One of central Nebraska's longtime sports voices has been silenced, after a battle with cancer.
KRGI news and sports director Brad Fossberg died Saturday. He was 51-years-old. His death comes almost a year after his diagnosis.
Fossberg had worked at KRGI in Grand Island since 1995, after working at smaller market stations including his first job in his hometown of Nebraska City. He was the morning man on the station and called ball games at night involving the city's four high schools. In addition to other community involvement, Fossberg was the track announcer at Mid-Nebraska Speedway.
Brad Fossberg on the air at KRGI-AM, Grand Island in 2011. Courtesy of Facebook.
News of Fossberg's passing started spreading across social media by early Saturday evening, leading to family, friends, colleagues and acquaintances posting condolences and prayers on his personal Facebook page.
With his health declining, Fossberg still managed to do his radio work but in a reduced capacity. Recently, the Nebraska Danger indoor football team (based in Grand Island) inducted Fossberg into their Hall of Fame. He was their play-by-play man for their radio broadcasts.
I knew Brad professionally, but never work for or with him directly. Just through being at the same ball games for work. Always great to talk with him before and after games he would call when Grand Island Senior High would be in Lincoln for a ball game at Seacrest Field or one of the high school gyms. Never once did I ever hear him say a negative thing about work and the hectic schedule. Always positive.
Brad was always accommodating to me. He would help provide starters and name pronunciations for the Islander football and basketball teams. Brad's work beyond the sports mic made a lasting impression in the Grand Island community.
Another longtime sports voice in Grand Island, Brian Gallagher, got the ball rolling in December with the "High Five" campaign, when players and coaches from the Grand Island Northwest and Central City boys basketball teams each put in $5 toward a fund to help Brad and his family handle medical expenses.
I'm deeply saddened by Brad's passing, not having the chance to say goodbye or have one final conversation with him. When Grand Island played Lincoln Southeast in football Sept. 4, Robert Krall (a backup announcer for KRGI) was in town to do the game. I asked about Brad's condition and it seemed that he was hanging in there and was going to fight to the end.
Gallagher, who worked at competing station KSYZ, returned to KRGI to be Fossberg's successor in his absence.
The sports broadcasting community in Nebraska is one, big fraternity. We're all friends or acquaintances through covering the same events and sitting next to each other on press row for state tournament games. That's how I got to know Brad and many other good broadcasters from across the state. Brad was one of the good guys. Truly genuine and enjoyed every minute of calling games.
Unfortunately, I never got the opportunity to meet his wife and family and deeply are thinking of them through this tough time in their lives.
Brad Fossberg's legacy will live on in the hearts and minds of people in Grand Island and those who had the chance to meet and work with him over the years.
I'm very thankful to have known a great broadcaster and, more importantly, a terrific human being.