For over 60 years, Jim Leahey has been the voice for University of Hawaii sports. But now, Leahey is passing the torch to the next generation of sports broadcasters as he made his retirement official earlier today.
In a career that that saw him appear on both television and radio, Leahey appeared on KGMB, KIKI, KHNL, KITV, KHET and cable over the past few decades.
“I think what Jim means to athletics, the University of Hawaii especially, is a one of a kind legacy,” said television executive Rick Blangiardi, a former broadcast partner with Leahey. “Having been working with him from the beginning with his respect to being the voice for all sports that we could possibly use him for.”
Leahey, who has commentated over 1,000 games in his broadcasting career, has witnessed some of UH’s greatest athletic achievements across all sports.
Leahey’s voice and commentary has become synonymous with Hawaii athletics, and his impact on radio and television broadcasting goes far beyond the world of sports.
“He is the storyteller,” said University of Hawaii athletic director David Matlin. “He has engaged the community around the University of Hawaii athletics, which is the entire state’s team … we do play for the whole state and Jim has been the one who has crafted the story and engaged the community to really make a difference and inspire so many people in Hawaii.”
Many members of the local media expressed their gratitude for Leahey’s work over the years on social media:
Proud of my pops. A legend, a mentor, and one hell of a great dad. https://t.co/SVhrnfN3qE— Kanoa Leahey (@KanoaLeahey) June 5, 2018
I remember back in 2014 working at @KaLeoOHawaii, Jim caught me walking up the steps at Les Murakami Stadium to the press box and said, "You're here again? On a school night? You're gonna do alright here."— David McCracken (@CrackeMc) June 5, 2018
Not a bad first impression. Happy retirement, Jim. @HawaiiAthletics https://t.co/XX7WPEW4EG
One of my favorite phrases of his to hear over the years was, "Hawai?i wins! Hawai?i wins!"— Tiff (@tiffersHI) June 5, 2018
An icon in the profession, thank you so much Pops for everything you've done for me over the years #legend https://t.co/hDGwbz8DTz
Sincerely hoping his decision to hang up the microphone won’t mean the end of my opportunities to learn from the best to ever call games in Manoa. Enjoy retirement, Uncle Jim! pic.twitter.com/uRjn68XJFe— Ian Scheuring (@IanScheuring) June 5, 2018
Leahey was inducted into the University of Hawaii's Sports Circle of Honor in 2016.
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