Before he was the "Voice of the Chiefs," Mitch Holthus, whose radio calls have become synonymous with any touchdown the Chiefs score, was a longtime member of the Kansas State athletic family.
Holthus, the former "Voice of the Wildcats," began working at K-State in 1983 and worked there all the way up until 1996. He was a six-time Kansas Sportscaster of the Year (1987, 1989, 1991, 1992, 1993 and 1994) while at K-State and was instrumental in developing the Junior Wildcat Club, the original coaches radio shows and other numerous sales and marketing initiatives that helped develop the athletic department into what it is today.
His efforts in helping build the K-State football program through the tough times, both in front of the camera and microphone, but also behind it, led him to this honor.
"I was overwhelmed," Holthus said, describing the moment he found out. "I was actually driving from Waco, Texas, where I had spoken at a convention, to Port Arthur, where I was going to be part of Jamaal Charles' celebration. I pulled over to the side of the road and I remember the cars and trucks just whizzing by me. I just sat there, got emotional, and my mind drifted back to those times.
"Then I just had this feeling of humility and being blessed and overwhelmed, actually. I was thrilled, I mean just thrilled. As a little kid, growing up as a K-State fan and being a part of it ever since I can remember, to be given that honor is so special. It's hard to really put into words but it was overwhelming."
One person who knows very well what Holthus has meant to the program is legendary head coach Bill Snyder, who couldn't be happier that Holthus is a member of the 2015 Hall of Fame class.
"I was awfully pleased," Snyder said on Tuesday afternoon. "It's something I've wanted to have happen for quite some time. Mitch is a dear, dear friend, but more significantly, he was with us when we began.
"He helped us start the program, so he went through the angst and the good times as well."
They were tough times early on in their tenure, which makes it all the more special that these two friends, both legends at K-State in their own right, can share this moment together.
"He never batted an eye," Snyder explained of Holthus. "He was the dye in the wool, true to the core Kansas State Wildcat football fan. He brought so much enthusiasm—as he does with all of his announcing—but that was something that had been hard to come by here.
"People just loved hearing him because he got so invested in our program and how he brought it to the public."
Holthus will be inducted on January 30 in Manhattan, Kansas, along with nine other Wildcat legends, including on the football side, former quarterback Michael Bishop, kicker Martin Gramatica and current special teams coach and former All-American punter Sean Snyder.
"It's a very representative class of what I think K-State is because it's a school that gives you opportunity," Holthus said. "It doesn't matter where you're from, whether it's a small town or a South American country—it gives you an opportunity.
"That's really the charm of the place."