Starkey Voted Winner of 2022 Woody Durham "Voice of College Sports" Award

Joe Starkey (Photo Credit: Kelley Cox)
Joe Starkey (Photo Credit: Kelley Cox)

Winston-Salem, N.C. (February 7, 2022) – Joe Starkey, the radio play-by-play announcer for University of California football since 1975, has been voted by the National Sports Media Association as the winner of the 2022 Woody Durham Voice of College Sports Award. Sponsored by Learfield and the University of North Carolina athletics department, the award will be presented during the 62nd NSMA awards banquet in Winston-Salem, N.C., on June 27, 2022.

A select group of NSMA member play-by-play announcers, including past winners, as well as representatives of the two sponsoring organizations vote on the award.

Starkey said, “Many thanks to all who are responsible for granting me this huge honor. College sports in America is filled with talented and dedicated broadcasters whose primary goal is to provide the most complete and entertaining description they can possibly deliver in the craziness that can often be part of football, basketball, or other collegiate rivalries. It’s a great honor to be included in such distinguished company.”

Starkey grew up in Chicago and earned both a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in business from Loyola University Chicago.

In addition to his duties as the Golden Bear’s football voice, Starkey has served as the play-by-play announcer for three NFL teams (Minnesota Vikings, Denver Broncos, San Francisco 49ers), three NHL teams (California/Oakland Golden Seals, Pittsburgh Penguins, Colorado Rockies), and the NBA’s Golden State Warriors. He also called Cal basketball games before deciding to focus solely on football and was the sports director at San Francisco’s KGO Radio.

Starkey was inducted into the Bay Area Radio Hall of Fame in 2009, and the University of California Athletic Hall of Fame in 2016. He was the recipient of the National Football Foundation’s Chris Schenkel Award in 2010. The Schenkel Award is presented to those who have had a long and distinguished career broadcasting college football.

Joe and his wife Diane live in the Bay Area. They have three sons and six grandchildren.


Previous Winners of the Award

2018 – Don Fischer, Indiana

2019 – Bill Hillgrove, Pittsburgh

2020 – Johnny Holliday, Maryland

2021 – Gene Deckerhoff, Florida State

About the Woody Durham Voice of College Sports Award

Created in 2018, the Woody Durham Voice of College Sports Award recognizes professional college broadcasters who fit the following criteria: preparation; association with his/her school; tenure at their school; efforts in the community; mentorship of young broadcasters; character. The award is sponsored by Learfield and the University of North Carolina athletics department.

About the National Sports Media Association

The National Sports Media Association, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, which seeks to develop educational opportunities for those who are interested in pursuing a career in sports media, through networking, interning, mentoring, and scholarship programs.

The NSMA also honors, preserves, and celebrates the diverse legacy of sports media in the United States.

Founded in 1959 as the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association in Salisbury, N.C., the NSSA added its Hall of Fame in 1962, with Grantland Rice as its first member. The organization rebranded to the National Sports Media Association in 2016 and moved to Winston-Salem, N.C. one year later.

For more information, contact Dave Goren at

For more information on NSMA, go to

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