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Gary Barnett will replace Larry Zimmer in 2016

The former coach will return to CU as a color analyst for the flagship KOA broadcast.

Brian Bahr/Getty Images

The speculation is over. After announcing he would be stepping away from the broadcast booth after 42 years behind the mic, Larry Zimmer will be replaced by Gary Barnett as the color analyst on KOA's radio broadcast. The former Colorado Buffaloes head coach will call games next season on a limited basis and full-time in 2016. Barnett returns to Boulder after being forced to resign from the program in 2005, following sexual abuse and recruiting scandals. He posted a 49-38 record during his seven-year tenure with the Buffs and received numerous 'Coach of the Year' honors throughout his career. The announcement of Barnett's hiring was made by the university at today's Kickoff Luncheon.

"Finding someone to follow a legend like Larry Zimmer is no easy task," CU athletic director Rick George said. "You need the right fit. Gary not only has familiarity with our program that dates back over three decades, he’s one of finest game analysts in the business today.  I believe our fans will be pleased with the addition of Coach Barnett to our broadcasts and we welcome him home."

Barnett has been a media contributor for the Pac-12 Network, Sirius XM and Fox Sports since leaving Colorado. He will join play-by-play analyst Mark Johnson for their first game on Oct. 31, on the road against UCLA. Welcome home, Coach.