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Broncos mourn passing of longtime radio broadcaster Larry Zimmer

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ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — Longtime Broncos radio broadcaster and Colorado Sports Hall of Famer Larry Zimmer passed away on Saturday.

He was 88 years old.

Zimmer called Broncos games for KOA Radio for 26 years, serving as the color commentator from 1971-1989 before handling play-by-play responsibilities from 1990-96. During his tenure, Zimmer called more than 500 Broncos games, including 20 postseason games and four Super Bowls.

In addition to his career on the Broncos' radio broadcast team, Zimmer also served on the Broncos' Ring of Fame committee for more than three decades.

In total, Zimmer was associated with the Broncos for 52 years.

Zimmer also left his mark with the University of Colorado, where he was the longtime radio voice of the Buffaloes. He called more than 1,000 Colorado sporting events, and he voiced CU football games for 42 seasons. Zimmer retired as the KOA Sports Director in 2004, but he continued to call games for Colorado through the 2015 season.

Ahead of his last season, Zimmer recovered from a fall that caused him to lose his voice and later returned to the broadcast booth to call his final CU games.

For his work during his career, Zimmer was honored in 2009 as the National Football Foundation's Schenkel Award winner, which honors a sportscaster who has had a "long and distinguished" career with a single institution. Zimmer also was inducted into the Broadcast Professionals of Colorado Hall of Fame in 2009, the Colorado Sports Hall of Fame in 2010 and the CU Athletics Hall of Fame in 2012.

During a short stint from 1982-84, KOA was not aligned with Colorado, and Zimmer called games for Colorado State. Zimmer also served as the voice of the North American Soccer League's Colorado Caribous and was a five-time winner of both the Colorado Sportscaster of the Year award and the White Stagg Award for Excellence in Ski Journalism.

In his six decades of broadcasting, Zimmer also covered the Olympics, NFL Europe, the College World Series, World Cup ski events and NCAA basketball for NBC, CBS and ESPN.

A 1957 University of Missouri graduate, Zimmer broadcasted high school football and basketball games while also working as the Missouri Tigers' baseball team's play-by-play announcer. He then moved to Michigan in 1966 to call games for the Wolverines' football, basketball and hockey teams. In 1971, he joined KOA as the play-by-play announcer for CU football and the Denver Rockets of the American Basketball Association.

Born in New Orleans on Nov. 13, 1935, Zimmer attended LSU initially before graduating from Missouri. He then served two years of active duty in the U.S. Army, earning the rank of 1st Lieutenant and being awarded the Army Commendation Medal.

Zimmer is survived by his wife of 51 years, Brigitte; son, Lawrence III (Linda); daughter, Tracey Robb (J.C.); and granddaughter, Shannon Robb.

In lieu of flowers, interested individuals can make a donation to Opera Colorado or the Larry & Brigitte Zimmer Sports Announcing Endowed Scholarship at the University of Colorado.Zimmer will receive a military funeral at Fort Logan Cemetery in Denver.

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