North Carolina Pays Tribute To Former Broadcaster At ACC Tournament

Ross Houston
March 8, 2018

Durham, the voice of the North Carolina Tar Heels for almost 40 years, will receive the award with his son, Wes Durham, accepting the award tonight in Brooklyn at the ACC Tournament.

UNC has announced a celebration of Durham's life will be April 8 at Carmichael Arena in Chapel Hill, N.C.

Woody Durham signs a basketball for Will Rhodes, who sits with his dad, Richard Rhodes."Woody Durham was a friend of WHKP coming to Hendersonville on numerous occasions to have a meal, enjoy a round of golf and tell us all the untold stories behind the Heels", Rhodes said.

For many, Durham was the preferred method of listening to UNC broadcasts.

In 2016, he was diagnosed primary progressive aphasia.

After Durham retired in 2011, his 40th year in radio, he continued to appear at UNC basketball and football games with his wife.

North Carolina has always been one of the top collegiate programs with a passionate national fan base.

"I've been close to the Durham family for a long time because of my relationship with Wes (Durham, one of Woody's two sons), we go way back, 30 years to when Wes was at Elon and I was at Carson-Newman". "His influence on me and my career is vast".

"Then to get to know him and see what kind of father he was to Wes and Taylor, what kind of husband he was to Jean and just what he really meant to the North Carolina people, you just really got to feel how nearly larger than life he was", Cotten said. For those of us who knew Woody, we knew he put in as much preparation for each game as did the players and coaches. And, yet in all that, he would return every year to Stanly County and even help us out with liners and promos when we asked. We should all "go where we go and do what we do" and say a prayer for Woody and his family. Coaches and players have come and gone, but that solid Carolina voice was always there to reassure the Tar Heel family.

The Tar Heels assisted 25 of 29 makes and led all the way until Tyus Battle made a jumper with 3:09 remaining to tie the game at 74-74.

I've watched and played a lot of basketball, but I have never seen anything like our student section during a game begin to chant softly - "Woody, Woody, Woody" until the entire crowd is screaming Woody Durham's name.

On behalf of this former Rocky Mount Tar Heel, thank you Woody.

"Woody, I think, is as an important part of the history, not just of the University of North Carolina, but as our state, as a Dean Smith a Jim Valvano a Mike K", Mixon said. "Doherty in the double team, gives it back to Black with 20 seconds left to play ... goes back to Michael Jordan, jumper from out on the left - good!" "I'm doing it to honor him. He really was a Carolina treasure taken away from us too soon".

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