CEDAR FALLS, Iowa – After 29 years of calling UNI football, men's basketball, and baseball, Gary Rima announces his retirement as the voice of the Panthers following the 2021-22 men's basketball season.
Rima has been on the radio call for the biggest moments in UNI history the past 29 years, calling championship games and NCAA tournament victories. Fans heard his catchphrases like 'Oh baby, I love this team' and 'Kaboom' showing his excitement and dedication to UNI Athletics with every call.
"As the voice of the Panthers for nearly 30 years, Gary is synonymous with some of the greatest highlights in UNI Panther history," said Director of Athletics David Harris. "His excitement and energy for our coaches and student-athletes is clear and game days won't be the same without him on the air. We wish him and Marla Kay nothing but the best in their next adventure. Gary's been an Ever Loyal Panther and leaves big shoes to fill in the booth."
Rima plans to call the remaining UNI football games and complete the 2021-22 men's basketball season before stepping aside and enjoying retirement with his family and friends.
Statement from Gary Rima
"After having some time this past week, during the UNI football bye week, I have had time to reflect on my broadcasting career, especially these past 29 years as the voice of the UNI Panthers for football, men's basketball along with the final years of UNI baseball. I have decided that this will be my last year broadcasting UNI sports and will retire when the UNI men's basketball season ends this year.
I have had the opportunity to broadcast some of the biggest games in UNI sports history. The 2005 UNI football national championship game vs Appalachian State, the 2010 UNI men's basketball win over Kansas, and UNI baseball's only appearance in the NCAA Division I tournament. UNI athletics has also taken me to arenas, stadiums, cities, states, and countries I never thought I'd see and I am grateful for all of that.
A huge THANK YOU to all the UNI coaches who welcomed me in and treated me like part of the team, to the players who were always gracious and respectful towards me, to all the Athletic Directors who appreciated me and my work, to all the Panther Sports Properties General Managers who let me do my job especially Brian Gabel who worked with me to do the games this one last season. Thanks to my great color commentators Scott Peterson in football and Virg Erickson and Kevin Boyle in basketball and I also want to thank my football spotters that helped with the broadcast over the years Dana Cooke, Dr. Weires, and Tim Kangas. Also thanks to all the businesses who over the years sponsored the radio broadcasts of UNI sports on the Panther Sports Radio Network!
And a huge THANK YOU to all the Panther fans who sometime during my 29-year career caught a game or two on the radio to follow how the Panthers were doing. I loved doing my job because of you Panther Nation! For me, the game and the broadcast were always about the players and the team and describing their accomplishments and feats to all the fans who wish they could have been there to see it in person but couldn't. I always felt my job was to try to 'put you there! I am going to miss all of you and all of that UNI Panther excitement but after doing radio sports play-by-play for the past 47 years, the past 29 for UNI, it is time to retire and go into this new chapter of my life. I want to spend more time with my wife Marla Kay, more time with my kids, and also our 10 grandkids who want more grandpa time and I want that too. Let's enjoy this last year together win or lose. It has been an incredible ride and I have enjoyed every minute of it!
One thing will never change for me and that is...OH, BABY, I LOVE THIS TEAM! KABOOM!"
Thank you University of Northern Iowa and Panther Nation!