Kenneth R. Coleman (April 22, 1925 – August 21, 2003) was an American radio and television sportscaster for 38 years (1952–1989).
A native of Quincy, Massachusetts and a graduate of Curry College, Coleman broke into broadcasting with the NFL Cleveland Browns (1952–1965), calling play-by-play of every touchdown that Hall of Fame running back Jim Brown ever scored. He also began his MLB broadcasting career in Cleveland, calling Cleveland Indians games on television for ten seasons (1954–1963). In his first year with the Indians, Coleman called their record-setting 111-win season and their World Series loss to the New York Giants.
In 1965, Coleman got a job with the Boston Red Sox, replacing Curt Gowdy. He broadcast the 1967 World Series (which the Red Sox lost to the St. Louis Cardinals) for NBC television and radio. From 1975 to 1978 Coleman worked with the Cincinnati Reds' television crew.
Coleman broadcast college football for various teams, including Ohio State, Harvard, and BU. He was the play-by-play announcer for the 1968 Harvard-Yale football game, a game that will be forever be remembered for the incredible Harvard comeback from a 16-point deficit to tie Yale at 29-29. He also called NFL games for NBC in the early 1970s, and later in his career called Connecticut and Fairfield basketball games for Connecticut Public Television.
After the legendary radio combination of Ned Martin and Jim Woods were fired for failing to follow the dictates of sponsors following the 1978 season, Coleman returned to Boston in 1979. He broadcast the Red Sox' 1986 World Series loss to the New York Mets and two Red Sox ALCS (1986 and 1988). Coleman remained in the Red Sox radio booth until his retirement in 1989.
Additionally, he wrote books on sportscasting, was one of the founding fathers of the Red Sox Booster Club and the BoSox Club, and was intimately involved with the Jimmy Fund, which raises money for cancer research.
Coleman had the routine of taking a swim in the Atlantic Ocean as often as he could through the late fall and into the earliest days of spring, until his death.
He was the father of the late Cleveland sports and newscaster Casey Coleman, who died in 2006 from pancreatic cancer.
|“||They usually show movies on a flight like that. – Ken Coleman's signature home run call.||”|
|“||Fly ball to deep left...Yastrzemski is going hard...way back...way back...and he dives and makes a tremendous catch! One of the greatest catches I've ever seen by Yastrzemski in left field! – Ken Coleman on WHDH radio, calling Carl Yastrzemski's ninth-inning over-the-shoulder catch of Tom Tresh's deep fly ball to left field at Yankee Stadium, preserving a no-hit bid by rookie Red Sox pitcher Billy Rohr, making his first major league start on April 14, 1967. The no-hitter was broken up two batters later by Elston Howard.||”|
|“||This is truly a love story...an affair 'twixt a town and a team...a town that had waited and waited for what seemed an Impossible Dream. – Coleman, introducing a television special that aired on WHDH-TV/Channel 5 celebrating the 1967 "Impossible Dream" Red Sox.||”|
|“||Deep to right field...Number 44! – Coleman on WHDH-TV/Channel 5, calling Yastrzemski's 44th home run of the 1967 season at Fenway Park, in the next-to-last game of the regular season on September 30. Yaz tied Harmon Killebrew for the American League home run lead that year and won the Triple Crown.||”|
|“||STRIKE THREE! Roger Clemens has broken the Major League record for strikeouts in one game! He has struck out 20....Mariners. – Coleman on WPLM-FM, calling Roger Clemens' record-setting 20th strikeout in one game at Fenway Park on April 29, 1986, against Phil Bradley of the Seattle Mariners.||”|
|“||Here's the pitch...there's a fly ball to left field...Downing is going back...back...back...it's GONE! IT IS GONE!!! Dave Henderson has homered! And the Boston Red Sox have taken the lead! – Coleman on WPLM-FM, calling Dave Henderson's dramatic two-run home run off reliever Donnie Moore of the California Angels in the top half of the ninth inning in Game 5 of the 1986 American League Championship Series at Anaheim Stadium on October 12, 1986. Moore was one strike away from clinching the Angels' first trip to the World Series. The Angels went on to lose to the Red Sox in seven games.||”|
|“||Stanley ready, he throws and the pitch is inside, it gets away from Gedman...And the tying run is home! The tying run scores! And down to second base goes Knight! 55,078 fans go wild, as the Mets, with 2 outs and the bases empty, in the last of the 10th, have tied it up! – Coleman on WPLM-FM, calling the wild pitch by Bob Stanley that scored Kevin Mitchell to tie Game 6 of the 1986 World Series on October 25, 1986.||”|
- 2006 Ford C. Frick Award finalists
- Video of Ken R. Coleman (appearing with Don Gillis) on WHDH-TV 5's 1967 Red Sox special, The Impossible Dream on YouTube
- Ken R. Coleman (1966-74) earns a special place in Red Sox Nation