Dick Vitale
Dick Vitale
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Dick Vitale
Richard John Vitale (/vaɪˈtæl/; born June 9, 1939), also known as "Dickie V", is an American basketball sportscaster. A former head coach in the college

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Dick Vitale Dick Vitale at the dedication of Dick Vitale Court at the University of Detroit Mercy's Calihan Hall in 2011 Sport(s) Basketball Biographical details Born (1939-06-09) June 9, 1939 (age 78)
Passaic, New Jersey Coaching career (HC unless noted) 1963–1964 Garfield HS 1964–1971 East Rutherford HS 1971–1973 Rutgers (assistant) 1973–1977 Detroit Titans 1978–1979 Detroit Pistons Head coaching record Overall NCAA: 79–29
NBA: 34–60 Basketball Hall of Fame
Inducted in 2008 College Basketball Hall of Fame
Inducted in 2008

Richard John Vitale (/vaɪˈtæl/; born June 9, 1939), also known as "Dickie V", is an American basketball sportscaster. A former head coach in the college and professional ranks, he is well known as a college basketball broadcaster for ESPN. He is known for catchphrases such as "baby" and "diaper dandy" (outstanding freshman player), as well as enthusiastic and colorful remarks he makes during games, and has authored nine books and appeared in several movies.

Contents
  • 1 Early life
  • 2 Coaching
    • 2.1 High school coaching
    • 2.2 College coaching
    • 2.3 NBA coaching
  • 3 Head coaching record
    • 3.1 College
    • 3.2 NBA
  • 4 Broadcasting
    • 4.1 Broadcasting partners
  • 5 Recognition
  • 6 In popular culture
  • 7 Author
  • 8 References
  • 9 External links

Early life

Vitale was born in Passaic, New Jersey and grew up in East Rutherford, New Jersey. His father, John, was a piece work clothing press operator and had a second job as a security guard. His mom, Mae, worked in a factory as a seamstress and sewed coats until she suffered a stroke. In kindergarten, Vitale lost the vision in his left eye due to an accident with a pencil. Vitale graduated from East Rutherford High School, and in 1963, he graduated from Seton Hall University with a bachelor of science degree in business administration. He later earned a master's degree in education from what is now William Paterson University.

Coaching High school coaching

Vitale took his first job as a coach at an elementary school in Garfield, New Jersey in 1959. Eventually he moved up to the high school level to become head coach at Garfield High School for one season, and then at East Rutherford High School (his alma mater).

College coaching

In 1971, Vitale moved to Rutgers University as an assistant coach under head coach Dick Lloyd. After two seasons there, he was hired in 1973 by the University of Detroit to become its head coach. Vitale took Detroit to the 32-team NCAA tournament in 1977. Vitale had a 78–30 record during his tenure at Detroit, which included a 21-game winning streak during the 1977 season. During that streak the Titans defeated the eventual champion Marquette on the road in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Following the 1977 season, his fourth as Detroit head coach, Vitale was named the university's athletic director.

NBA coaching

Vitale coached the Detroit Pistons of the NBA for the 1978–79 season, leading them to a 30–52 (.366) record. On November 8, 1979, Pistons owner Bill Davidson came to Vitale's house and told him that the Pistons were making a coaching change. It was twelve games into the 1979–80 season, after the Pistons struggled to a 4–8 start. The primary reason for Vitale's downfall with the Pistons was the maneuver that brought Bob McAdoo to Detroit. M.L. Carr's decision to sign with Boston as a free agent in 1979 spawned a transaction in which the Pistons, entitled to compensation for Carr, demanded Bob McAdoo, who the Celtics were looking to unload due to injuries. The Pistons sent two 1980 first-round draft picks (in addition to Carr) to the Celtics in exchange for McAdoo in a combination free agent signing/trade. The Pistons would have the worst season in franchise history in 1979–80, and their pick would become the first overall pick in the 1980 draft. Boston then traded the two picks to the Warriors (who selected Joe Barry Carroll with the #1 pick and Rickey Brown with the #13 pick) in exchange for Robert Parish and the #3 pick (Kevin McHale).

