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La Crosse sports radio legend Mike Kearns passes away

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LA CROSSE, Wis. (WXOW) - One of the best known voices in La Crosse sports radio is silent.

Longtime broadcaster Mike Kearns passed away this week.

He spent his entire career at WKTY Radio doing play-by-play for high school and college football and basketball games. It meant trips around the state and occasionally across the country calling playoffs, state tournaments, and national championships for UW-La Crosse football.

Kearns also hosted "The Lead Balloon Show" weekday mornings on the station, where he shared his sense of humor and love of sports and the community from 1981 until his retirement in 2016.

It was a job he took over from his father, who began the morning show in 1948. Charlie Kearns was also the sports director at the station. Between the two, the father-son duo combined over a 68 year period to call more than 1,200 football and 6,000 basketball games for WKTY.

Kearns, along with his father, was inducted into the Wisconsin Broadcasters Association Hall of Fame in 2009. Below is the induction video from when they were inducted.

He is survived by his wife Dawn, children Patrick and Erin, and three grandchildren.

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