Rudy Kalis


During his long and exciting career as one of the nation’s premiere sports newscasters, Rudy has crossed paths with some of the greatest names in sports history such as Muhammad Ali, Michael Jordan, Jack Nicklaus, Wayne Gretzky, Wilma Rudolph, and Darrell Waltrip.

A testament to his success can be seen in the fact that he has won four regional Emmys for outstanding broadcasting and commentary. He has also won a national Iris award for a locally produced documentary.

In 2005 he was honored by the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences with the prestigious Silver Circle Award presented for outstanding achievement in the field of broadcasting over 25 years. Rudy has also garnered 15 Associated Press awards for the outstanding sportscast in the state of Tennessee and he has been voted the best sportscaster in Nashville 13 times by the readers of the Nashville Scene newspaper. He truly has become a sports icon and legend and much of what he speaks about covers how success can be had by anyone willing to believe and work hard for what they want to achieve in life. 



But Rudy had humble beginnings, and he sailed into New York harbor with his mother, father, and sister as immigrants from Germany when he was only 5 years old--unable to speak a word of English. With all of their earthly possessions crammed into one small wooden trunk, they were each issued 14 dollars and a train ticket that eventually led to Milwaukee, Wisconsin where he lived for the next 20 years.

In 1970, after serving his country with four years in the United State Air Force, he returned to Milwaukee and attended the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, earning a degree in mass communications.

In 1973 he was hired as a news and sports reporter at WFRV-TV in Green Bay, but in 1974 he was offered a job as a sports reporter and anchor at WSMV-TV in Nashville, Tennessee where he has worked ever since--a rarity in the highly competitive television broadcasting industry.

The key to his longevity and success lies in the fact that he has always been able to relate the drive to succeed in sports to the same passion to succeed in life. In order to appreciate that even more, he’s made a point of getting involved personally from skydiving, to driving race cars, to flying in an F-16 fighter jet. He is truly a man with passion for life, for work and for family.

Rudy and his wife Leigh have two adult daughters, Leah and Jennifer. When he’s not working, Rudy enjoys playing basketball, golf, and working outdoors. He is on the board of directors of the Jason Foundation to help prevent youth suicide, also the organization Character Counts, and he is a frequent speaker for the Fellowship of Christian Athletes.