Beloved broadcaster killed in flash flooding in Iowa

He was a longtime host and announcer in Des Moines.
Publish date:

A popular sports radio broadcaster died Sunday in flash flooding in Des Moines, Iowa. 

According to the Des Moines Police Department, Cotlar's van stalled in floodwaters just before 9 p.m. Saturday and he was swept away by the flash flooding. Search and rescue teams found his body several blocks away about four hours after the 911 call was made. 

Cotlar, 66, was the voice of Drake University men's basketball and the host of Cotlar and Company on 1350 ESPN Radio in Des Moines. His radio station released a heartfelt statement after learning of Cotlar's death. 

"All of us at 1350 ESPN and the Des Moines Radio Group are devastated by the loss of our voice, our colleague, and our friend, Larry Cotlar. Larry was killed last night during the flooding throughout the city of Des Moines.

"Larry was the voice of sports in Central Iowa. A long-time broadcaster, he was the play-by-play announcer for Drake Men's Basketball and also worked with the Iowa Barnstormers. Larry hosted his own weekly show on 1350 ESPN, featuring sports figures from Iowa and across the country.

"Today, our thoughts are with his wife, Deb and their son, Zach. There is absolutely no replacing Larry. He will be thought of fondly and missed greatly by his family, friends, and his extended families in the sports and broadcasting communities."

Today's Top Stories

Mother Nature could bring 4th of July fireworks to Minnesota

After meeting in a bar, 2 men fight, 1 dies in Dinkytown

Lightning hits teenager lying in bed in Brainerd

Des Moines and surrounding areas of central and northern Iowa were hammered by big storms and heavy rain over the weekend, with 6-8 inches of rain falling within a 12-hour period in Polk County, which includes Des Moines. 

Des Moines police spent much of the night Saturday and all day Sunday rescuing and evacuating residents from dangerous floodwaters. 

Cotlar published a book in 2016, "The Biggest Rolodex in Sports."

Next Up