Hot Rod Hundley passes away
Longtime broadcaster Hot Rod Hundley, the beloved voice of the Utah Jazz from 1974-2009, passed away Friday at his home in Phoenix, Ariz. area surrounded by family. He broadcast many of the most memorable moments in Jazz history, calling 3,051 Jazz games in three-plus decades.
“Hot Rod was the voice of the Utah Jazz for 35 years and his voice was synonymous with Jazz radio,” said Gail Miller, owner of the franchise. “The expressions he used throughout the game broadcasts are legendary. He had the unique ability to make the game come to life so that you felt as though you could see what was happening on the floor when listening to him call the games. Rod was a very special talent and will be missed by our family as well as Jazz fans everywhere. Our thoughts and condolences are with the Hundley family.”
The only member of the original New Orleans Jazz staff to remain with the team for its first 35 seasons, he joined the organization prior to the expansion team’s inaugural season in 1974-75 and moved with the team when it relocated to Salt Lake City in 1979-80. A banner hangs in the rafters of EnergySolutions Arena honoring the 3,051 games he called during his 35-year career. In 2010, the team dedicated the media center at the arena to Hot Rod, outlining his legendary career from his days at West Virginia University to his calls as a Jazz broadcaster.
“Rod was a true professional, a great personal friend and remains a legend in the NBA broadcast industry,” said Utah Jazz President Randy Rigby. “From his start with the franchise in New Orleans in 1974 when the Jazz were an expansion team, Hot Rod built a fan base that remains unmatchable. With his signature ‘You Gotta Love it, Baby!’ to ‘With a gentle push and a mild arc the old cow hide globe hit home,’ Rod will be remembered as a true scholar of the game and will always remain a member of the Jazz family.”
Hundley spent the first 31 years of his Jazz career as the play-by-play voice of Jazz radio/television simulcasts before becoming the radio voice for his final four seasons.