This weekend saw a hard loss for the ESPN family. After a heart attack Saturday, famed former ESPN producer Barry Sacks passed away Sunday at 63. That led to a lot of tributes, including this Suzy Kolber-hosted one on-air on their Super Bowl LVII pre-game show Sunday.
We remember the life & legacy of one of our own, Barry Sacks.
“We at ESPN are heartbroken… (He) is survived by a countless number of colleagues who love him and will miss him dearly.” – @suzykolber pic.twitter.com/WurXTp3YV5
— ESPN PR (@ESPNPR) February 12, 2023
Here’s what Kolber says there:
“And guys, on a day that should be joyous, we have devastating news. We at ESPN are heartbroken to share the news of the death of legendary producer Barry Sacks. During his 33-year career in Bristol, Barry touched so many areas of the company. His passion for sports was unmatched, including his love for the New York Giants. When Chris Berman says ‘G-Men’ on NFL Primetime, that’s an ode to Barry. He was also responsilbe for mentoring so many ESPN production assistants, always asking when deciding whether a play should make the highlight, ‘Did it make you say wow?’ Those of us who got to work with you for many years always said ‘Wow’ about you, Barry. Barry is survived by his wife Joanne, his son Jesse, and a countless number of colleagues who love him and will miss him dearly.”
Sacks worked at ESPN for 33 years in many different roles. Some of his credits there include helping into launch SportsCenter and College GameDay. Since 2015, he had also been teaching courses in sports broadcasting to both undergraduate and graduate students at Quinnipiac University in Hampden, Connecticut. Here are some of the many other tributes to Sacks from ESPN personalities past and present on Twitter:
If you've watched @ESPN at any point over the last four decades, then the man in this photo has had an impact on your life. That's Barry Sacks, in the pits at Daytona in the late 1990's. The guy far right with the ballcap is me. He passed away today, Super Bowl Sunday… #thread pic.twitter.com/4sGeyJYiHK
— Ryan McGee (@ESPNMcGee) February 12, 2023
In my 30 years at ESPN, Barry Sacks is on the short list of people who made everyone around him better. He demanded accountability-challenged ideas and was limitless in his passion for sports and broadcasting. As a fellow Ithaca College Bomber his loss is personal and profound.
— Karl Ravech (@karlravechespn) February 12, 2023
Oh, no. This is horrible, horrible news. Barry Sacks was such a great guy, absolutely loved working with him and our conversations at @espn. Had so much passion for his job, and was a straight-shooter.
RIP to one of the best and condolences to his family and friends. https://t.co/7FtoHetnJc
— Jeff Goodman (@GoodmanHoops) February 12, 2023
Father, husband, leader, mentor, friend.
rip Barry Sacks. Love to his family.
— Kenny Mayne (@Kenny_Mayne) February 12, 2023
RIP Barry Sacks. I was honored to call him a friend. @espn @CollegeGameDay pic.twitter.com/KA7Mi735dz
— Seth Greenberg (@SethOnHoops) February 12, 2023
Barry Sacks, who passed today, leaves an incredible legacy, with a life and career that included more than 33 years at ESPN. Here he is holding court, smiling & alongside @RobinRoberts. Thoughts are with his loved ones. pic.twitter.com/bxvpNdRaJZ
— Josh Krulewitz (@jksports) February 12, 2023
Thinking of the iconic former @ESPN producer Barry Sacks today, who passed away this morning. Hope he would be proud. Helped so many of us prepare for moments like this today: https://t.co/99SkRdNmDt
— Andy Katz (@TheAndyKatz) February 12, 2023
Gutted at the passing of Barry Sacks. Not just a superb producer, but the one who would wait until his boss was out of the room and say "you're right. We're right. Go ahead and do it their way. Let me go massage them and see how much I can change it." RIP https://t.co/vE4FzIfS6u pic.twitter.com/kxIf6eiJQl
— Keith Olbermann (@KeithOlbermann) February 12, 2023
Last text with Barry Sacks-2 weeks ago. His wife Joann is a big eagles fan so he loved giving me a New York jab. I loved it. He loved it. He believed in me and gave me my first big hosting event. I’ll miss our lunches. A devastating loss. May God bless him and his family. ❤️ pic.twitter.com/vwJ6G5fVUQ
— Kevin Negandhi (@KevinNegandhi) February 12, 2023
Long time ESPN legend Barry Sacks passed away today. He always told people look for a play in a game that makes you say “ wow”. If you see a wow play tonight… think of Barry. Thanks
— trey wingo (@wingoz) February 12, 2023
Trying to explain what Barry Sacks was to ESPN and how much he meant to so many is proving to be impossible. He was a profound presence in the lives of so many. I’ll see that big smile and hear that voice forever.
Rest Easy, B Sacks. You were one of one – an all time beauty.
— Scott Van Pelt (@notthefakeSVP) February 12, 2023
You can’t tell ESPN story without mentioning Barry Sacks. As passionate a sports fan as there was, ironic, he was in charge of intermissions. Every halftime you saw, was his baby. A sincere, caring gentleman beneath his rough tough exterior. A part of our fabric.A crushing blow. https://t.co/ZmDRRAmSxr
— Steve Levy (@espnSteveLevy) February 12, 2023
During my 11 years at ESPN, Barry Sacks was one of the best coordinating producers I ever worked with.
He was a teacher, a mentor, a straight shooter.
I learned a lot from him.
Many of the things you’ve watched in last 30 years he had a hand in creating and molding.
— Robert Flores (@RoFlo) February 12, 2023
So incredibly sad to learn about the passing of Barry Sacks. Long ago, he ushered me into the world of what I have done for three decades. I was awful. He helped me get better. Giant character. Good man gone too soon. Rest east my friend @espn @SportsCenter
— Jimmy Roberts (@JimmyRobertsNBC) February 12, 2023
Our thoughts go out to all of Sacks’ friends and family.
[ESPN PR on Twitter]