Head coaching record College Season Team Overall Conference Standing Postseason Detroit Titans (Independent) (1973–1977) 1973–74 Detroit 17–9 1974–75 Detroit 17–9 1975–76 Detroit 19–8 1976–77 Detroit 26–3 NCAA Sweet Sixteen Detroit: 79–29 (.731) Total: 79–29 (.731)

      National champion         Postseason invitational champion  
      Conference regular season champion         Conference regular season and conference tournament champion
      Division regular season champion       Division regular season and conference tournament champion
      Conference tournament champion

NBA Legend Regular season G Games coached W Games won L Games lost W–L % Win-loss % Post season PG Playoff games PW Playoff wins PL Playoff losses PW–L % Playoff win-loss % Team Year G W L W–L% Finish PG PW PL PW–L% Result Detroit 1978–79 82 30 52 .366 4th in Central — — — — Missed Playoffs Detroit 1979–80 12 4 8 .333 (fired) — — — — — Career 94 34 60 .362 Broadcasting

Following his departure as coach of the Detroit Pistons, Scotty Connal gave Vitale his first TV opportunity at the then fledgling ESPN cable network. His first reaction to the job of broadcaster was "Absolutely no way. I know nothing about TV. I want to get back to where I belong and my spirit belongs." He was reluctant to accept the position but his wife Lorraine told him to "go on TV and have some fun", so Vitale accepted on a temporary basis until another coaching job became available. He called ESPN's first college basketball game on December 5, 1979, when DePaul defeated Wisconsin 90–77. His first play-by-play partner was Joe Boyle.

Vitale was not a natural at first for broadcasting. He missed his first-ever production meeting when he was walking the streets of Chicago. Also, he would talk while the producers were talking to him through his earpiece, during commercials, and while the play-by-play man was talking. Vitale himself was not sure if broadcasting would fit him. Connal, who had hired him, told him, "You have a quality we can't teach." Vitale did not understand this until many people wanted his autograph at the 1983 Final Four. He credits a lot of his success to working with Jim Simpson at the beginning of his career.

In 1985, after the American Broadcasting Company acquired ESPN, Vitale also began doing broadcasts on the ABC network.

In 1999, Vitale was featured in a series of thirty-second promo shorts for "Hoops Malone". The shorts, which aired in heavy rotation on ESPN, were presented as a sitcom featuring Vitale, George Gervin and others, including a puppet called "O'Hoolix". ESPN promoted "Hoops" with banners and other marketing premiums, with the idea of generating buzz about the show, but no actual episodes were ever produced. Though this led to an offer for Vitale to do an actual sitcom, he turned down the opportunity.

In December 2002, Vitale called a St. Vincent – St. Mary's–Oak Hill Academy prep game, featuring then high school phenom LeBron James. He announced the game with Brad Nessler and NBA great Bill Walton.

By the 2004–05 season, Vitale was doing approximately 40 games a year.

Vitale is signed with ESPN through the 2019-20 college basketball season. Vitale was recruited to do color in the first two rounds of the NCAA tournament by CBS but ESPN would not allow it. However, ESPN's analysts Jay Bilas and Len Elmore were allowed to provide color for CBS's tournament coverage, teaming with play-by-play announcers Dick Enberg and Gus Johnson. However, this is slightly misleading as Elmore continues to call games for both CBS and ESPN during the college basketball season; in Bilas' case he was loaned to CBS for the tournament only in 2003 and from 2005-2010.

In February 2015, ESPN removed Vitale from covering Duke-UNC basketball. He had covered every Duke-UNC game televised by ESPN since 1979.

Vitale is a voter on the AP Top 25 men's basketball polls, the annual Naismith Award and the John Wooden Award.

Vitale called his first NBA game on television since the 1984 NBA playoffs, along with Dan Shulman, on January 7, 2009 when the Miami Heat played the Denver Nuggets as ESPN swapped its NBA and NCAA crews. During ESPN's first incarnation covering the NBA, he regularly covered games.

Broadcasting partners

As of 2009, Vitale had called close to a thousand games. Vitale, a color commentator, is primarily paired with play-by-play announcers Mike Patrick, primarily those in the ACC games; and Dan Shulman for Saturday Primetime and other non-ACC games. During the postseason, he appears as an in-studio analyst with host Rece Davis and fellow analysts Jay Bilas, Digger Phelps, Hubert Davis, and Bob Knight. Previously, he has been paired with Keith Jackson, Roger Twibell, and Brent Musburger for ABC as well as Jim Simpson, Tim Brando, Mike Tirico, Dave O'Brien, Sean McDonough and Brad Nessler. He worked in the studio with Bob Ley, John Saunders, Tirico, and Chris Fowler as well as the late Jim Valvano.

Recognition

On September 5, 2008 Vitale was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame as a contributor to the sport, after falling just short of induction the previous year.

