Apr 302009
Authors: Adam Bohlmeyer

CSU sports radio broadcasts will never be quite the same.

Rich Bircumshaw, the voice of the Rams, died late Wednesday after suffering a stroke during the night Tuesday.

Bircumshaw worked with the Rams for 10 years, serving first as a color commentator and eventually as the play-by-play radio broadcaster for the football program, starting in 1999. Three years later, the Utah native expanded his impact on CSU athletics, adding men’s basketball to his broadcasting resume.

Members of the CSU athletic community were saddened by the news of Bircumshaw’s passing. Athletic Director Paul Kowalczyk described Bircumshaw as a genuine person who made anyone he talked to feel important.

“All of us in the Ram family, all across the country, are deeply saddened by Rich’s passing,” Kowalczyk said. “Rich had a wonderfully quirky sense of humor and the ability to connect with his listeners in a unique fashion. He was warm and genuine, and a friend to every student athlete, coach and administrator. He made everyone feel like an All-American, no matter who they were. He’s left us with many wonderful memories and will forever be a Ram.”

Head football coach Steve Fairchild shared Kowalczyk’s sentiments, adding that Bircumshaw unselfishly gave of himself to the athletic department. Fairchild said he grew close the 54-year-old after spending time with him on the weekly CSU Football Coach’s Show.

“He just gave everything he had for Colorado State,” said Fairchild in a press release. “And you never heard him ask for anything in return. He was always upbeat, didn’t complain and he just supported us unconditionally. I know that’s how he would want to be remembered, and that’s how he will be remembered, because it’s the truth. He was our No. 1 fan.”

A viewing of Bircumshaw is scheduled for 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday, followed by a Memorial Service on Monday at 1 p.m. Both events will be held at the Bohlender Funeral Chapel.

Sports reporter Adam Bohlmeyer can be reached at sports@collegian.com.

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