Longtime Philadelphia high school sports reporter Ted Silary has passed away at the age of 72.
For multiple decades, Silary was the defining voice of Philadelphia high school sports. Between his time at The Philadelphia Bulletin and then The Philadelphia Daily News, Silary set the standard for reporting on high school sports in the area. And his website was like an encyclopedia — the ultimate source of information for anything related to Philadelphia high school sports.
“The site, a Mount Everest of information staring at you right from the home page, wasn’t just living history. It was a bulletin board for a community,” Mike Jensen of The Philadelphia Inquirer penned in his 2019 article shortly after Silary announced that he would no longer be adding to the page.
It didn’t matter who you were. If you played high school sports in the area, Silary knew who you were. Not only did he promote student-athletes and their stories, but he was fair and never critical.
“Maybe the best part of the site is that you didn’t have to be the best player in the city to get your recognition. It’s one thing to have a list of top Philadelphia scorers from 2000 through 2015,” Jensen wrote. “It’s quite another to list everyone who scored at least 15 points a game.”
As soon as news spread of Silary’s passing, tributes began to pour in for the Philadelphia high school sports legend.
It’s not often that I’m lost for words but right now I am. Ted Silary gave me my start in writing. Ted along with the Terry Toohey’s, John Lohn’s and Harry Chaykun are the main reasons I’m still writing this day. The man took me under his wings and showed how to do football stats pic.twitter.com/RMg9ksaGgA
— Willie McGonigle (@WilliePAFN) May 18, 2023
RIP to the GodFather of Philadelphia high school sports Tedsilary his website changed the game and a lot of people was able to be showcased because of him I remember checking his site everyday looking for what was the next thing to be posted
— Coach Jordan (@CoachJordan215) May 18, 2023
Rest in Power Ted Silary. What an advocate you were for young people. Thank you for your foundation. https://t.co/cHKXGbVruR
— Julian Hartwell McFadden (@CoachJulesFadd) May 18, 2023
RIP Ted Silary ?? One of the most well known HS Hoops writers in Philly History. To have Ted mention your name in one of his articles meant everything as a HS athlete. A true LEGEND! Prayers to him & his family
— DJ Irving (@CoachDJIrving) May 18, 2023
My condolences go out to the Silary family on the passing the legendary Ted Silary. He shined a light on Philadelphia High School Sports for decades, and will greatly be missed. Thank you for everything you’ve done for our city.
— Coach Malik Jones (@MLKCoachMalik) May 18, 2023
Just a sad day for many with the passing of Ted Silary. He was remarkable, unique, and a great friend to share a story with. I’ll miss our conversations surrounding many things, but especially the obscure stats we’d share with one another. Man, those were fun times (Cont)
— Huck Palmer (@HuckPalmer) May 18, 2023
I’m sad to hear about the passing of Ted Silary. His coverage of high school sports in the Philadelphia area was truly amazing.
RIP Ted ????
— EasternPAFootball (@EPAFootball) May 18, 2023
RIP Ted Silary…. Covered Philadelphia High School Sports like no other. It was an honor to have Ted write a article about you after a Big Win!! pic.twitter.com/YglVev8ijS
— Bobby Jordan (@bobjordan1) May 18, 2023
Ted Silary was THE standard covering high school basketball. I spent hours and hours and hours pouring through info on the site that he so meticulously compiled over the years.
RIP to an absolute pillar of the local high school sports scene pic.twitter.com/zGQk89Ne7Q
— Varun Kumar (@vrkumar8) May 18, 2023
Growing up I didn’t want to be an NBA player I just wanted to play in the PCL all because of Ted Silary. Great guy who gave so much of himself to help kids. RIP https://t.co/iYGSBg6Hvj
— Mark Hueber (@mark_hueber) May 18, 2023
Not sure anyone covered anything the way Ted Silary covered high school sports here.
— Zo (@Tweets_By_Zo) May 18, 2023
I can't count how many times I've heard Philly hoopers say, "Growing up, I always wanted to play better when Ted was there." I was never fortunate enough to meet Ted but his impact is profound- a bright light in HS sports coverage. https://t.co/1IPAcXWFWt
— Sam Cohn (@samdcohn) May 18, 2023
I am deeply saddened to learn of the passing of legendary Philadelphia Daily News sportswriter Ted Silary. He was the best scholastic sports writer there ever was. He was a kind, witty and generous man who loved his work and the kids he covered. And he was my friend.
— Brad Wilson (@bradwsports) May 18, 2023
Ted came out with this really cool, Father Son article about me and my dad couple years back. Amazing some of the stuff he researched and put together. Thank You for this, you will be missed!!! #TedSilary pic.twitter.com/ZQbffjndGL
— Shizz Alston Jr (@InternatlShizz) May 18, 2023
Ted was such a great guy. Had the chance to go to other beats, but stuck with high schools. Loved talking to kids, telling their stories.
Ted Silary dot com was a go-to for anyone who played or cared about high school sports in this area during the 2000s.https://t.co/uTWGTdy74O
— Rich Hofmann (@rich_hofmann) May 18, 2023
In any big city, people can argue about who was best at something. But not when it came to covering high school sports in Philadelphia. It was Ted Silary. His work was a blessing to so many. May his memory also be a blessing.
— Howard Gensler (@DNTattle) May 18, 2023
RIP the great Ted Silary. If I’ve talked to 700 Philly hoops people over the years, 500 brought up Ted’s name. Ted was so generous with (post-retirement) ideas. Pre-retirement, he was fiercest of competitors for all us Inquirer folks. He could have covered anything, chose HS’s.
— Mike Jensen (@jensenoffcampus) May 18, 2023
RIP Ted Silary. Ted set the standard for high school sports coverage not just in Philadelphia but nationwide. I know I (and all of CoBL) will forever be inspired by his devotion to his craft and to the high school athletes of the city of Philadelphia. Gone far too soon. https://t.co/w08tVsTiVo
— Josh Verlin (@jmverlin) May 18, 2023
Ted Silary has the single greatest website ever created https://t.co/HInKSUXug8
— Mike Meech (@meechone) May 18, 2023
[The Philadelphia Inquirer; image from TedSilary.com]