Back on the old days of CD Chesley and ACC basketball games on WFMY TV 2, it was the ACC Men’s Basketball Tournaments that got us hooked…
On Friday and Saturday nights, we would watch those games with Jim Thacker and Bones McKinney, and then it was Jim Thacker and Billy Packer, calling the games for us…
They would let you watch the opening round basketball games in school on Thursdays…All things would come to halt when the ACC basketball games came on TV…And Billy Packer would be right there with Jim Thacker calling and describing all of the action…
Billy Packer played college basketball for the Wake Forest Demon Deacons, and then he got a job at the 1340 AM radio station/WAIR in Winston-Salem, and he was selling ad time, and that led to him announcing and selling high school basketball games for 1340 WAIR AM…Billy Packer got his start calling/announcing basketball games, at a small AM radio station in Winston-Salem, N.C.
Billy got a shot on the ACC Basketball broadcasts, and then the rest is history…He announced 34 consecutive NCAA Final Fours for CBS, and NBC…He worked with the biggest names in college basketball announcing history, but Billy Packer himself, became one of the biggest names in college basketball history…
I used to do a radio sports talk show in Greensboro years ago, for around 15 years to be exact, and I would have Billy Packer on as a guest occasionally…The only way to get Billy Packer on your radio show was to call him and see if he was available at a certain time, and he would say if I can do the show I will call you…”Don’t call me, if I can go on the air with you, I will call you”…
(No guarantees, but if he could do it, he would call.)
And that’s the way Billy Packer was…He was just Billy, being Billy…And Billy Packer has left us…Billy Packer gone, at age 82…
from the Fayetteville Observer and Nick Gray/CLICK HERE
Legendary CBS and Raycom Sports college basketball broadcaster Billy Packer has died, his son Mark said on Thursday via Twitter.
Packer was 82.
The Packer Family would like to share some sad news. Our amazing father, Billy, has passed. We take peace knowing that he’s in heaven with Barb. RIP, Billy. ?? pic.twitter.com/uFRixmgCcd
— Mark Packer (@MarkPacker) January 27, 2023
“The Packer Family would like to share some sad news. Our amazing father, Billy, has passed,” Mark Packer said. “We take peace knowing that he’s in heaven with Barb. RIP, Billy.”
Mark Packer told the Associated Press that his father died of kidney failure after spending three weeks in a Charlotte hospital due to several medical issues.
Packer played college basketball at Wake Forest from 1958-62, leading the Demon Deacons to two ACC titles and a Final Four.
But most around ACC country and across the country remember Packer as the longtime analyst on Raycom Sports, NBC and CBS. Packer called every Final Four from 1975-2008, including seven seasons at NBC and 27 seasons at CBS. He worked with some of sports’ greatest play-by-play broadcasters on championship weekend, including Brent Musburger, Curt Gowdy, Gary Bender, Jim Nantz and Dick Enberg.
The son of Anthony Packer, a longtime coach at Lehigh, the younger Packer opted for broadcasting in 1973, joining NBC while doing local games in North Carolina for Raycom. Packer continued to do ACC games for Raycom throughout his career until his retirement in 2008.
“I have had a chance to broadcast most of the great games since college basketball got on national television and I’m not interested in broadcasting any more games,” Packer said to the Associated Press in 2008. “I enjoyed doing that but I won’t be any more.”
Rest in Peace to the most incredible Dad, mentor and best friend. My entire life I always tried to emulate him – how to be a husband, father, to prep for a telecast, you name it, he was the bar for me. Just crushed. But we have peace knowing Billy is in Heaven tonight with Barb pic.twitter.com/xdM6pi2a2P
— Brandt Packer (@BPACKERVOLS) January 27, 2023