It began as a favor to a friend, and was supposed to last for just one game, then one season. But the radio career of John Kadlec spanned 16 seasons in all in the Tiger Radio Network booth, until today, as the man known affectionately as “Mr. Mizzou” has decided to hang up the headsets and microphone.

Kadlec, who has been associated with Mizzou Athletics for the majority of the last 60-plus years, will no longer call Tiger Football games alongside The Voice of the Tigers Mike Kelly, but he’ll still remain a vital member of Mizzou Athletics in his other role as Special Assistant to the Athletic Director.

Listen to the Pressbox Podcast with John Kadlec

His career as a broadcaster was never supposed to be. Just two days prior to the 1995 football season opener against North Texas, the color commentator spot for MU broadcasts came open unexpectedly. Kadlec was asked by then-MU Athletic Director Joe Castiglione to fill the spot for the first game as a favor.

“Joe asked me if I’d do it, and I didn’t really want to,” Kadlec remembered. “So I told him I’d think about it, figuring he’d maybe move on to somebody else. But sure enough, an hour later he came back to ask me what I thought. I could tell he wasn’t going to take no for an answer, so I said I’d do it for one game to help out a friend,” Kadlec said.