LOS ANGELES — Chris Roberts, who worked as UCLA‘s football and basketball play-by-play radio announcer for 23 years, has died. He was 74.
He died at his Glendora home east of Los Angeles on Friday from complications of Parkinson’s disease, the school said Saturday.
When he retired in 2015, Roberts equaled Fred Hessler’s record for longest tenured play-by-play broadcaster in school history.
Roberts was hired by UCLA in 1992. He called football games for 23 seasons, including 16 bowl games that included the Bruins’ Rose Bowl appearances in 1994 and ’99.
He also broadcast basketball, including 19 appearances by the Bruins in the NCAA tournament. He was on the call when UCLA won its record 11th national championship in 1995.
Roberts was a four-time Golden Mike Award winner and was inducted into the Southern California Sports Broadcasters Association’s hall of fame. He authored two books about the Bruins.
Born Bob LaPeer in Alhambra, California, he was a three-sport athlete at Baldwin Park High in football, basketball and baseball. He played baseball at Cal Poly Pomona.
Roberts began his broadcasting career at KCIN in Victorville. He worked at stations in Indio and Pomona. He was working at KFXM in San Bernardino in 1970 when the station’s program director asked him to change his name because someone else named Bob worked there.
Roberts later moved to Los Angeles and worked at KUTE-FM, KFI and sister station KOST, and KMPC. He served as the play-by-play voice at Long Beach State for 10 years before going to UCLA.