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Longtime college football and basketball announcer Ron Franklin has died at the age of 79.
Franklin attended college at Ole Miss before media stops in New Mexico, Tulsa, and Houston. He was the voice of the Houston Oilers for over a decade before calling Texas Longhorns games for much of the eighties.
I and most college football fans Franklin for his time at ESPN as he’d call the majority of primetime games on the network. If you’re making a Mt. Rushmore of college football voices from my youth Franklin would almost certainly be on it as he was the voice of Saturday nights for so long and for so many.
His career was prolific but wasn’t without controversy. Notre Dame fans may recall Franklin and Bob Davie being on the call of the 2005 contest at Purdue when Franklin made an inappropriate remark to sideline reporter Holly Rowe.
Colleagues and college football fans took to Twitter to remember Franklin upon the news of his death, see some old highlights and remembrances below:
Just heard the sad news that my former @espn colleague, Ron Franklin, has passed away. An amazing broadcasting talent & a good man. Was a part of so many great @Big12Conference broadcasts with him. RIP, partner. pic.twitter.com/e2KhP59y8Q
— Fran Fraschilla (@franfraschilla) January 19, 2022
RIP Ron Franklin. So many Saturday nights meant one conference and one network – the SEC & ESPN.
His big game voice added so much to the moments that took SEC football to the next level. pic.twitter.com/h1Vc7faOA8
— Roger Hoover (@Roger_Hoover) January 19, 2022
RIP Ron Franklin. He and Mike Gottfried calling the SEC night games together was close to college football perfection.
— Clay Travis (@ClayTravis) January 19, 2022
When I was growing up, there were three ways I knew I was watching an important game: If Keith Jackson, Brent Musburger or Ron Franklin called it. https://t.co/BD3obJ9jwE
— Ryan Brown (@RyanBrownLive) January 19, 2022
Just got the sad news that my friend Ron Franklin has passed away.
If you’re a sports fan, you knew Ron Franklin and his amazing voice. Incredibly talented and knowledgeable and very nice and gracious. RIP.
— Mike Barnes (@MikeBarnesMedia) January 19, 2022
We lost one of the best play by play men ever, Ron Franklin, today. Ron was a sportscaster at #KHOU11 before moving across town to KPRC. We worked together on the old Southwest Conference Radio Network & he went on to spend many years at ESPN. Ron was a great friend. He was 79. pic.twitter.com/zlgzyOK7h0
— Matt Musil (@KHOUSportsMatt) January 19, 2022
Ron Franklin was the soundtrack to my Saturday nights. His voice and memory will live on. https://t.co/duTN9B4bF6
— Wes Boling (@WesBolingTN) January 19, 2022
Just heard the news of the passing of the human larynx Ron Franklin. I prefer remembering him for the incredible voice & talent he possessed. A perfectionist he needed & demanded a level of concentration of himself and those around him. An outdoorsman like Curt Gowdy RIP🙏 🎙📺
— Tim Brando (@TimBrando) January 19, 2022
When you grow up a sports fan, certain things become tribal to you, sacred. Growing up in the South, SEC football on ESPN on Saturday night with Ron Franklin and Mike Gottfried was one of those. Our legends were made to the sound of their voices. Prayers to his family.
— Zach Osterman (@ZachOsterman) January 19, 2022
Just hearing the news that Ron Franklin has passed. We spent many years side by side every Saturday and Monday night for @espn. I always had chills when that voice opened our shows knowing it was time to go. “Kutter, Kenny, Jon, let’s have a good one”. RIP dear friend. pic.twitter.com/Lx0xdNbZxu
— jon sundvold (@JonSundvold) January 19, 2022
RIP, Ron Franklin. Growing up watching college football in the 90’s, he was the voice of so many Saturday nights on ESPN. He’ll be missed.
— Justin Hokanson (@_JHokanson) January 19, 2022
Man. Doug Bell throwing it from the Phillips 66 studio on a Saturday afternoon to Ron Franklin and Jon Sunvold courtside at a Big 12 arena was my shit growing up. RIP Ron.
— Eddie Radosevich (@Eddie_Rado) January 19, 2022
Rest In Peace, Ron Franklin
Truly a great voice for College Football pic.twitter.com/yObhhQhhMJ
— Justin Prestegard (@justin4asu) January 19, 2022
I shared this awhile back when I was reminiscing on the era of college football that got me hooked. Ron Franklin’s voice was a big part of my childhood.
Saddened to hear of his passing this evening. https://t.co/onsHPiI9Jn
— 𝙽𝚘𝚊𝚑 𝚃𝚊𝚢𝚕𝚘𝚛 (@ByNoahTaylor) January 19, 2022
Rest In Peace Ron Franklin (1942 ~ 2022). Franklin shown here with his longtime ESPN College Football partner Mike Gottfried. Prior to ESPN, Franklin was the play-by-play voice for the Houston Oilers and the University of Texas. #RIPRonFranklin
📷 Joe Songer pic.twitter.com/Repr4DE0Xc
— Announcer Schedules (@announcerskeds) January 19, 2022