Wyoming’s Hall of Fame Broadcaster Retires After 38 Seasons
LARAMIE -- "The score, oh the score" is no more.
After nearly four decades as the "Voice of the Cowboys," Wyoming play-by-play announcer Dave Walsh is retiring, the school announced Friday afternoon.
"It has been a privilege to be the 'Voice of the Cowboys' for 38 years," Walsh said in a UW release. "I truly feel like I've had the best play-by-play job in America. The people of Wyoming have been fantastic to me and my family. I feel truly blessed to have enjoyed so many wonderful relationships with fans, players, coaches, and athletic support staff through the years, as well as sharing great relationships with other broadcasters around our state and around the country."
Sideline reporter and current men's basketball announcer, Reece Monaco, will replace Walsh, the university, and Learfield, the multimedia rights holder for Wyoming athletics, jointly announced.
"I am incredibly honored," said Monaco, who recently completed his second season behind the mic for Cowboys basketball after spending the previous 19 years as the voice of the women's program. "My first experience with Wyoming football and basketball was listening to Dave Walsh and Kevin McKinney. Dave is and will always be the 'Voice of the Cowboys' to an entire generation of Cowboys fans and will be greatly missed by me and the fans, who have grown to love his amazing voice."
"Dave is a friend and mentor, and to say I have big shoes to fill is an understatement. With so many outstanding sportscasters in Wyoming, I am thrilled that Tom Burman and Brad Poe have the faith in me to step into this role and bring Wyoming football and basketball to Cowboys fans in Wyoming and around the country."
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Walsh's list of accomplishments in the press box is extensive. He was inducted into the Wyoming Association of Broadcasters Hall of Fame in 2015 and, a year later, was enshrined into the UW Athletics Hall of Fame. In 2020, the nine-time Wyoming Sportscaster of the Year was the recipient of the National Football Foundation Chris Schenkel Award. That is presented to the broadcasters with longevity and distinguished careers while being linked to a single institution.
For many years Walsh co-hosted Sportsline Live for what is now Townsquare Media.
Walsh saw nine football coaching staffs come and go during his time in Laramie, beginning with Al Kincaid in 1984. That list also includes Dennis Erickson, Paul Roach, Joe Tiller, Dana Dimel, Vic Koenning, Joe Glenn, Dave Christensen, and current head coach, Craig Bohl.
Eleven times Walsh was behind the mic for a UW bowl game, the first coming in the 1987 Holiday Bowl in his hometown of San Diego.
On the hardwood, Walsh called games for eight different coaching staffs, beginning with that incredible run from Jim Brandenburg's bunch in the late 1980s. Walsh was courtside for four NCAA Tournament runs, including the Cowboys' Sweet 16 appearance in 1987.
Of course, by his side all these years has been his color analysis and good friend, McKinney.
“I was always impressed with Dave’s preparation, his professionalism, his unique ability to paint a picture with his words and phrases, and his passion for the business and the Cowboys," McKinney said. "He taught me a ton about sports broadcasting. He always appreciated and respected his role as 'Voice of the Cowboys.' His voice and 'The Score, Oh the Score,' will forever be a special piece of Wyoming athletic tradition.
"I will miss him tremendously."
McKinney, like he already does in basketball, will accompany Monaco in the booth on fall Saturdays.
"I’m anxious to begin the next chapter with Reece, who not only has paid his dues to receive this opportunity but who understands the importance of his role to the University and the State of Wyoming,” McKinney continued.
Former UW defensive lineman Erick Pauley will take over as the sideline reporter. The Green River product is currently the Vice President of Operations for The Radio Network in his hometown. Pauley was also named Wyoming Sportscaster of the Year in 2018.
Walsh, who was hired by the legendary Curt Gowdy in 1984, was just the school's second play-by-play broadcaster since 1947, joining Larry Birleffi.
"Seeing Dave step away completely is difficult for someone like me who grew up listening to Dave tell the great stories of Wyoming football and basketball," UW Athletics Director Tom Burman said. "On behalf of our athletics department and as a fan myself, I want to thank Dave for his outstanding work for the past 38 years. He has been a great ambassador of UW Athletics, and we will be forever grateful.
With that said, we look forward to seeing Reece develop as the new voice of Wyoming Cowboy football and basketball. I believe he has a very, very bright future."
Wyoming's first in the post-Walsh era will take place Aug. 27 in Champaign, Ill., where the Cowboys will take on the University of Illinois.
"There will, no doubt, be many things I will miss about broadcasting Cowboy games, but I feel like this is the right time for me to step away," Walsh said. "I walk away taking with me so many wonderful memories. Thanks to the people of Wyoming and all the best to Reece, who has already proven what an outstanding broadcaster he is."
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