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Encyclopedia Dubuque


"Encyclopedia Dubuque is the online authority for all things Dubuque, written by the people who know the city best.”
Marshall Cohen—researcher and producer, CNN

Affiliated with the Local History Network of the State Historical Society of Iowa, and the Iowa Museum Association.


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Photo courtesy: Telegraph Herald

DOLPHIN, Gary. (Cascade, IA-- ). "Voice of the Iowa Hawkeyes." In December 1996, Dolphin, a branch manager at MERCANTILE BANK OF DUBUQUE and veteran Dubuque sports announcer, was chosen from among sixty-three broadcasters to become the one-and-only voice for Iowa Hawkeye football and men's basketball. Hawkeye radio broadcasts had been purchased by Learfield Communications which decided to use a new format--one announcer. (1)

Dolphin began broadcasting in Jacksonville, Illinois in 1970. He moved to Dubuque within a year to work at KDTH. From 1972 to 1978, he was the station's play-by-play voice for Dubuque radio station for Iowa's football and basketball. He moved to KDUB-TV in 1978 and spent eight years as sports director and ten seasons broadcasting Dubuque prep football, baseball, and basketball games. (2) Dolphin had also been the play-by-play voice for Northwestern basketball before the school switched to WGN radio in 1996, network television coordinator for the Chicago Bears in the early 1990s, and annually was involved in broadcasting for the National Catholic Basketball Tournament. (3) As of 2016 he had twice been named Iowa Sportscaster of the Year. (4)

In addition to serving as vice-president for business development at U.S. BANK in Dubuque, Dolphin devoted much of his free time to the support of dozens of local nonprofit organizations including HOSPICE OF DUBUQUE, American Cancer Society, Camp Albrecht Acres, COLTS DRUM AND BUGLE CORPS, Jamie Barwick Hills and Dales Foundation, and the BOYS' AND GIRLS' CLUB OF GREATER DUBUQUE. His broadcasting skills led to numerous master-of ceremony requests which he fulfilled eagerly in addition to offering his business prowess to board meetings to plan fundraisers for nonprofits. His association with the University of Iowa athletic department secured hundreds of autographed items and memorabilia useful in fundraising efforts. (5)

In 2011 Dolphin was diagnosed with prostrate cancer. Using his experience with the treatment procedures and information he gleaned from discussions with many fine doctors, Dolphin used his status as a public figure to address concerns felt by others. He continues to receive and answer calls and emails. (6)

His efforts benefiting the community were well recognized. In 2012 the Greater Tri-State Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals named Dolphin its 2012 Outstanding Volunteer Fundraiser. In 2016 Gary Dolphin's dedication to others led to him being the recipient of the FIRST CITIZEN AWARD. (7)

Dolphin's retirement was announced in July 2019. (8)

Listen to Dolphin call Iowa's upset of Michigan on November 12, 2016. Courtesy: http://www.thegazette.com/subject/sports/college/football/back-to-the-future-listen-to-gary-dolphin-call-iowas-upset-of-michigan-20161112





1. Morehouse, Marc. " 'Distance' Doesn't Demoralize Dolphin," Telegraph Herald, January 20, 1997, p. 1B. Online: https://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=aEyKTaVlRPYC&dat=19970120&printsec=frontpage&hl=en

2. Leitner, Jim. "Bears Play-by-Play Job Can't Lure Dolphin Away From Hawks," Telegraph Herald, Feb. 4, 2001, p. 35

3. Ibid.

4. Leitner, Jim. "A Voice for Those in Need," Telegraph Herald, January 1, 2017, p. 1

5. Ibid.

6. Ibid., p. 5A

7. Ibid.

Gary Dolphin. YouTube user: YI7lB60N40o