Bob Olson memorial service set for July 19

HOUGHTON, Mich. – The memorial service for Bob Olson will be held at 11 a.m. on Thursday, July 19 at The Church of the Resurrection in Hancock. Olson, the original “Voice of the Huskies,” passed away on March 3 in Middletown, Connecticut at the age of 87.

A native of Superior, Wisconsin, Olson began broadcasting Michigan Tech athletic events back in 1969 when he and partner, the late Joe Blake, purchased WMPL AM & FM in Hancock.

Olson relocated to the Copper Country from Hurley, Wisconsin. He started broadcasting Huskies sports with men’s basketball and football. A lengthy meeting with legendary hockey coach John MacInnes led to adding hockey to the WMPL lineup. Olson called his first Husky hockey game on November 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. She preceded him in death in 2000.

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 Otto Breitenbach 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 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. The Tech men’s basketball team hands out yearly the Bob Olson Award to the team’s top newcomer.

Photo courtesy of Michigan Tech Athletics

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