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Remembering the ‘Voice’ of Lobo sports

There was an outpouring of reactions from former colleagues, friends and sports fans on Tuesday upon the news of the passing of Mike Roberts (full story here). Here is just a small sampling of some collected by the Journal.

• • •

“In my role with UNM, I had the pleasure of working closely with Mike for almost 25 years. I treasured my time as his broadcast partner during a very successful run of Lobo football. He was a dear friend.”

— Greg Remington, former UNM sports information director and Mike Roberts broadcast partner

• • •

“I still joke with my wife about it. I can still hear his voice doing our weekly coaches show at Spectators Sports Bar and Grill at the corner of Eubank and Juan Tabo. The way it came out of his mouth was like poetry. I would bust his chops, and he would bust my chops. He just loved New Mexico sports. He loved the Lobos.

“… He always looked at the bright side. I would come down the ramp sometimes after an excruciating loss, and he always would put a positive spin on the loss. Unfortunately he was the only guy in town who did that sometimes, but he was a true supporter of Lobo sports, and particularly Lobo basketball.”

— Fran Fraschilla, Lobo basketball coach, 1999-2002

• • •

“Mr Roberts was simply iconic to all of New Mexico. I’m honored to have known him and worked with him. I always appreciated his kindness and who he was as a person. He loved the Lobos, he loved Albuquerque and he loved New Mexico. All of this passion you could hear, whether it was over the airways or in person. My thoughts and prayers are with his family. What a great man.”

— Steve Alford, Lobo basketball coach, 2007-2013

• • •

“Mike was an icon in the sporting community, and he leaves behind an incredible legacy.”

— John Traub, Albuquerque Isotopes general manager

• • •

“He was a good friend, good guy, who bled Lobo red. When I came here in ’73 he had taken a job at the University of Washington. Norm (Ellenberger) and Bob King had told me about him. They were both sad to see him leave and tickled to have him back.”

— John Whisenant, former UNM basketball assistant, 1973-78

• • •

“Just heard of Mike’s passing. What a loss. A giant of a broadcaster and a greater guy. He was simply the best. We were so lucky to have him for so long. I was truly lucky to know him as both a player and a friend. There will never be another as talented or endearing. God bless Mike.”

— Former Lobo basketball player Ron Nelson

• • •

“Mike Roberts was a very special man. I was fortunate enough to be around him for four years. We shared lots of memories on the road and in The Pit. He was always very encouraging to a skinny local guy; I’ll never forget his kindness. My condolences and prayers go out to his family.”

— Daniel Faris former Lobo basketball player

• • •

“Mike was a broadcasting icon whose voice will be remembered by generations of New Mexicans. We will always be indebted to Mike for his huge role in launching our radio station (KQTM-FM).”

— Joe O’Neill, president of 101.7-FM

• • •

“What a gentleman! He was so passionate about Lobo athletics, and the University of New Mexico. I cherish the days I had with him.”

— Ritchie McKay, Lobo basketball coach, 2002-07

• • •

“I was actually a little nervous when I first met Mike, since I graduated from New Mexico State. But he welcomed me with open arms. We became good friends. Mike was a lot of fun to be around, and I learned a lot from him over the years. Mike was a legend. We’ll miss him.”

— Bob Clark, 770-AM radio morning show host

• • •

“It’s a sad day in Lobo Athletics. … Mike Roberts, the Voice of the Lobos for over four decades, really gave us all the feeling that we were watching the games live through his accurate play by play that he gave Lobo fans. I remember being a freshman and having to help lug his equipment through the airports. Radio was so big back in the day … didn’t have cable or social media so everyone who was a fan of Lobo basketball tuned in. A huge loss for our community. RIP #thevoice”

— Hunter Greene, former Lobo basketball player/radio color analyst

• • •

“Mike Roberts was a tremendous asset for Lobo football, really as far as that’s concerned for Lobo sports. He had a tremendous voice, and his delivery was always super. I know everybody in Albuquerque will miss him and mostly all over the state of New Mexico. My condolences go out to his family. He was the guy that I will never forget. Hail to a Lobos treasure.”

— Robin Cole, former Lobo football player