In 2011 the University of Detroit named their basketball court in his honor.

On August 18, 2012, he was inducted into the Little League Museum Hall of Excellence.

2016 New Jersey Hall of Fame inductee.

Italian American Sports Hall of Fame.

In popular culture

Vitale lent his name and voice to the 1994 Sega Genesis game, Dick Vitale's "Awesome Baby" College Hoops. Vitale and Nessler also provide the commentator voices for EA Sports' NCAA Basketball (formerly NCAA March Madness) video game series. In 2004, Vitale released a descriptive autobiography cowritten with Dick Weiss entitled Living a Dream. The book has several thoughts and comments on his days with the Pistons and ESPN, and memories of former NC State basketball Coach Jim Valvano. In 1988, Vitale had a cameo appearance as a baseball color commentator, sharing the crowded broadcast booth with Curt Gowdy, Jim Palmer, Dick Enberg, Mel Allen, Tim McCarver and Joyce Brothers in The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad!. Vitale currently stars in commercials for DiGiorno pizza, Oberto beef jerky, and Hooters restaurants. He guest starred on The Cosby Show along with friend Jim Valvano as furniture movers in the eighth-season episode The Getaway. Dick Vitale is also the main spokesperson for Airborne Athletics Dr. Dish basketball training machine. He also made an appearance in the movie Love and Basketball as himself.

Author

Vitale has authored nine books:

  • "Dickie V's ABCs and 1-2-3s", Ascend Books (October 2010)
  • "Living a Dream: Reflections on 25 Years Sitting in the Best Seat", Champaign, IL Sports Publishing LLC (January 1, 2003)
  • "Dick Vitale's Fabulous 50 Players and Moments in College Basketball: From the Best Seat in the House During My 30 Years at ESPN", Ascend Books (October 6, 2008)
  • "Time Out Baby!", Berkley (December 1, 1992)
  • "Vitale", Simon and Schuster; 1st Edition (1988)
  • "Dickie V's Top 40 All-Everything Teams", Masters Press (June 1994)
  • "Tourney Time: It's Awesome Baby!", Masters Press, (December 1993)
  • "Holding Court: Reflections on the Game I Love", Masters Press (November 1995)
  • "Campus Chaos: Why the Game I Love is Breaking My Heart", Sideline Sports Publishing (December 1999)
  • "Getting a W in the Game of Life: Using my T.E.A.M. Model to Motivate, Elevate, and Be Great" (Oct. 2012)
References
  1. ^ "Dick Vitale Biography (1939–)". 
  2. ^ Vitale, Dick (September 6, 2008). "Hall call is simply awesome". ESPN. 
  3. ^ "Pistons Coaching Records". Archived from the original on 2009-12-02. 
  4. ^ "Vitale's first broadcast". 
  5. ^ "Packer vexed at Vitale for doing prep star's game". USA Today. December 4, 2002. Retrieved May 1, 2010. 
  6. ^ "TV/RADIO: Hoops boosts Vitale's vitality". 
  7. ^ "Dick Vitale agrees to contract extension with ESPN". ESPN.com. Retrieved 9 June 2015. 
  8. ^ "Dick Vitale: 'I will absolutely miss' calling Duke-UNC". News & Observer. 2015-02-16. Retrieved 2015-02-17. 
  9. ^ "You Said A Mouthful, Dick, Baby". CNN. March 19, 1990. Retrieved May 1, 2010. 
  10. ^ "Hall call is simply Awesome". Sports.espn.go.com. 2008-09-06. Retrieved 2013-12-27. 
  11. ^ Lembo, John (August 4, 2012). "Dick Vitale honored by Little League hall induction". Bradenton Herald. Archived from the original on 2012-08-05. 
External links
  • Dick Vitale Online
  • Vitale's "V-File" at ESPN.com
  • Dick Vitale at the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame
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Dick Vitale's Living A Dream: Reflections on 25 Years Sitting in the Best Seat in the House
Dick Vitale's Living A Dream: Reflections on 25 Years Sitting in the Best Seat in the House
Since joining ESPN in 1979, Dick Vitale has become the senior spokesman for college hoops. In Living A Dream, Vitale reveals details about his start at ESPN and shares his feelings about the most important people in the college basketball world. A must-have for any basketball fan.

