Original voice of the Huskies, Bob Olson, passes away

HOUGHTON – Michigan Tech Sports Hall of Famer, and the original Voice of the Huskies, Bob Olson passed away on Saturday in Middletown, Connecticut.

Olson began broadcasting Tech athletic events back in 1969 when he purchased WMPL and WZRK and moved to the Copper Country from Hurley, Wisconsin. He started with men’s basketball and football before adding hockey to the lineup in 1970-71, calling his first game on Nov. 13, 1970. Olson was known as the Dean of Broadcasters in all of college hockey and did hockey play-by-play for 32 seasons until his retirement after the 2000-01 season.

Olson is the originator of the WMPL College Hockey Poll — the first of its kind in the nation. WMPL also served as the clearinghouse for all of the country’s college hockey scores with its call-in score service run by Bob and his wife Edda.

A true community-minded individual, Olson served as president of the Michigan Tech Blueline Club (1987-91), as a member of the Michigan Tech Community Advisory Committee, on Tech’s Sports Promotion Committee (1987-92), and on the Hockey Coach Search Committee (1992).

Olson was inducted into the Michigan Tech Sports Hall of Fame in 1994. He also received the WCHA Distinguished Service Award in 1997 and the American Hockey Coaches Association Jim Fullerton Award in 1996 for someone “who gave as much as he received and never stopped caring about the direction in which our game was heading.” The Tech men’s basketball team hands out yearly the Bob Olson Award to the team’s top newcomer.

The press box at the John MacInnes Student Ice Arena is named in his honor. The Bob Olson Broadcast Center was dedicated during Winter Carnival 2001.

Mix 93 WKMJ and WMPL — originally owned by Olson — continue to broadcast every Michigan Tech hockey, football, men’s and women’s basketball, and select volleyball games.