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Former “Voice of K-State Women’s Basketball” O’Donnell Passes Away






MANHATTAN, Kansas ( – The first “Voice of K-State Women’s Basketball” Ed O’Donnell, who held the position beginning in 1985 and remained in the role for 17 years, passed away peacefully on April 24, 2024, at his home after surviving stomach cancer and then battling multiple myeloma, a blood cancer.

A memorial service for O’Donnell will be held on Thursday, August 15 at 3 p.m., at Saint Michael and All Angels Episcopal Church, 6630 Nall Ave., in Mission, Kansas.

In 1980-81, O’Donnell and Steve Physioc made history as they broadcast K-State’s two women’s basketball games against Kansas. In O’Donnell’s recollection in a 2002 Topeka Capital-Journal article, those two games were the “first Big Eight women’s basketball games ever broadcast.” O’Donnell and Physioc would continue to broadcast the two annual K-State/Kansas games for the next three seasons.

In 1985, O’Donnell would secure his position as “Voice of K-State Women’s Basketball” and conclude his tenure in the role at the end of the 2001-02 season, signing off following K-State’s matchup against Old Dominion in the Sweet 16 in Milwaukee. In total, O’Donnell broadcast three NCAA Tournament appearances for the program and a Big Eight regular season title in 1986-87.

In addition to his position as “Voice of K-State Women’s Basketball,” O’Donnell served in the radio and television industry for 45 years. He spent the majority of his career at WIBW Radio in Topeka, serving the station as Chief Engineer and Operations Manager until his retirement in 2005.

Prior to his time at WIBW, O’Donnell was the voice of Pittsburg State athletics from 1965-70 and annually broadcast the Kansas State High School Basketball tournaments, both boys and girls events.

O’Donnell served two terms on the Board of Directors of the Kansas Association of Broadcasters and in 1986 was awarded the KAB, Hod Humiston Award for his contributions to sports broadcasting. In 2004, Ed was awarded the Distinguished Service Award and was inducted into the Kansas Broadcasters Hall of Fame.

O’Donnell was born May 10, 1939, in Kansas City, Kansas. He grew up in Kansas City, Kansas and graduated from Wyandotte High School. O’Donnell attended Central Technical Institute in Kansas City where he received his technical broadcasting training followed by two years at Baker University where he helped set up their first broadcasting studio.

In 1960, O’Donnell married Joann Herod, the mother of his three children; Daniel O’Donnell, Christine (Brian) Schwermann and Shawn O’Donnell. Ed’s third wife, Jean O’Donnell, passed away on January 8, 2019. Besides his children, Ed is survived by two grandchildren and three stepdaughters and their families.