Print Friendly Version During the first half of the Jan. 5 men’s basketball game, Larry Cotlar’s memory was honored with the presentation of the Missouri Valley Conference John Sander Spirit of the Valley Award.MVC Commissioner Doug Elgin was on hand to present the honor to Cotlar’s wife, Deb Brewer-Cotlar.A veteran broadcaster and media personality, Cotlar served as the voice of Drake men’s basketball from 2006 until his sudden and tragic death in a flash flood July 1, 2018 in Des Moines.The award is presented to honor a student-athlete, coach or university administrator who exemplifies the spirit of John Sanders, former MVC assistant commissioner for operations. Criteria includes, but is not limited to, passion for the Conference, strong work ethic and sense of humor. Beyond broadcasting more than a decade of Drake men’s basketball games, Cotlar was a tireless ambassador and supporter of the Missouri Valley Conference, its programs, coaches and student-athletes.Having spent the majority of his professional life around athletics, Cotlar was a vocal advocate for college athletics and the student-athlete experience. Once a broadcast was done, Cotlar sought additional avenues to promote Drake and the Valley by making himself available to media and speaking appearances or booking national media as guests on his various broadcasting endeavors to support the strength and national reputation of the Valley.Cotlar maintained a constant presence at all Drake athletic events and forged countless relationships with student-athletes that extended well beyond their athletic careers as he sought ways to enrich their experience as a student-athlete and a person in a truly selfless fashion that existed to serve others, especially those in his Valley family.Cotlar was named Iowa Broadcaster of the Year by the National Association of Sportscasters and Sportswriters in 2007 and was inducted into the media wing of the Iowa High School Athletic Association Hall of Fame the same year.However, especially to those in the Valley, it was Cotlar’s ability to interact with people and make them feel welcome. Through his efforts he made everyone feel comfortable by engaging them in friendly conversation.The impact Cotlar had on others in his service as a broadcaster and a one-of-a-kind man was felt deeply during the days following his tragic death as he ushered his family to safety during the sudden and deadly flash floods experienced in Des Moines.Earlier this season, Drake honored Cotlar by renaming the Knapp Center Media Room after Cotlar.