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$9.75
-$7.20(-42%)



It's Awesome, Baby!: 75 Years of Memories and a Lifetime of Opinions on the Game I Love
It's Awesome, Baby!: 75 Years of Memories and a Lifetime of Opinions on the Game I Love
It's hard to believe Dick Vitale, ESPN's perennially youthful basketball analyst, is 75.From his blue-collar roots in New Jersey, his first college coaching job at Rutgers, his ultimate dream job with the Pistons (where he got the Ziggy!), to his 35 years at ESPN as a ""Prime-time Performahhh."" This is Vitale as youve never seen him an inside look at Americas favorite basketball fan.Learn the secret of his longevity in the fast-changing world of TV. ""Dicky V"" provides the die-hard hoops fan with his outspoken opinions on a range of topics including: the most intriguing coaches, players and owners in the sport and the changing landscape of college sports following conference realignment.From 1939 to 2014, youll get to know 75 years worth of history, facts, and opinions, as well as his thoughts on family, the game of basketball, and his passionate fight against childhood cancer.This book will give you new insights into Dick Vitale both the sportscaster and the humanitarian.

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$13.00
-$15.95(-55%)



Dick Vitale's Fabulous 50 Players and Moments in College Basketball: From the Best Seat in the House During My 30 Years at ESPN
Dick Vitale's Fabulous 50 Players and Moments in College Basketball: From the Best Seat in the House During My 30 Years at ESPN
In Dick Vitale's Fabulous 50 Players and Moments in College Basketball: From the Best Seat in the House During My 30 Years at ESPN, America's self-confessed number one college basketball junkie will go on the record, ranking his players and moments from 1 to 50. His personal pantheon might surprise you. The legends are here, of course. And they deserve to be. Consensus is that these are the greatest of the great. But some of his rankings may be unexpected. Kansas guard Mario Chalmers' three-point shot to force overtime against Memphis in the 2008 national championship game. Ralph Sampson of Virginia vs. Patrick Ewing of Georgetown in a 1983 reprise of the great showdown between Lew Alcindor and Elvin Hayes in the '60s. UCLA guard Tyus Edney's length-of-the-floor dash to glory against Missouri in the 1995 tournament. Michael Jordan's game winning shot against Georgetown in 1982 during his freshman year at North Carolina. Kentucky's 31point comeback against LSU in 1994. Cinderella George Mason upsetting Connecticut to make the Final Four in 2006. Every basketball fan has his or her favorites: the perfect player, the magical moments. But only Dick Vitale will go on the record, ranking them 1 through 50, and he'll do it as much as a fan as a commentator. This is from his heart, naming the top 50 players and moments in the wonderful world of college hoops. It's awesome, baby.

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Getting a W in the Game of Life: Using my T.E.A.M. Model to Motivate, Elevate, and Be Great
Getting a W in the Game of Life: Using my T.E.A.M. Model to Motivate, Elevate, and Be Great
Its tip-off time and time to get that W, a WIN, in the most important game of all . . . the game of life! Dick Vitale has been in our homes for more than 30 years calling College Basketball on ESPN. Now, invite him in to share the incredible legacies lived and lessons learned that have resulted in a formula for success hes willing to share with todays young men and women. This is not just an advice book, its a playbook for life! ~Dick Vitale Hell tell you how pride, passion, and perseverance can work in every persons life. Youll see how energy, excitement, and enthusiasm are choices you can make every single day and in every single situation. Dick talks about the drive and determination that have never let him down. Hell share stories from the lives of his heroes on and off the court. Dick speaks to readers in a way never more personal than in these pages. He does this beautifully through real-life stories from all walks of life and he discusses real-life issues confronted by todays students including: criticism, social media pressures, over-scheduling, family dynamics, gossip, self-esteem, bullying, and more. Youll hear from Dicks heart, feel his joy, and be moved to make the right choices. Whats more is that youll be amazed by how simply you can make his T.E.A.M. your own as you apply the offensive and defensive strategies necessary to navigating lifes difficulties. Hands-on work, tear-out activities, and plenty of goodies from Vitales M for motivation file will make this a read that is as life-changing as it is enjoyable. Its gonna be Awesome, Baby . . . and so will YOU!

