The iconic voice of North Carolina basketball and football for 40 years, Woody Durham, died peacefully at home Wednesday from complications of primary progressive aphasia. He was 76 years old.
“It’s a very sad day for everyone who loves the University of North Carolina because we have lost someone who spent nearly 50 years as one of its greatest champions and ambassadors,” UNC men’s basketball coach Roy Williams said in a university release. “My heart goes out to Jean, Wes, Taylor and their entire family.
“It’s ironic that Woody would pass away at the start of the postseason in college basketball because this was such a joyous time for him. He created so many lasting memories for Carolina fans during this time of year. It’s equally ironic that he dealt with a disorder for the final years of his life that robbed him of his ability to communicate as effectively as he did in perfecting his craft.
“Woody loved the Tar Heels and players, coaches and fans of all ages loved him right back. We should all ‘go where we go and do what we do’ and say a prayer for Woody and his family. There will never be another quite like him.”
A 1961 North Carolina graduate, Durham was the radio voice for the Tar Heels from 1971-2011. He called play-by-play on the Tar Heel Sports Network on more than 1,800 football and men’s basketball broadcasts.
He will be inducted into the National Sports Media Association’s Hall of Fame in June. The Atlantic Coast Sports Media Association will honor Durham at the 2018 ACC Men’s Basketball Tournament with the Bob Bradley Spirit and Courage Award, recognizing his public battle with primary progressive aphasia, a degenerative brain disorder that negatively impacted his ability to communicate as he once mastered.
Durham received the Curt Gowdy Media Award for contributions to basketball from the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2015.
He won the North Carolina Sportscaster of the Year Award 13 times. He was also inducted in the North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame, the North Carolina Broadcasters Hall of Fame, the Stanly County Sports Hall of Fame and the Mebane Sports Hall of Fame.
By all accounts, Durham was a legend. It is always hard to lose a voice that meant so much to sports and the fan base it served, but he will never be forgotten.
The post Iconic North Carolina radio voice Woody Durham dies appeared first on Diehards.