Max Falkenstein, the legendary broadcaster of Kansas Athletics for 60 years, passed away on Monday afternoon at the age of 95, as reported by multiple sources on Twitter and the Kansas City Star.
Until his retirement in the spring of 2006, Max had announced every single game ever played in Allen Fieldhouse. The iconic building opened in 1955; Max began broadcasting Kansas basketball in 1946.
Unfortunately, Kansas lost Max’s final basketball broadcast in the first round of the 2006 NCAA Tournament to Bradley. However, Kansas football won in his final call on the gridiron, a 42-13 defeat of Houston in the 2005 Fort Worth Bowl.
Max is a member of the College Athletics Hall of Fame (1995) and the Kansas Sports Hall of Fame (2001). He was awarded the Chris Schenkel Award for football broadcasting in 1996, and in 2001 became the 15th recepient of the Curt Gowdy Media Award given by the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. Also in 2001, the Sporting News named Max “the best college radio personality in the country.”
Max has the distinction of being the only non-player to have a jersey hanging from the Allen Fieldhouse rafters. The jersey number, 60, is a reference to Max’s years of service broadcasting KU sports.
Bob Davis joined Kansas Athletics in 1984 and immediately began a friendship with Max that would last the rest of their lives. In a release by KUAthletics, Bob Davis is quoted as saying:
“Max was a member of the greatest generation. A pioneer sports play-by-play broadcaster in Lawrence and Topeka, and just a fun guy to be around. In the years we worked and traveled together we spent much of our time laughing. He once said we should have been married. In all these years I don’t think we’d ever had an argument, so I guess we couldn’t have been married! We had some great times together. I loved him.”
Max lived a long life and had a legendary career. It’s sad to have lost him, but let’s fill the comments with memories of him painting pictures of KU Athletics in our heads with his voice.
Rest in peace, Max. Jayhawk Nation loves you.