Jim Nantz and Billy Packer

Billy Packer, who served as an analyst on college basketball games for almost 40 years, died Jan. 26. He was 82.

Packer’s son, Mark, announced his passing via Twitter.

Packer played college basketball for the Wake Forest Demon Deacons, twice earning All-ACC honors and leading the team to the NCAA Final Four in 1962. The Wellsville, New York, native began broadcasting ACC games in 1972. He joined NBC broadcasts a couple of years later, before moving to CBS in 1981.

But Packer is best known for his tenure covering the biggest NCAA Tournament games. He covered every NCAA Final Four from 1975 through 2008. He also worked on ACC broadcasts for many years.

Famous for his outspoken style, Packer raised the ire of many fans for his comments, but he never backed down. For example, in 2006, he garnered criticism for saying too many mid-major conference teams had made the NCAA Tournament at the expense of quality teams from better conferences. When pressed on the issue, Packer famously said he was “often wrong, but never in doubt.”

Packer was inducted into the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association’s Hall of Fame in 2016.

The sports world offered condolences to Packer’s family. New York City sports broadcaster Steve Scott tweeted, “Sorry to learn of the death of sports broadcasting legend Billy Packer at age 82. He was a good one.”

[Mark Packer]

About Arthur Weinstein

Arthur spends his free time traveling around the U.S. to sporting events, state and national parks, and in search of great restaurants off the beaten path.