Longtime voice of Drake University men’s basketball Larry Cotlar died Saturday during flash floods in Des Moines, Iowa, according to police reports.
Cotlar, 66, was reportedly swept away from a flooded stalled van whose other occupants escaped. Rescue personnel searched the surrounding area for hours before finding Cotlar’s body a few blocks away from the van.
Polk County, which includes Des Moines, was subject to six to eight inches of rain in a 12-hour period Saturday night.
Cotlar had been the voice of Drake University athletics since 2005, and in 2007 was named Iowa Sportcaster of the Year. He began working professionally in sports radio in 1974.
“We all had the utmost respect — not just for Larry’s talent, but for the kind of quality person and colleague he was. Larry was loyal, passionate and tireless,” Drake University athletic director Brian Hardin told ESPN.
Cotlar’s show, “Cotlar and Company” show aired on KXNO-AM 1460 from 2001 to 2009, and he also made appearances on 1700 and 1350 AM.
His listeners, colleagues, and friends took to Twitter to show their grief, and voice support for Cotlar’s wife and son.
Crushed to learn the man who was swept away and drowned is Larry Cotlar.
Larry was Voice of the Drake Bulldogs and hosted show on @1350KRNT.
Larry was kind to everyone and loved his family, Drake, and broadcasting, among other things.
So sad. RIP Cotman.
Info via DMPD. pic.twitter.com/yIfvkNM2zh
— Keith Murphy (@MurphyKeith) July 1, 2018
Larry Cotlar sent me this email Friday morning. I’m sharing it because it exemplifies who he was: a loyal, passionate supporter of @DUBulldogs who wanted to help us any way he could. I’m sad we won’t be able to have the conversation referenced in the letter below. Larry did… pic.twitter.com/RIxktiCIto
— Brian Hardin (@DrakeADHardin) July 1, 2018
I am deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Larry Cotlar. He was a unique, thoughtful, and caring man, who never had a bad thing to say about anyone. He never met a stranger, and loved and cared for all people. My thoughts and prayers go out to his family.
— Graham Woodward (@gwoodward_3) July 1, 2018
A statement on our friend, Larry Cotlar. pic.twitter.com/lMsSqe6LwY
— 1350 ESPN (@ESPNDSM) July 1, 2018
— Rick Brown (@ByRickBrown) July 1, 2018
Cotlar took pride in his wide range of high-profile interview subjects, which included Hank Aaron, Joe Montana, and Wayne Gretzky, among many others. His book The Biggest Rolodex in Sports came out in 2015.
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