Mike Walden, Former Broadcast Voice Of USC, Dies

    Mike Walden (right) with fellow USC broadcasters Tom Kelly (left) and Pete Arbogast.
    Feb. 16, 2017

    Mike Walden, a noted local radio and television sportscaster who was the play-by-play broadcast voice of USC football and men’s basketball from 1966 to 1972 and then called UCLA sports for parts of 18 years, died on Sunday (Feb. 12) in Tarzana, Calif., from complications of a stroke. He was 89.

    There will be a celebration of life for Walden on March 18 at 11 a.m. at Braemar Country Club (4001 Reseda Blvd., Tarzana 91356).

    Walden, who was known for his distinctive broadcasting style and his even more distinctive wardrobe, handled the USC announcing duties when the Trojan footballers appeared in 5 Rose Bowls and won a pair of national championships (1967 and 1972) and the 1971 hoopsters posted a 24-2 record.

    A member of the Springfield Sports Hall of Fame (1994), Southern California Sports Broadcasters Hall of Fame (2003) and USC Athletic Hall of Fame (2009), Walden began his broadcasting career in his hometown of Springfield, Ill., then after 2 years of service in the Air Force he did the play-by-play of his alma mater, Illinois. Next, he moved to Milwaukee to call Wisconsin, Green Bay Packers and Milwaukee Braves games and then worked for CBS Radio in Chicago before coming to the West Coast to announce Trojan athletics.

    He also was a broadcaster for the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1970 and the St. Louis Cardinals in 1972.

    After his USC stint, Walden moved across town and did UCLA sports play-by-play for portions of the next 18 years (1973-90), becoming the first person in history to serve as the broadcast voice of both universities.

    The winner of numerous Golden Mike Awards, he also did daily local sports reports on KNX and KFI radio and KTLA-TV, as well as handling play-by-play in cable television’s infancy for ON-TV and Prime Ticket (where he again called many USC events). He served 5 years as president of the Southern California Sports Broadcasters (1975-77, 1992-93).

    He earned a cult following with his on-camera appearances on the quirky “Super Dave” Showtime cable TV shows, often wearing loud suits. Away from broadcasting, he was an avid tennis player.



    He is survived by his wife, Nancy, sons Gregory and David, daughters Nanette and Julie, and 5 grandchildren.