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Longtime Drake sportscaster Larry Cotlar dies in Iowa flash floods

Drake basketball sportscaster Larry Cotlar was identified as a victim of Des Moines flash flooding Saturday night. (Drake University Athletics)

Longtime voice of Drake University men’s basketball Larry Cotlar died Saturday during flash floods in Des Moines, Iowa, according to police reports.

Cotlar, 66, was reportedly swept away from a flooded stalled van whose other occupants escaped. Rescue personnel searched the surrounding area for hours before finding Cotlar’s body a few blocks away from the van.

Polk County, which includes Des Moines, was subject to six to eight inches of rain in a 12-hour period Saturday night.

Cotlar had been the voice of Drake University athletics since 2005, and in 2007 was named Iowa Sportcaster of the Year. He began working professionally in sports radio in 1974.

“We all had the utmost respect — not just for Larry’s talent, but for the kind of quality person and colleague he was. Larry was loyal, passionate and tireless,” Drake University athletic director Brian Hardin told ESPN.

Cotlar’s show, “Cotlar and Company” show aired on KXNO-AM 1460 from 2001 to 2009, and he also made appearances on 1700 and 1350 AM.

His listeners, colleagues, and friends took to Twitter to show their grief, and voice support for Cotlar’s wife and son.

Cotlar took pride in his wide range of high-profile interview subjects, which included Hank Aaron, Joe Montana, and Wayne Gretzky, among many others. His book The Biggest Rolodex in Sports came out in 2015.

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