“He just knows everything about KU basketball, and KU football," fan Bev Mater said. "He's got a great radio voice, he’s a very nice person, he’s easy to talk to, we really like him. We’re sorry that he’s retiring but we wish him well.”

Fans are hoping for a lengthy NCAA tournament run, as much for their beloved Jayhawks, as for the fact it means they’ll get to savor Davis soothing calls a little longer. Whenever the final buzzer sounds, Davis says that will be it.

“I’ve made the decision and I’m sticking by it, but I’ll miss it a lot I know,” he said.

Saturday is Senior Day at Allen Field House. Davis says the focus should be on those players' efforts. But he acknowledged the University will likely honor him as well, and he’s sure he’ll be humbled by it.

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