Chet Coppock was an institution in the Chicago sports broadcasting world. A graduate of New Trier High School in Winnetka, IL, Coppock held quite a few positions at various radio and media companies in town, including a stint as a sports anchor for WMAQ in the 1980s. In 1984, he was approached with the idea of creating an interview-driven radio sports talk show, which led to the creation of Coppock on Sports. With that show and in the years that followed, Coppock practically invented the sports talk format we know today. He was known as the “Godfather of Sports Talk Radio” and with good reason.

He went on to do work for the Chicago Bulls radio network, co-hosted The Mike Ditka Radio Show, host Notre Dame football and basketball pregame and postgame shows, and mentor many of the major broadcasting voices to follow him in Chicago. He did a ton more things inside and outside of Chicago to the point where it seemed strange to imagine a Chicago sports broadcast that didn’t include Coppock in some manner. When he wasn’t on the radio or TV, he was likely writing one of the five books he penned.

Sadly, Coppock passed away Wednesday following a car accident in which he was the passenger. And since then, the tributes have been pouring in.

The Chicago Blackhawks posted a video from their Stanley Cup celebration in 2013 when Coppock summed up what it meant to the franchise and its fans.

ESPN Radio and NBC Sports Chicago host Dave Kaplan wrote a full tribute on NBC Sports but also spoke with WGN about Chet.

“He would say, as they walked into a stadium, and somebody would yell his name, ‘you don’t say hi to the individual, you say hi to the whole section.’ That was Chet. He was larger than life,”

“Chet Coppock was it, there was no sports talk radio, And every night it was appointment listening,” Kaplan said. “I’ll never forget those days and he will be sorely missed.”

And the tributes and condolences just kept coming, from local sports teams to national media members and companies who got a leg-up because of Chet. That includes WWE, since Coppock, a lifelong fan of professional wrestling, had served as special guest ring announcer during the Chicago portion of WrestleMania 2.

[NBC Sports]

About Sean Keeley

A graduate of Syracuse University, Sean Keeley is the creator of the Syracuse blog Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician and author of 'How To Grow An Orange: The Right Way to Brainwash Your Child Into Rooting for Syracuse.' He has also written non-Syracuse related things for SB Nation, Curbed, Neighborhoods.com, and many other outlets. He currently lives in Chicago.