Cal finds Joe Starkey’s replacement, hires Justin Allegri from San Jose State

Cal decided to look locally for a replacement for legendary play-by-play announcer Joe Starkey.

On Thursday, the Bears’ athletic director, Jim Knowlton, and Learfield officially announced the hiring of Justin Allegri from San Jose State to replace Starkey.

“We are absolutely thrilled to introduce Justin Allegri to our fan base and welcome him to our Cal Family,” said Knowlton in a statement. “Justin is a multi-talented broadcaster from Northern California who is the ideal fit to tell the story of our football and men’s basketball programs.” Justin will be an excellent Cal representative, and I can’t wait to hear him recount all of the memorable events to come.”

Allegri has called football and men’s basketball games for his alma mater, San Jose State, for the past 11 years. He has also filled in for Joe Ritzo on occasion for the San Jose Giants and provides commentary for Sony’s “MLB The Show” video game.

“This is a role that is highly coveted, not only because of the university and its academic integrity, but also because of its athletics,” Allegri said in a statement. “For a long, long time, Joe Starkey held this job to such a high standard.” I’ll never use phrases like ‘filling his shoes’ or ‘taking his job.’ I’m going to keep saying, ‘hoping to carry the baton.’ Joe is and always will be Cal football.”

Starkey had been the voice of Cal’s football broadcasts for 48 years and announced his retirement before the season began in 2022. He also worked as a radio play-by-play announcer for the San Francisco 49ers for 20 years, calling two Super Bowl victories. Cal games will continue to be broadcast on KGO 810 AM, even after the station’s transition from its previous news format to its current format as “The Spread,” which broadcasts national shows with a focus on sports betting.

San Jose State is expected to name a replacement for Allegri in the coming days, ahead of their season opener against USC on Aug. 26.

“We wish Justin well in his new endeavor and appreciate his excellent work for over a decade here at San José State University,” said San Jose State deputy athletic director Scott MacDonald in a statement. “He has contributed to the development of a first-rate broadcast operation here for SJSU Athletics, and we hope to continue that great work in the future.”

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