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$12.69
-$6.26(-33%)



Dick Vitale (Baseball Card) 2011 Topps Allen & Ginter's - [Base] - Mini #136
Dick Vitale (Baseball Card) 2011 Topps Allen & Ginter's - [Base] - Mini #136
2011 Topps Allen & Ginter's - [Base] - Mini #136 - Dick Vitale

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Dickie V's ABCs and 1-2-3s: A Great Start for Young Superstars
Dickie V's ABCs and 1-2-3s: A Great Start for Young Superstars
Do you know a young superstar who's old enough to begin learning their alphabet and numbers? A budding basketball fan who's ready to take on the world of reading and hoops? Well, Dickie V's ABCs and 1-2-3s, the first little book in the Dick Vitale Children's Literacy Initiative, is AWESOME, BABY!It's a children's alphabet and counting book from the legendary ESPN college basketball analyst, Dick Vitale. Dick is a grandfather of five and a passionate advocate for early childhood development. In the book, children learn their alphabet through high-energy basketball words that Dick uses in his national broadcasts. For example, D is for dunk; and J is for jump. In the counting section of the book, Dick leads kids in counting 1 to 10 using colorful basketballs. The book has a special interactive feature the child can press to hear a digital, voice-recorded message from Dick Vitale. Vitale's roots are in teaching the game he's loved since he was a child. This new book launches the Dick Vitale Children's Literacy Initiative, which has as its mission to advance the literacy skills of children and to advocate literacy as a critical element in the development of a globally competitive society.The book is richly illustrated with a colorful menagerie of characters and typefaces that attract the interest of young readers (and adult readers, too!). Endorsed by early childhood development specialists, Dickie V's ABCs and 1-2-3s is a wonderful gift for a child's birthday, for baby showers, for Christmas, Hanukkah, or just because.The book, published by Ascend Books, who also published Dick Vitale's Fabulous 50 Players and Moments in College Basketball, is the first in a series of books from Vitale for young readers. Future titles feature subjects on virtues and values, personal development and accountability, and the importance of education as part of the Dick Vitale Children's Literacy Initiative.

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$10.44
-$4.51(-30%)



Tourney Time: It's Awesome Baby!
Tourney Time: It's Awesome Baby!
Vitale, the nation's most popular college basketball commentator, teams up with Douchant, former basketball editor of The Sporting News, to write the ultimate book on America's most engaging sporting event--the NCAA Basketball Tournament. 50 photos.

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$23.71



Vitale: Just Your Average Bald, One-Eyed Basketball Wacko Who Beat the Ziggy and Became a PTP'er
Vitale: Just Your Average Bald, One-Eyed Basketball Wacko Who Beat the Ziggy and Became a PTP'er
Dicky V's tale of his lifelong love of basketball, from being a high school coach in New Jersey to being fired as the coach of the NBA's Detroit Pistons to being the television voice of college basketball.

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$5.95
-$12.00(-67%)



The Hooters Cookbook
The Hooters Cookbook
The Hooters Cookbook salutes the "Man Food" and carefree lifestyle that makes Hooters restaurants a worldwide destination. There are 435 restaurants in 46 states and 22 countries. The 72 recipes and over 80 full color photos provide the ideal foods for barbecues, tailgate parties or just getting together with family and friends to watch college football games, the NFL playoffs and Super Bowl game. In addition, there are humerous tips and factoids and photos from Hooters Restaurants other ventures: The Hooters Casino Hotel in Las Vegas, the Hooters sponsored sporting events and their numerous charities. This is the perfect gift for father, son, brother or brother-in-law who enjoys entertaining and sporting events.

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Underdawgs: How Brad Stevens and Butler University Built the Bulldogs for March Madness
Underdawgs: How Brad Stevens and Butler University Built the Bulldogs for March Madness
“In the best John Feinstein tradition” (Booklist) the greatest college basketball story in decades—the Butler Bulldogs and their improbable run to two straight NCAA National Championship games—now updated in paperback.Butler University in Indianapolis became the smallest school in forty years to reach the NCAA championship game. Calculated as a 200-to-1 shot to win, Butler came this close to beating the heavily favored, perennial leaders of college basketball: the Duke Blue Devils in 2010. And in 2011, Butler advanced again to the finals, ultimately losing to UConn—but accomplishing so much. Underdawgs tells the incredible and uplifting story. Butler’s coach, thirty-three-year-old Brad Stevens, looked so young he was often mistaken for one of the players, but he had quickly become one of the best coaches in the nation by employing the Butler Way. This philosophy of basketball and life, adopted by the program, is based on five principles: humility, passion, unity, servanthood, and thankfulness. Even the most casual observer could see this in every player, on the court and off, from 2010 NBA first-round draft pick Gordon Hayward to the last guy on the bench.Much more than a sports story, Underdawgs is the consummate David vs. Goliath tale—the Bulldogs proved they belonged in the spotlight and, in the process, won the hearts of sports fans everywhere. 

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$7.05
-$9.95(-59%)


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