National Football Foundation

News Detail

2000 NFF Schenkel Award Recipient Ray Christensen Passes Away
The Voice of the Gophers for 50 years, he was 92.
Published: 2/6/2017 12:35:00 PM
Ray Christensen, the Voice of the Gophers for 50 years and the 2000 recipient of the NFF Chris Schenkel Award, passed away Feb. 5. He was 92.

Regarded by his peers as one of the most skilled and versatile broadcasters, Christensen brought a passion to sports unrivaled in the region, and his trademark excitable voice set the stage for generations.

Christensen, who also served in the Army in World War II, was the longtime play-by-play announcer for Gopher football and basketball. He was a 1949 graduate of the University of Minnesota and then began calling football games in 1951. Christensen retired in 2001 after announcing 50 years of Gopher football and 45 years of Gopher basketball. 

His first game of the 2000 football season - his final season behind the microphone - was his 500th football call. Additionally, Christensen broadcasted more than 1,300 basketball games. A banner hangs in his honor in Williams Arena, the only one belonging to a non-athlete or coach in any facility at Minnesota. 

Christensen also broadcast games for the Minnesota Twins, Minnesota Vikings and Minneapolis Lakers basketball. His historic broadcasting career also included golf and hockey. Christensen is a member of the University of Minnesota Athletics Hall of Fame and was inducted into the Minnesota Broadcast Hall of Fame in 2002. 

Funeral arrangements are pending.

FootballMatters.org


Created by the National Football Foundation, FootballMatters.org is the home for storytelling that promotes the power of amateur football.

corporate partners