The late Woody Durham, the longtime radio voice of the North Carolina Tar Heels, was among four people inducted in the National Sports Media Association’s Hall of Fame on Monday.
Durham joined sportscaster Bryant Gumbel and writers Thomas Boswell and Dick Weiss in the top honors at the 59th annual awards event, held at Wake Forest University's Joel Coliseum in Winston-Salem.
Durham retired in 2011 after 40 years calling UNC football and men's basketball games. in 2016, he announced his diagnosis when the disease affected his speaking ability.
Wes Durham, the voice of the Atlanta Falcons, accepted the award for his father, who passed away at age 76 in March after being diagnosed with the neurocognitive disease Primary Progressive Aphasia in 2016.
“We’re especially glad that my dad was able to be notified of this before he passed away in early March,” Wes Durham said in accepting the honor. “Tonight it’s important to know how touched we’ve been as a family – from the prayer, support, and really just the simple kindness from so many of you.”
Durham noted the honor completes a hat trick for his father, who became just the second college play-by-play sportscaster to be inducted into the NSMA Hall of Fame, joining the late Larry Munson, the longtime voice of the Georgia Bulldogs.
Woody was also honored with the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame Curt Gowdy Award in 2015, and the National Football Foundation’s Chris Schenkel Award in 2011.
Wes Durham also thanked The News & Observer’s Andrew Carter for a series of stories on his father’s condition, which he said helped the family raise nearly $100,000 for Aphasia research.
Carter and The News & Observer’s Luke DeCock shared an award from the organization as North Carolina Sportswriter of the Year for 2017.