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Colorado sports legend Irv Brown dead at 83

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Former CU baseball coach leaves behind a legacy and many stories throughout the years

Denver Post via Getty Images

The Colorado sports community has lost an icon with the news of Irv Brown passing away on Sunday. He was 83.

Brown, a longtime sports talk figure in Denver spent 44 years on the air before his retirement in April 2016. He started his career on KHOW 630 AM alongside his animated broadcast partner Joe Williams in 1974. The duo covered Colorado sports together as the well-known “Irv and Joe Show” most recently on Mile High Sports Radio. In addition to his work in radio, Brown would go on to do color commentary for NBA and college football games on several television networks including ESPN’s first college telecast, Chuck Fairbanks’ football debut with Colorado at Oregon in 1977. A pioneer in sports broadcasting well before his time.

Brown called Colorado his home throughout his entire life. A native of Denver, Brown graduated from the University of Northern Colorado in 1957 with a degree in education. He coached baseball, football and basketball at Arvada High School, earning ten conference titles and one state championship in football prior to 1966. Brown was also an assistant baseball coach at the University of Colorado and Metro State at the time.

What most people remember about Brown was his time as an NCAA referee. He continued with his basketball officiating and at one time was working as many as nine major conferences, which drew attention to his overall ability. His “Final Four” credentials ran from 1969 to 1977 and included four of John Wooden’s championships at UCLA.

Brown was inducted into the Colorado Sport Hall of Fame in 1997.