Today was the end of an era for Purdue basketball. Larry Clisby, the play-by-play announcer for Purdue basketball on the radio since 1977, formally stepped aside from play-by-play duties. he handed those reigns over to Rob Blackmon before tipoff today, but Clisby will stay on as a color commentator for now:
Thank you Cliz.— Purdue Basketball (@BoilerBall) November 16, 2019
Huge part of our family. https://t.co/BxmdOJ6GGa
Ralph Taylor will also be be on the color crew, giving us a three-man crew for Boilermaker basketball going forward.
“The Cliz” has been battling stage-four cancer of his lungs and brain since the summer of 2018 and has had the support of Purdue fans thoughout. Just after his diagnosis a GoFundMe was set up to raise money for his medical expenses. The goal was set at $10,000. Coach Painter Gave the full amount, then the fans raised more than $70,000.
I have been a Purdue fan all my life and the Cliz has always been there. He has been the voice of Boilermaker basketball my entire life and I remember taking classes with his engineer Wes Scoot 20 years ago. Since he goes back to 1977, The Cliz is probably the longest enduring part of the entire program. He was there before Gene Keady, and Keady only has the court named after him in Mackey Arena.
We all know stage 4 cancer is not good news, and to me that is what made last season’s hreatbreaking ending hurt just a little more. If ANYONE associated with Purdue basketball deserved to see Purdue go to a Final Four and maybe win a national title, it was Larry Clisby. Hell, Larry Clisby actually called Purdue’s last Final Four back in 1980! Going out with one would have been perfect.
Rob Blackmon is going to be great. I have met him a few times covering high school events in the Indy area and he is a great guy. Having The Cliz there courtside next to him for as long as he can do it is great as well.
Still, it is an end of an era. The Cliz is an institution and I am glad he will still be around in some role.