Hawkeye Great Ed Podolak Transitions Out of Radio Booth

IOWA CITY, Iowa — Long-time University of Iowa football color analyst Ed Podolak is transitioning out of the Hawkeye football radio booth as color commentator.

“I have decided that this is a good time for me to step back from my role as color commentator for the Hawkeye football radio broadcasts,” said Podolak. “I believe there is no greater honor than to be part of the Iowa Hawkeye Football team. I have loved watching these young men and coaches compete for the past 42 years. Sharing my perspective for the incredible Hawkeye fans from coast to coast has been a thrill.

“I look forward to my new role this fall, providing analysis during the pregame shows and on podcasts.”

Podolak has been a part of nearly 500 Hawkeye football games as a radio analyst, spanning 42 seasons. Following a lengthy playing career, Podolak moved to the announcing booth, joining WHO radio broadcasts of Iowa football games in 1982 after initially serving as an NFL color commentator for NBC, and college football commentator at ESPN. He worked for WHO radio until joining with Learfield Sports in 1997.

“I have said it often across 27 years that Ed Podolak is the best I’ve ever worked with in the broadcast booth,” said play by play voice Gary Dolphin. “One of the game’s great competitors, Ed’s ability to explain plays was unparalleled. Football mentalities of all ages understood and enjoyed the humor each Saturday. I look forward to Eddie’s continued involvement on game day.”

Podolak played quarterback and running back for the Hawkeyes. He was named first-team All-Big Ten and team MVP in 1968. He ranks in the top 20 in school history in career rushing yards, passing yards and total offense. In 1968, he set a then-school and Big Ten record, rushing for a record 286 yards on 17 attempts against Northwestern. Podolak currently ranks 20th in passing (172-398, 2,316 yards, 8 TDs), 22nd in career rushing (407-1,710-14 TDs) and 14th in total offense (4,026 yards) in Iowa history.

“Ed Podolak has had an incredible impact on Hawkeye fans for 40 years,” said Moon Family University of Iowa Head Football Coach Kirk Ferentz. “He was one of the greatest college football players of his era, leaving his mark all over the Big Ten record books. He followed that with an outstanding professional career in Kansas City. And since his retirement from football, he has been the voice that Iowa fans have counted on for decades. Knowledgeable and passionate – always entertaining the fans across our state and across the country. There will never be another Ed Podolak. I hope Hawkeye fans will join all of us in wishing Ed the very best as he steps away from the broadcast booth.”

Ed Podolak, Gary Dolphin

He was selected in the second round of 1969 NFL Draft by the Kansas City Chiefs and won Super Bowl IV in 1970. Podolak continues to hold the NFL record for all-purpose yards in an NFL playoff game, totaling 350 yards against Miami on Christmas Day, 1971.

A native of Atlantic, Iowa, Podolak is a member of Kansas City Chiefs Hall of Honor, the Iowa Letterwinners Club Hall of Fame, and the University of Iowa Media Hall of Fame.

Hawkeye Sports Properties, in conjunction with the UI Athletics Department, will begin a search for Podolak’s replacement this spring.