Billy Packer, an announcer known as “the voice of the NCAA men’s basketball tournament” for many years, passed away on Thursday, according to a tweet from his son. He was 82.
He began providing CBS with NCAA game coverage in the early 1980s.
“The Packer Family would like to share some sad news,” Mark Packer wrote. “Our amazing father, Billy, has passed. We take peace knowing that he’s in heaven with Barb. RIP, Billy.”
Mark Packer explained the kidney failure as the explanation to the Associated Press. He claimed that his father had received medical attention the previous three weeks in a Charlotte, North Carolina hospital.
Sean McManus, the chairman of CBS Sports, said Packer was “synonymous with college basketball for more than three decades and set the standard of excellence as the voice of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament.”
“He had a tremendous impact on the growth and popularity of the sport,” McManus said in a statement. “In true Billy fashion, he analyzed the game with his own unique style, perspective and opinions, yet always kept the focus on the game. As passionate as he was about basketball, at his heart Billy was a family man. He leaves part of his legacy at CBS Sports, across college basketball and, most importantly, as a beloved husband, father and grandfather. He will be deeply missed by all.”
The National Polish-American Sports Hall of Fame was inducted Packer in 1988. According to the organization’s website, “Packer’s love for the game blossomed at Wake Forest University.
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He guided the Deacons to two Atlantic Coast Conference championships and the Final Four of the 1962 NCAA tournament. In his career, he scored 1,316 points.
According to The Hall, Packer began broadcasting high school football games in 1970. NBC hired him in 1975 to cover the NCAA regional finals, then in the early 1980s, he started working for CBS to protect NCAA games.
In addition, Packer was honored with the Curt Gowdy Award from the National Basketball Hall of Fame and was inducted into the North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame and the Wake Forest University Hall of Fame.
He received the Outstanding Sports Personality/Analyst Sports Emmy Award in 1993.
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For almost 4 years, Jason Martin has been a freelance writer for newspapers, journals, blogs, books, and online material. He covers the most recent news as well as many other topics.