Former Newark Star-Ledger sports writer Ike Kuhns, the recipient of the 2008 Colin Jose Media Award from the National Soccer Hall of Fame, died Thursday at age 76. Kuhns served the Northern New Jersey region as a soccer writer from the 1960s, and is perhaps best remembered for his coverage of the NASL’s Cosmos. His reporting on soccer pre-dated the NASL and included coverage of international soccer at a time when it was virtually unreported in American newspapers.
Kuhns began his reporting career in 1958 as the sports director of the American Forces Korea Network while serving in the U.S. Army. On leave he attended the 1958 Asian Games in Tokyo, including an exciting soccer final that sparked his interest in a game about which he knew little. Once out of service and in New York City, he attended the international matches at the Polo Grounds promoted by Bill Cox. These continued to build Ike’s growing interest in soccer. While he started with some smaller New Jersey papers, by the time he joined the Star-Ledger in 1965, it was almost World Cup time and Kuhns covered the tournament.
He retired from the Star-Ledger in 2001 and continued to attend Red Bulls games until last year.
In addition to soccer, Kuhns served as the Star-Ledger beat writer for the Knicks and Jets for part of his 37-year career. He also was the back-up writer for the Yankees, Mets, Rangers, Devils, and Nets at various times. He covered numerous World Series, Super Bowls and Stanley Cup finals.