By Darren Sabedra
STANFORD -- Saying the time was right, Bob Murphy announced Friday that he will retire as the voice of Stanford athletics at the end of the upcoming football season. But he insists his passion for the university won't subside.
"And...He...Was...Fouled," Murphy bellowed on the other end of the phone Friday, reliving his infamous call of a game-turning Mark Madsen basket in 1998 that sent Stanford to the Final Four.
It was Murphy's allegiance and devotion to Stanford that kept him behind a microphone since 1964. He most recently served as a color analyst for football and play-by-play man for men's basketball.
Murphy, who will turn 76 on Monday, graduated from Stanford in 1953, the year he was a standout pitcher for a team that reached the College World Series.
"One of the things we're all supposed to do in college sports is be passionate," said Ted Robinson, Murphy's partner on Stanford football broadcasts that past 10 years. "This is not '60 Minutes.' This is college sports.
"Murph takes the heat in some corners, but there is no greater advocate for Stanford. Nobody has given more to Stanford than Murph. He's been a major, major part of Stanford University for the past 50 years."'
Murphy plans to stay involved with the university, promoting a football program that aims to rebuild after five consecutive losing seasons.
In his early years as a broadcaster, Murphy recalled, "we built a platform on which Stanford had 17 straight non-losing seasons (in football), including Rose Bowl wins over Ohio State and Michigan. That was a great time."
In addition to his broadcast work, Murphy served as sports information director at Stanford in 1964-72. He also was San Jose State's athletic director in 1976-79.
During his years at SJSU, Murphy worked with Hal Ramey on Spartans football broadcasts and also hired football coach Jack Elway and men's basketball coach Bill Berry.
But Murphy is best known for his commitment to his alma mater.
"I was born in Stanford hospital, and Stanford has always been home base for me," Murphy said in an athletic department release. "I may take a rest when we are able to fill every seat, for every game, in the new and sensational Stanford Stadium."
Athletic Director Bob Bowlsby called Murphy's enthusiasm for Stanford "extraordinary."
"Bob is a favorite of generations of Stanford coaches and student-athletes, and we are poorer for his decision to retire," Bowlsby said in the release. "On the other hand, we wish Bob and (wife) Gail all the best as they use their newfound time to travel and generally enjoy retirement."
It is unknown who will be beside Murphy in the broadcast booth this season. Robinson has stepped down from his play-by-play duties to do various television assignments, including four Stanford games. Giants broadcaster Dave Flemming, a Stanford alum, is a candidate to replace Robinson.
Times staff writer Jonathan Okanes contributed to this story.