Don Criqui

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Play-by-Play Announcer

At any sporting event, the performers behind the microphone are just as critical to the success of a broadcast as the performers on the field, floor or ice, for they paint a picture for the viewers or listeners and bring the event to life in a way not even the camera can. Announcers must possess in-depth knowledge of not only the particular sport, its strategies and nuances, but also of the participants. For over three decades, Kenmore’s Don Criqui has excelled in a multitude of arenas as one of America’s most versatile play-by-play broadcasters.

A graduate of St. Joseph’s Collegiate Institute, Criqui first whetted his appetite for sports broadcasting at the student radio station at Notre Dame. After a post-graduation stint in the Air Force reserve, Don returned to South Bend as Sports Director at WSBT-TV, calling Big Ten football and basketball, and Notre Dame basketball. Criqui’s work in South Bend earned him the attention of CBS Sports, and his reporting for the network landed Don a job in New York City as assistant to sports director Frank Gifford at WCBS-TV.

Criqui has perhaps been most visible (and audible) as a football play-by-play announcer; a task he began for CBS in 1964. Don was partnered with Gifford, Norm Van Brocklin and Sonny Jurgenson on NFL telecasts, and enjoyed ratings success. In addition to his football duties, the hard-working, versatile Criqui also handled CBS play-by-play coverage of the NBA, college basketball, track and field, horse racing, figure skating, gymanstics and swimming and diving.

In 1979, Don made the move to NBC Sports, where he added golf and auto racing to his impressive resume. Other large stages beckoned at his new network, and Don was called upon to relay Wimbledon tennis, World Cup soccer, radio coverage of two Super Bowls and various events in two Olympic Games.

Don re-joined CBS in 1998 as part of the network’s NFL broadcast team. Criqui’s career-long assignments to pro football have given him a profile among the highest in his profession. In addition, he is widely recognized for long stints on two popular radio sports programs. For over 20 years, Don hosted WOR’s Rambling and Gambling, and for well over 10 years he has “appeared” with Imus in the Morning. He has also been heard nationwide on the Westwood Radio Network’s Don Criqui on Sports.

The Buffalo area has a long tradition of excellence in sports broadcasting. However, Don Criqui is unique in his astonishing versatility, and in the breadth of his audience, making him a well-deserved inductee to the Greater Buffalo Sports Hall of Fame.