Basketball sportscaster and former head coach, Dick Vitale is a very well-known college basketball broadcaster recognized for his enthusiastic and colorful remarks.
He stared his coaching career as an elementary school coach and made his way to head coach at Garfield High School then to his alma mater, East Rutherford High School. In 1971, he became assistant coach under the head coach Dick Lloyd at Rutgers University. Dick Vitale spent two seasons at Rutgers before being hired by the University of Detroit to become head coach. In 1977, Dick led his team to the NCAA tournament, had a 21 game winning streak during the 1977 season and after the season he was named the university’s athletic director. In 2011, the University of Detroit named their basketball court in his honor.
Dick made his move to the NBA for the 1978-1979 seasons with the Detroit Pistons and helped them to an unfortunate 30-52 record. Twelve games into the 1979-1980 season, the pistons owner Bill Davidson told Dick that there would be a coaching change. After his exit from the Pistons, he was given his first TV opportunity for ESPN and accepted it on a temporary basis until another coaching job became available to him. His first game was on December 5, 1979, when DePaul defeated Wisconsin. After a rough start to the TV business, ESPN was acquired by ABC and he began broadcasting on the ABC network. The more he became comfortable, the more games he announced for. In 2006, ESPN and Dick signed a contact extension through the 2012-2013 college basketball season. In 2008, he was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame for his contribution to basketball.
Dick Vitale lent his name and voice to the 1994 Sega Genesis game, Dick Vitale’s “Awesome Baby” College Hoops and the EA Sports’ NCAA Basketball video game series. In 1997, The University of Notre Dame presented Dick with an honorary degree and was recognized with the Ronald Raegan Media Award as an outstanding media personality. Dick is on the Board of Directors for the V Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to finding a cure for cancer developed by former North Carolina State University basketball coach and one of Dick’s closest friends, Jim Valvano. Dick Vitale is an advocate for charity work and is available for speaking engagements, personal appearances and endorsements.