Longtime college basketball analyst Billy Packer dies, his family announced thursday nightThe 82-year-old Packer has spent 34 years on the Final Four broadcast team. Twenty-seven of those years he spent at CBS Sports as an Emmy-winning college basketball analyst before the final Four in 2008.
Packer’s son, Mark, told the Associated Press that his father had been hospitalized in Charlotte, North Carolina for the past three weeks with several health problems and eventually died of kidney failure.
During more than 30 years as a leading figure in the sport, Packer helped build a three-man television broadcast team alongside Dick Enberg and Al McGuire and was never afraid to speak his mind. Among his many iconic calls was the line “Simon talks the championship” when Arizona won his 1997 national title with his 30-point margin over his Simon .
Packer appeared as a player for Wake Forest from 1958 to 1962, but in addition to his duties at CBS Sports, Packer has often been criticized by the bystanders for some of college basketball’s biggest games, including calling ACC games for years. It has become well-known in the sports world for its analysis based on He was an analyst from his 1981 to his 2008.
Packer was also the father of Mark, Liz and Blunt’s children, predeceased by his wife, Barb.
“Billy Packer has been synonymous with college basketball for over 30 years and set the standard of excellence as the voice of the NCAA men’s basketball tournament,” said CBS Sports Chairman Sean McManus. said in a statement“He had a huge impact on the growth and popularity of these sports. He stayed focused.He was as passionate as basketball.In his heart Billy was a family man.He shared part of his legacy with CBS Sports, playing college basketball. Beyond, and most importantly, leaving as a beloved husband, father and grandfather. He will be deeply missed by all.
Packer was also influential as a player, averaging 14.1 points as a 5-foot-9-inch senior guard for the Wake Forest team in 1962 and reaching the Final Four under coach Bones McKinnie. After a brief stint as an assistant coach with the Demon Deacons, Packer embarked on his broadcasting career.
“RIP To The Most Amazing Dad, Mentor And Best Friend” Brant Packer wrote on twitter“Throughout my life, I’ve always tried to emulate him – how to be a husband, how to be a father, how to prepare for a telecast, he was a bar to me. Barb.”
–– This story originally appeared on CBSSports.com.