SANTA CRUZ, Calif. — Bob Murphy, the longtime voice of Stanford University sports who brought a folksy sense of community to his commentary for more than four decades, has died. He was 86.
Murphy died Tuesday in Santa Cruz of complications from Alzheimer’s disease. The school said in a statement that he had the disease for several years.
Murphy was a color analyst for Stanford football and basketball from 1964-2007, weaving stories of famous Stanford athletes, professors and speeches into his work.
It was his encyclopedic knowledge of Stanford athletics and his voice, spirit and wit that made him a university icon.
“Bob was Mr. Stanford,” said Mike Montgomery, the Cardinal men’s basketball coach for 18 seasons. “He knew everybody, he knew everything, he knew every story. Stanford has lost a great asset. The stuff stored in his memory will be lost forever.”
At the beginning of his time at Stanford, Murphy also worked as sports information director. He was San Jose State’s athletic director for three years in the late 1970s.
Murphy was born at Stanford Hospital and graduated from Stanford in 1953, the year he led Stanford to its first College World Series and went on to pitch for the Oakland Oaks of the Pacific Coast League.
“Stanford has always been home base for me,” Murphy said in an athletic department news release to announce his retirement.
Murphy is survived by his wife, Gail; children KC and Vicki; and stepchildren Gini Wright and Gregory Hartley.