Legendary Stanford broadcaster Bob Murphy dies at age 86

Aug. 23, 2017, 11:43 a.m.

Bob Murphy, the legendary and passionate Stanford broadcaster, died Tuesday at the age of 86 in his Santa Cruz home. Murphy had suffered from Alzheimer’s.

Murphy served as the color analyst for Stanford football and the play-by-play commentator for men’s basketball. His incredible career in broadcasting from 1964 to his retirement in 2007 included one of the most indelible moments in Stanford sports history – the Mark Madsen basket in the NCAA Tournament.

“MADSEN STUFFED IT, MADSEN STUFFED IT . . . AND . . . HE . . . WAS . . . FOULED!” Murphy bellowed out to all the radio listeners when Madsen’s and-one dunk sent men’s basketball to the Final Four after a furious rally.

Born in Stanford hospital, Murphy was destined to become a Stanford man. He attended Stanford as a student-athlete where he was a pitcher. He pitched in the Pacific Coast League but the allure of coming back home to Stanford was too much as Murphy returned to be a broadcaster and a sports information director from 1964-72.

It’s obvious the mark Murphy left on Stanford athletics if you speak to the people who knew him.

“I’d hear, ‘Hey Plunk, come over here. We need to talk,'” 1970 Heisman-winning quarterback Jim Plunkett said. “He did it to everybody, and everybody was willing and able. And maybe he’d tease you a little bit too.”

“Bob was Mr. Stanford,” former men’s basketball coach Mike Montgomery, and who coached the 1998 team, said. “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.”

His passion for the Stanford Cardinal was second-to-none, and it showed with his impact on the people he was around and his commitment to his job.

Murphy will certainly be impossible to replace.


Contact Jose Saldana at jsaldana ‘at’ stanford.edu.

Login or create an account