Wednesday, January 14, 2009

FOOTBALL: Official Ed Podolak Statement of Retirement, Barta Comment

UI great Podolak retires from radio position

Weekend commutes to the Midwest took its toll on Hawkeye color analyst

Jan. 14, 2009

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Long-time University of Iowa football color analyst Ed Podolak has decided to retire from Hawkeye football broadcasts. Podolak visited with UI athletics director Gary Barta last weekend, indicating his desire to leave the radio booth. Below are statements from Podolak and Barta:

Ed Podolak statement

I have notified Learfield Sports and the Iowa athletic department of my retirement from Iowa football broadcasts. My multi-year contract with Learfield has expired and I will be 62 years old this year, so it seems like a good time for a younger ex-Hawkeye to fill the spot. I have been wrestling with retirement through last fall since I have relocated my real estate business to northern California. The resulting commute to the Midwest each weekend has been challenging. I wish the Hawkeyes the best and will attend as many games as my schedule allows. It has been a pleasure working with so many great Hawkeyes over the last 27 years. I want to especially thank Jim Zabel and Gary Dolphin for helping to make my football Saturdays even more rewarding. I hope to pen some memoirs in the near future. Go Hawks!!!!

Gary Barta statement

Over the weekend Ed Podolak shared with me his desire to retire as our football color analyst, a position he has held for more than 25 years. He indicated he felt the time was right for him to step aside and devote more time to his business and other personal interests.

It's hard to put into words what Ed has meant to Iowa football, both as a player and a radio personality. His knowledge, insight and wit will be sorely missed when Hawkeye football is on the air. He has the unique ability to talk to Iowa fans in a way they clearly understand. He never hid his passion for the Hawkeyes and for that we'll be eternally grateful. It'll be a challenge to fill the shoes of such a great radio personality, but we'll work hard to find a color analyst who exemplifies the on-air qualities we've become accustomed to with Ed. We thank him for his years of service and wish him good luck and health in his retirement from the radio booth. He'll always be a Hawkeye and we cherish the memories he has left us.

Podolak lettered in football at Iowa from 1966-68 and is 18th on the all-time single-season Hawkeye rushing list with 937 yards on 154 carries with eight touchdowns in 1968 (6.1 yards per carry average). He led Iowa in passing in both 1966 (1,041 yards) and '67 (1,014). He played in the East-West Shrine game, the Hula Bowl and the Tribune All-Star game before being drafted by the Kansas City Chiefs of the American Football League. A native of Atlantic, Iowa, Podolak played nine seasons for the Chiefs, rushing for 4,451 yards and 34 touchdowns. He was inducted into the Chief's Hall of Fame in 1989.

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