Longtime L.A.-based sportscaster and UCLA grad Rod Van Hook passed away after a long illness, according to LARadio.com. He was 61 and had been suffering from pancreatic cancer.

Van Hook worked as a sports anchor at KFWB-AM more than two decades — 1979 to 2000 — as well as KMPC-AM (1972-78) and KSPN-AM (2000-06), winning three Golden Mike awards. He most recently worked at Sports USA Radio doing the scoreboard show during college and NFL games broadcast over the network.

He graduated from UCLA with a B.S. in English and U.S. history. He was also a Santa Monica High alum.

Said former colleague Bill Seward: “Rod was a charming human being and a first-rate sports anchor. He was a trusted source of radio sports news for countless Angelenos over the past several decades.”

Larry Kahn, who hired Van Hook to do the scoreboard show at his Sports USA radio company for two seasons — he could not do it this year because of his health — said he was “the best scoreboard update guy ever on radio. And also one of the nicest people in an industry filled with huge egos. He knew his stuff, did his work professionally and never complained.”

Brian Golden, who worked with Van Hook at Sports USA Radio, once described him as ” the kind of smooth pro who thinks the purpose of the scoreboard show is to inform you, rather than impress you with his standup comedy skills or otherwise promoting himself over the games themselves.”

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