Bob Robertson, Blaine High School graduate and voice of Washington State University Cougar Athletics for more than 50 years, passed away Sunday in University Place, Washington, surrounded by family, according to a press release from WSU. Robertson was 91.
“Today is a sad day for Cougs all over the world,” said Pat Chun, WSU director of athletics, in the news release. “Bob Robertson is an iconic figure in the history of cougar athletics and sports radio broadcasting. His ability to vividly paint a picture of our football and basketball games brought generations of cougs together for over half a century. We are thankful for his impact on WSU. We send our deepest condolences to the entire Robertson Family.”
Bob Robertson graduated from Blaine High School in 1947. He attended school in Blaine for a short time after his family moved to Point Roberts while he was in high school. Robertson attended Western Washington University, where he launched his broadcast career.
After several professional broadcasting gigs around the state, Robertson went to WSU in 1964, where he became known for his closing broadcast signature, “always be a good sport, be a good sport all ways.”
Robertson called 589 cougar games, including 568 consecutive broadcasts from 1964 to 2016, according to the press release. He retired from broadcasting for the cougars in 2018.
The National Sports Media Association named Robertson the Washington Sportscaster of the Year 12 times, and in 1995 he was named the State Broadcaster of the Year.
Robertson was inducted into both the WSU Athletic Hall of Fame and the Inland Empire Hall of Fame in 2001-02. In August 2004 he became the first broadcaster west of the Mississippi to be inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame – broadcaster division. During the 2009 season, the cougars’ radio booth in Martin Stadium was renamed the Bob Robertson Broadcast Suite.
The Blaine High School Athletic Booster Club indicted Robertson into its Hall of Fame in 2019, the program’s first year. Hall of Fame organizer Cliff Freeman, a WSU graduate, met Robertson about 10 years ago at a WSU event at the Bellingham Cruise Terminal. He recognized Robertson’s voice after asking him a question.
“I said, ‘Hey, you’re Bob Robertson, do you know that?’” Freeman said.
Robertson knew it, and he saw Freeman’s nametag and inquired about his aunt Ethel, with whom he attended high school.
“He was sharp 10 years ago and when I went down and visited him last fall he was sharp then too,” Freeman said. “Talk about a pleasant guy and gentleman, he was a lot of fun. He was upbeat and just loved talking about sports.”