“The Voice” of East Carolina football and basketball gone at age 70:East Carolina Pirates worldwide mourn the death of Jeff Charles

Gone way too soon, because he always sounded so young and energetic…The call of death spares no one, and Jeff Charles, “The Voice” of East Carolina University football and basketball has been taken away from the Pirates, at age 70…To hear Jeff Charles call a football or basketball game, he did not sound like he was 70…He had the voice and delivery of young man, maybe in his 30’s or 40’s…

I first heard Jeff Charles announcing the East Carolina University football games back when I was working with WKEW radio and we would carry the ECU Pirates games, on Saturday afternoons…Jeff Charles had such a smooth and clear voice, he was so easy to listen to, and he never went overboard…You knew where he stood with his call, he was an ECU Pirate man, first and foremost….But, Jeff Charles would call the game pretty much down the middle and make sure the ECU opponent got their due too…When you heard Jeff Charles announcing those football games, it made you think East Carolina went out and brought in a ringer…This guy was a true professional, and sounds like he came in from not in this area or state, but this man must be from out-of-town, he was so good….

He called the games alongside former ECU running back, the great Carlester Crumpler, and I am pretty sure Crump, as Jeff Charles would call him, came from East Carolina back in his playing days…Crumpler set numerous rushing records while he was a part of the Pirate program, but Carlester Crumpler really excelled working there with “The Voice” Jeff Charles

Back when I was doing early radio broadcasting, if I hit a lull and I needed a spark in my delivery/presentation, I would do my Jeff Charles voice…Very direct, a bit choppy, with clear precision…I never had a Woody Durham, a Bob Harris, a Gene Overby, or a Gary Hahn voice I could project, but the Jeff Charles voice was the real deal…He was the real deal….None other like him…The others has their quips and rips, but Jeff Charles gave you the standard professional on-the-money broadcast…

Most of the other college sports broadcasters back from the day were so one-sided, you knew what was going down, as soon as you tuned in, but with Jeff Charles, it was like we were being treated to a game coming from the great sports land of beyond…It was just so different, and fun to listen to…Clear, precise, the choppiness that would give you the feeling of the running backs carrying the ball up-and-down the football field, and you could almost hear their feet, hitting the turf…

It was a blessing to have those Jeff Charles broadcasts in our state, all those years….

Jeff Charles gone, but never to be forgotten…We always heard him, but never really knew much about what he looked like…We see his photos today, as they tell us of his passing, and the photos are helpful in somewhat seeing and knowing Jeff Charles, but it is his voice, “The Voice”, that will live on forever….

RIP:Jeff Charles, and thank-you for the memories…We never met you, but we feel like we have known you for 30-40 years…You made a true impact on the college sports landscape in the state of North Carolina, and the East Carolina Pirates fans were blessed to have you as their/“The Voice”……….

ECU Mourns The Passing Of Jeff “The Voice” Charles

from www.ecupirates.com:

GREENVILLE, N.C. – Jeff Charles, East Carolina’s long time “Voice of the Pirates” passed away unexpectedly Friday in New Orleans while accompanying the men’s basketball team.

Charles, who has been the Pirates broadcaster for 30-plus years, called some of ECU’s most memorable games on the gridiron and hardwood, including 15 bowls and over 1,000 basketball contests.

He began his radio career at East Carolina in 1988 after previously serving in the same capacity at Virginia Tech, Illinois, and Furman. Charles earned North Carolina Sportscaster-of-the-Year honors from the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association in 2000 and 2014, and most recently, was recognized as an honorary alumnus by ECU in the fall of 2015.

Charles also worked as sports director at WSB in Atlanta where he was the night-time host of a sports talk show heard throughout 38 states and Canada on the 50,000-watt clear channel station.

A Piqua, Ohio native, Charles is a graduate of the Career Academy of Broadcasting School of Columbus, Ohio and received a degree in speech communications from Goshen (Ind.) College in 1975.

Josh Graham, of WSJS radio, 600 AM radio in Winston-Salem, N.C., talked with John Dell of the Winston-Salem Journal about Jeff Charles…John Dell at www.journalnow.com/Josh Graham, from WSJS:

“This isn’t easy,” Graham said by phone on Saturday morning, “and (Friday) was tough when I heard the news.”

Graham, a 2015 graduate of East Carolina, was a spotter for three football seasons right beside Charles. and it was such a learning experience.

“You could just see the professionalism he exuded and he wasn’t one of those let’s cheer for the home team exclusively because he was right down the middle,” Graham said. “I think too often nowadays there’s not a lot of objectivity in college athletics on broadcasts but Jeff was the best.”

Graham said that when he arrived at East Carolina as a student his intent was to get in the media business and Charles helped him get there.

“It’s fair to say he strongly influenced me by the way he carried himself and the way he went about the job,” Graham said. “There’s never been anybody who could say a bad word about Jeff, and that’s a testament to him and his professional approach to each broadcast he did.”

Graham remembers when Ruffin McNeill was the head football coach and McNeill would use one word when talking about Charles.

“Just in casual conversation Ruffin would say ‘I’ll do this and then I’ve got to talk to ‘Voice,’” Graham said. “And everybody knew he was talking about Jeff.”

Graham said as far back as he could remember Charles used to say when a victory was secure: “Let’s paint this one purple.”

When the Pirates rallied in 1991 to beat N.C. State in the Peach Bowl Graham remembers hearing a highlight of Charles’ radio call. “He said ‘let’s paint those peaches purple,’” Graham said.

CLICK HERE for the full John Dell article, from the WS Journal/News and Record-Greensboro…