OKLAHOMA CITY -- Long-time radio voice of the Oklahoma Sooners Bob Barry Sr. died Sunday.
Former OU coach Bud Wilkinson selected Barry to become OU's new play-by-play commentator in 1961. Barry stayed with the Sooners until 1972, when he left to cover Oklahoma State and University of Tulsa games. He returned to OU in 1991, where he spent the rest of his career.
"Bob Barry represented the best of the Sooner spirit. With his contagious enthusiasm, he was one of the best sports broadcast journalists in the entire nation," said University of Oklahoma President David Boren. "He was loved by Oklahomans all across our entire state and will be missed by all of us."
Barry was found dead in his Norman home, and the cause of death has not yet been determined.
"I've been so fortunate and so lucky to have the job I've had," Barry said of his time as Voice of the Sooners. "I tell young people all of the time that when you find the thing you love to do, then do it to the best of your ability, it's really not work at all."
One of the most decorated broadcasters in Oklahoma history, Barry was inducted into the Oklahoma Journalism Hall of Fame, the Oklahoma Association of Broadcasters Hall of Fame and the Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame.
"Bob Barry represented the best of the Sooner spirit," Oklahoma president David Boren said. "With his contagious enthusiasm, he was one of the best sports broadcast journalists in the entire nation. He was loved by Oklahomans all across our entire state and will be missed by all of us."
While acting as Voice of the Sooners, Barry also acted as a TV sports anchor for KFOR, and was named sports director in 1970. He retired from television broadcasting in 2008, and retired his radio play-by-play position after last season.
Former News9 sports anchor Toby Rowland took over for Barry starting this season.
"I never saw Bob have a bad day. He loved life and loved his job," Rowland said. "Even after 50 years of broadcasting he would show up at the stadium like a kid in a candy store. His play-by-play style was unmistakable, but it is his gentle and fun-loving spirit that I will always remember."
Other Oklahoma sports figures gave their thoughts on Barry's passing:
Oklahoma head coach Bob Stoops
"We send our condolences to Bob's family and thank them for sharing him with us for so many years. I know this is a difficult time for them, but hope they can find comfort in a life well-lived and the love of countless fans all over the country."
Oklahoma athletic director Joe Castiglione
"We have lost a true legend in Bob Barry. He was our eyes when we couldn't see, our voice when unable to speak and our passion when we needed it expressed. For 50 years he made extraordinary contributions to help build our wonderful Oklahoma tradition, and did so while maintaining a positive outlook that always saw the best in others. We will be forever grateful for Bob Barry."
Oklahoma State head coach Mike Gundy
"Bob Barry was a very close friend of our family and a true legend in the state of Oklahoma. He always had a smile and a great sense of humor. From the Gundy family and the entire Oklahoma State family, we send our thoughts and prayers."
Oklahoma State athletic director Mike Holder
"On behalf of the Oklahoma State athletic family, we were saddened to learn of the passing of Bob Barry Sr. He was a true broadcasting great. Our deepest sympathies go out to his family."