LA JOLLA (CelebrityAccess) – When Central Michigan players came on to the field Friday afternoon (Dec. 22) for their Idaho Potato bowl game against Wyoming in Boise, Idaho, they wore yellow, “OH MY!” stickers on the back of its helmets, an homage to Dick Enberg, the legendary broadcaster who was one of its most famous alums.
Enberg died Thursday, Dec 21st of a heart attack. He was 82.
Enberg grew up in Armada, Michigan before heading to Central Michigan, where he studied broadcasting, earned a bachelor’s degree, and eventually moved on to a small station in Saginaw.
That kicked off a six-decade career in the broadcast booth.
Enberg’s daughter, Nicole Enberg Vaz, confirmed his death to The Associated Press. She said the family became concerned when her father didn’t arrive on his flight to Boston, and he was found dead at his home in La Jolla, a San Diego neighborhood.
Enberg’s wife, Barbara was already in Boston and was expecting his arrival. She said her husband had appeared to be waiting for a car that was set to shuttle him to the San Diego airport for a 6:30 a.m. flight. “He was dressed with his bags packed at the door,” she said. “We think it was a heart attack.”
The family “is grateful for the kind thoughts and prayers of all of Dick’s countless fans and dear friends,” according to a statement released by Enberg’s attorney, Dennis Coleman. “At this time we are all still processing the significant loss, and we ask for prayers and respectful privacy in the immediate aftermath of such untimely news.”
Enberg got his big break in 1965 in Los Angeles. KTLA, Channel 5, was looking for a sportscaster and Enberg, then a teacher, landed the job.
Enberg was soon calling the weekly televised boxing cards at Olympic Auditorium. He also became the radio announcer for the Los Angeles Rams, and began announcing UCLA Bruins’ telecasts.
Then came a decade-long association with the Los Angeles’ Angels until NBC called. There he, Billy Packer and Al McGuire formed a NCAA tournament trio. They were together for only four seasons at NBC (1978-81), but they formed one of most memorable broadcast teams in sports. They broke up in 1982 when Packer followed the NCAA tournament to CBS.
One of the most versatile and enthusiastic sports announcer of his era, Enberg did it all including announcing for major league baseball, college and pro football, college basketball, boxing, tennis, golf, Olympics, Rose Bowls and Super Bowls, and Breeders’ Cup horse racing.
During his career Enberg won 13 Sports Emmy Awards, and a Lifetime Achievement Emmy. He received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and UCLA named its Media Centre in Pauley Pavilion after Enberg this year.
At halftime of a UCLA game in February, 2017 former Bruins stars Bill Walton and Jamaal Wilkes presented Enberg with a No. 8 jersey, signifying the number of championships he called.
“There will never be another Dick Enberg,” CBS Sports Chairman Sean McManus said. “As the voice of generations of fans, Dick was a masterful storyteller, a consummate professional and a true gentleman. He was one of the true legends of our business.”