Gary Bender Through the Years
April 11, 2011
Gary Bender grew up in Ulysses, Kansas, where he played high-school football.
Bender called University of Kansas football and basketball games during the late 1960s. His broadcasting career started in Hutchinson, Kansas in 1964.
In 1970, Bender started the Wisconsin portion of his career when he became play-by-play announcer for the Green Bay Packers and then Milwaukee Brewers before joining CBS for NFL football in 1975.
Bender joined the CBS team of announcers for football that lasted until 1986.
How many of these young CBS announcers do you recognize?
Johnny Unitas was one of Bender's early partners on NFL telecasts.
Bender also teamed with Hank Stram.
Bender worked with John Madden before either did "Monday Night Football." Bender had his one shot on Monday Night when the Minnesota Twins World Series Game 7 in 1987 forced postponement of the Vikings' game to the next night, a Monday.
Bender teamed with Billy Packer for CBS college basketball from 1982-84.
Bender called the NBA Finals with Rick Barry and Bill Russell, both NBA Hall of Famers.
Bender interviews legendary basketball coach John Wooden.
Bender joined the Suns for the 1993-94 season in what was expected to be a brief stint. Bender will retire from broadcasting after 18 seasons and over 700 games with the Suns at the conclusion of the 2010-11 season.
Bender teamed with Keith Erickson for his first season with the Suns.
Bender, JoAnn and Cotton Fitzsimmons showed off their throwback threads for "Retro Night" on March 24, 2003.
Bender and Fitzsimmons were a popular team in the broadcast booth.
Suns President Rick Welts and Bender talk before a game in 2008.
Bender most recently has teamed with a pair of former Suns players, here with Eddie Johnson.
Scott Williams has also been a frequent parter for Bender on Suns telecasts on Fox Sports Arizona.
Bender has been married to wife Linda for 47 years and they have two sons, Brett and Trey.
Bender will become a consultant for the Kansas University Alumni Association and also serve as keynote speaker at awards programs. The broadcast icon was inducted into the Kansas Sports Hall of Fame in 2008.