Although he would beg to differ and say he is only a man and his mother’s son, Michael “Bucky” Godbolt has gained the reputation as a high-profile celebrity here in the Austin community. As a respected radio personality for The Horn for the last few decades, Bucky is also known for giving back to the community of Austin year-round.
If you haven’t heard of Bucky’s legacy in the city of Austin, it is an extraordinary individual’s story of triumph and sorrow which, ultimately, led him to his calling of helping others as his way of giving back for all of his many blessings he has received through it all.
Currently, you can hear Bucky’s sports talk radio show on The Horn in the mornings from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. He does live broadcasts for the Longhorns before games on Saturdays.
Bucky’s passion for sports began at a young age. His fondest childhood memories are of his years playing football in high school and then attending Boston College, where he continued his football career. After graduating from college, he made the decision to stick with what he loved and became a graduate assistant football coach for Dartmouth in 1979.
Bucky wanted to recognize this year as being the 20th year on the air with his partner, Aaron Hogan, who he admires and respects greatly as being a trusted friend and partner throughout all the years of working alongside him on the radio station. There is never a dull moment when these two come together.
“I love people," Bucky says.
Bucky battled alcoholism in his younger years and described coming to feeling helpless to the temptations of addiction, which resulted in losing relationships and missing opportunities with his loved ones. Shortly after making this realization, he made the courageous decision to seek help and went into a six-week inpatient rehabilitation at La Hacienda Solutions, here in Austin in August 2000, which changed his life forever. 2020 will mark 20 years of sobriety, which Bucky says he is very fortunate to have attained and understands that every day is a challenge worth fighting for because of the relationships made and having the second chance to be close to his loved ones again.
“The two most important things in my life are God and my sobriety; without the two, I simply am not living,” he says.
Bucky mentors others through their alcoholism addiction, and he empathizes with a lot of people who struggle with addiction. He plans to one day have a hotline.
Bucky used his recovery as a stepping stone in his life to then do what he loves to do most, which is to give back to the community through his conduit of radio broadcasting.
Bucky says that without the relationships he has built with friends over the last few decades, he would not be the man he is today. He especially wants to recognize Jack Gilmore, owner of Jack Allen, who has a history of giving back to the community time and time again through his philanthropic acts of service he’s involved in throughout the year.
Bob Cole, owner of Austin Radio Network and host of the morning show Koke FM 99.3 and 98.5, says he has known Bucky for many years, ever since Bucky was coaching at the University of Texas. At the time, they were both working on a radio station together and Bob told Bucky that they should host a radio station together. Although this was new territory for Bucky, he took on the challenge, and they hosted the radio station together for two years. It became the No. 1 morning show in Austin shortly after they began hosting together. Bob mentored Bucky on politics and other community interests that the radio station talked about, and although the topics spoken about were unchartered waters for the sports broadcaster, Bob says Bucky was willing to learn his role wholeheartedly, kept the faith and never gave up.
“Bucky’s best quality is his personality. He has the gift of chartering the day to make it a fun and positive one every day," Bob says. "He has the ability to entertain and inform people through radio. He is transparent and able to connect with people on a personal level through his experiences, successes and failures, which are qualities people have come to appreciate about Bucky. He has truly performed his calling to the best of his ability, and he has a heart bigger than Dallas. His talent as a radio personality is legendary, and he has used it as a resource to help others.”
During Bucky’s college years at Boston College, he discovered his talent for writing poetry.
In September 2004, The Creative Pulse of Austin highlighted one of Bucky’s famous poems, which describes an emotional time for him and the community.
While on a recruiting trip to Arlington, Texas, Bucky saw on the news that a little girl had been missing for two days. He is typically a very optimistic person, but as time went on, his faith that the child would be safe dwindled. He drew the curtains to his hotel room and wrote The Beast.
"She was only one of many whose laughter, love and happiness had been taken away by the beast. She may not have been my child, but the thought of her life in the hands of the beast brought fears and tears to my eyes.
"So vicious is this creature who stalks and preys upon our children. The beast who only conquers the meek and suffocates the dreams of our young.
"Even the devil finds time to rest, but this demon is relentless in its pursuit of the ultimate evil.
We’ve found ways to explore the star, harness nuclear power for the good of mankind, feed the world’s hungry and bring hostile nations to the peace table.
"The time has come to bring down the beast, destroy the foundation beneath it and let it die."