Legendary Broadcaster Chris Schenkel Dies at 82
Posted: Sep 13, 2005
A longtime supporter of the National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame (NFF), Schenkel served as the master of ceremonies for the NFF Annual Awards Dinner at the Waldorf-Astoria for 25 years.
“There is no better friend and supporter of college football, coaches and college administrators than Chris Schenkel,” said NFF President Steve Hatchell. “We mourn his loss. He has been a friend and mentor to so many.”
In addition, the NFF annually presents the Chris Schenkel Award during the College Football Hall of Fame’s Enshrinement Ceremony in South Bend, Ind. Created in 1996, the Schenkel Award honors a college football broadcaster who has excelled in his field and contributed to his community.
Schenkel was a pioneer in the truest sense of the term. As a broadcaster, he broke new ground on numerous occasions as the first to cover a nationally televised college football game, the first to cover golf’s Masters Tournament on television (1956), and the first to cover the Olympics on live television (1968).
Hired by CBS-TV in 1952, Schenkel served as the New York Football Giants play-by-play announcer for 13 years before joining ABC Sports in 1965. At ABC-TV, Schenkel became the voice of college football and a prominent member on ABC’s Wide World of Sports Telecasts.
A jack-of-all-trades, Schenkel’s broadcasting career spanned a variety major sporting events, including the World Series, Masters Tournament, Kentucky Derby, Indianapolis 500 and multiple Olympics. In addition to college and professional football, Schenkel became known as the longtime voice of the Professional Bowlers Association (1962-97).
Schenkel’s career highlights include broadcasting the historic 1958 overtime NFL Championship game between the Baltimore Colts and New York Giants and calling gymnast Nadia Colmaneci’s perfect 10 score at the 1976 Olympics in Montreal.
Born on Aug. 21, 1923 in Bippus, Ind., Schenkel was one of six children raised on a farm. Schenkel went on to attend Purdue University before enlisting in the Army and fighting in both World War II and Korea. In 1947, Schenkel took a broadcasting job with the Harvard University football team before getting his big break with CBS in 1952. Schenkel is survived by his wife of 50 years, Fran, sons Ted and John, and daughter Tina.
The funeral will be held at the Saints Peter & Paul Catholic Church, 860 Cherry Street, Huntington, Ind. 46750 on Thursday, September 15, 2005 at 10:30 a.m.. Visitation will be held on Wednesday, September 14 from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Mishler Eastlund Funeral Home, 7458 East 1000 North Syracuse, Ind. 46567. Memorials can be made to Haskell Indian Nations University, 155 Indian Ave., Lawrence, KS 66046.