Mac McCausland, longtime TV broadcaster for Iowa basketball, dies at age 75

Chad Leistikow
Hawk Central

If you grew up watching Iowa basketball in the 1980s glory days, chances are your life was intertwined with Mac McCausland. You heard his voice, usually alongside Larry Morgan, for Hawkeye television broadcasts across the state.

When Roy, Eddie and B.J. were rising to No. 1 in the nation in 1987, Mac McCausland was on the call as the color analyst. McCausland’s name and voice were synonymous with Iowa basketball during a golden era, as he broadcast games regularly in the 1980s and 1990s. His analysis was relentlessly positive and upbeat. And when the game was in control in the Hawkeyes’ favor, McCausland would break out his famous line that it was “chips and salsa time.”

In other words, time to celebrate.

Now, we celebrate McCausland’s impact and life. Mac McCausland passed away Saturday night of natural causes at his Las Vegas home, the University of Iowa confirmed in a Monday e-mail. McCausland was 75.

Mac McCausland, shown in this 1997 photo before an Iowa-Ohio State game, was a well-known voice for Hawkeye basketball in the 1980s and 90s. He passed away on Saturday in Las Vegas at the age of 75.

McCausland was a member of Ralph Miller’s teams at Iowa in the 1960s. His son, Kent McCausland, became a four-year letterman at Iowa under Tom Davis (1996-99). That was a dream come true for Mac McCausland, who continued to handle broadcasts while his son played for the Hawkeyes. Kent McCausland would make 214 3-pointers in his career and was the national leader in 3-point percentage as a sophomore, at 52.2%.

Even recently, Mac and Kent were appearing on local TV spots with broadcaster Rob Brooks.

“The Iowa basketball family is saddened to hear of the passing of Mac McCausland,” Iowa men’s basketball coach Fran McCaffery said in a statement. “He and I grew extremely close over the past 12 years. Not only was he a fixture at our games for many decades, but Mac was at our practices and traveled with the team on some road trips. He had a deep passion for Hawkeye basketball and his family. Our deepest condolences are with the McCausland family.”

Mac McCausland was also a past president of the National I-Club.

The UI said funeral services are pending with Locke Funeral Home in Waterloo.