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Ferentz on Bob Brooks: 'What a great guy, a great Iowan'

Local celebration for radio icon held Wednesday at Veterans Memorial Stadium

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CHICAGO — Bob Brooks’ booming voice providing updates on KCRG radio was one of Kirk Ferentz’s earliest memories of living in Iowa City.

Through Ferentz’s experiences with Iowa football — nine years as an assistant, 18 now as head coach — Brooks and his oversized audio recorder were staples of Ferentz’s media sessions. Brooks, who covered Hawkeye sporting events on various radio stations from 1943 through this spring, including all six Iowa Rose Bowl appearances, died June 25 at age 89.

“One of the great guys in this profession,” Ferentz said Tuesday at Big Ten media days. “A great guy in general. You can go on and on about Bob. What you appreciate about him was not only his knowledge and expertise in the game, but more importantly just his awareness of the people that are involved in it. Whether it be the players, the coaches, he had a real respect for that. What a great guy, a great Iowan and somebody told me over 70 years of experience at our university.”

A Celebration of Life event for Brooks, a lifelong Cedar Rapids resident, is scheduled for 5 p.m. Wednesday at Veterans Memorial Stadium. The Gazette will stream the event live.

Iowa Athletics Director Gary Barta recalled the reverence for which people had for the venerable Brooks.

“Whenever we would start a press conference, it was an interesting dynamic to me culturally to watch (local media) let him ask the first question,” Barta said. “That shows great respect.”

l Comments: (319) 339-3169; scott.dochterman@thegazette.com

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