Billy Packer Obituary, Death – According to Mark Packer, who spoke with the Associated Press about his family’s situation, his father had been hospitalized in Charlotte for the past three weeks due to various health problems, and he ultimately passed away from kidney failure.
Packer served as the primary college basketball commentator for 34 consecutive Final Fours, first for NBC and then for CBS. In addition, he was an analyst for Atlantic Coast Conference games broadcast on Raycom. In 1993, he was honored with a Sports Emmy in Outstanding Sports Personality, Studio, and Sports Analyst categories. Packer was the son of Anthony Packer, a legendary basketball coach who served as the head coach at Lehigh University for 16 seasons. After graduating from high school in Pennsylvania with all-state honors, Packer went on to study at Wake Forest, where he was honored with All-ACC accolades in both 1961 and 1962. As a result of his efforts, the Demon Deacons won the ACC regular season championship three times and made it to the Final Four for the first time in 1962, the same year that Packer was selected to the all-region team.
Before beginning his career as an announcer in 1972, he dabbled in the coaching business for a little while. In 2019, Packer stated in an interview with The Athletic that he “never had any aim to be a broadcaster.” But after just two years, Packer was working the broadcast booth for the NCAA tournament and Final Four games, and he didn’t give up his position until he left the company in 2008. At about the midway point of my career, I made the decision that I would eventually retire from this line of work. One of the things that I told myself was that one of the things that I really enjoy doing is researching and studying the game, as well as having the opportunity to interact with people that I respect and who are really knowledgeable about the game and its history. If I did not find that activity to be enjoyable, I would seek to discontinue it “he explained to The Athletic.
At some point, you will realize, “OK, I’ve enjoyed my run, and now it’s time to go back and do the other things I enjoy.” You will say this because you will have reached a point when you are ready to go on. The game that I broadcast for the last time was also the last game I attended in person. Memphis and Kansas played one other in the 2008 championship game for the national championship.” Packer has made some of the most iconic calls in the history of the Final Four. Perhaps the most famous of them is when he said, “Simon says… championship” after Arizona won the national title in 1997 under the leadership of Miles Simon.
Additionally, he contributed to the broadcast in 1979 alongside Dick Enberg and Al McGuire during the championship game in which Magic Johnson’s Michigan State team prevailed over Larry Bird’s Indiana State club. The game received a 21.1 Nielsen rating, which equates to an estimated 35.1 million viewers. It is still the game with the highest rating in the history of basketball.
“Mark Packer shared with the Associated Press that “he truly enjoyed doing the Final Fours.” “He perfectly timed the move. When it comes to life, timing is everything. The fact that he was able to participate in something that, to tell the truth, he was going to see anyhow brought him great joy. And then college basketball just sort of took off with Magic Johnson and Larry Bird, and that became, in my opinion, the catalyst for college basketball fans to really go crazy with March Madness.