Woody Durham, former ‘Voice of the Tar Heels,’ dies at 76

Woody Durham, former ‘Voice of the Tar Heels,’ dies at 76

CHAPEL HILL, NC (WNCN) - Woody Durham, who served for 40 years as the "Voice of the Tar Heels" on radio, has died at the age of 76.

Durham, a 1963 UNC graduate, retired in 2011. He called more than 1,800 broadcasts on the Tar Heel Sports Network, winning the North Carolina Sportscaster of the Year award 13 times.

"Our family is grateful for the incredible support my dad and our family received throughout his illness," says Wes Durham. "From the medical teams to the general public, it's been amazing. We hold to and will always cherish the wonderful memories he left for our family and Carolina fans throughout the world."

RELATED: Hear UNC legend Woody Durham discuss losing his voice

In 2016, it was revealed he had been diagnosed with primary progressive aphasia, which affected his ability to speak.

Durham called 23 Tar Heel football bowl games, 13 men's basketball Final Fours and six national championship games, including the NCAA title-winning seasons in 1982, 1993, 2005 and 2009.

"It's a very sad day for everyone who loves the University of North Carolina because we have lost someone who spent nearly 50 years as one of its greatest champions and ambassadors," said UNC men's basketball coach Roy Williams. "My heart goes out to Jean, Wes, Taylor and their entire family.

"Woody was synonymous with Carolina Athletics for decades, and his voice was gospel to generations of Tar Heels who trusted his every word. I was struck by how diligently Woody prepared for his broadcast of games. When game time arrived, he made it look and sound so easy because he had a voice that resonated just so, but much of it was because he worked incredibly hard at it."

CBS North Carolina will update this story as it develops.