Athletics News
Former Redbird Radio Voice, Kimball, Passes Away
Art Kimball
Art Kimball

Oct. 11, 2010

NORMAL, Ill. - Legendary broadcaster and former radio voice of Illinois State Athletics Art Kimball passed away Sunday afternoon, following a lengthy illness. He was 78, and is survived by his wife, Mary Lou.

Kimball served as the radio voice for Redbird football and men's basketball, as the sports director at WJBC, from 1974-81. Kimball worked alongside ISU head coaches Will Robinson, Gene Smithson and Bob Donewald, as well as Gerry Hart, Charlie Cowdrey and Bob Otolski.

He later did local television broadcasts of ISU events, including Redbird baseball with the late Duffy Bass as his analyst in the late 1990s.

During Illinois stops in Bloomington-Normal, Peru, Ottawa, Peoria and Mendota, and then in Indiana, Kimball did play-by-play for more than half a century - calling more than 3,500 games and touching countless lives. At different points in his career, he owned several radio stations and anchored television sportscasts, including the state basketball championship.

He might be best known statewide for creating and hosting the Illinois High School Association (IHSA) Sports Report, which at its height aired on hundreds of radio stations in Illinois. He was a member of the Illinois Basketball Coaches Association Hall of Fame and in 2008, he was the winner of the first Illinois Broadcasters' Association Pioneer Award.

A memorial service will be at 11 a.m. Saturday at First Presbyterian Church, Normal. Inurnment will be private prior to the service at East Lawn Memorial Gardens, where military honors will be accorded. The Rev. Larry Gaylord will officiate. Visitation will be from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. Friday at the church.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to First Presbyterian Church, Normal. Kibler-Smith Memorial Home, Bloomington, is in charge of arrangements. Your online source for Illinois State Athletics, tickets, Weisbecker Scholarship Fund gifts, multimedia, Redbird merchandise, photos and more.