Video: Chet Coppock appears on the “Friday Night” show on April 7, 2006 with John Callaway.
Longtime Chicago sportscaster Chet Coppock, who was for years a fixture on local television and a pioneer of sports talk radio with his “Coppock on Sports” show on WMAQ-AM in Chicago, died Wednesday following a car accident. He was 70 years old.
According to his daughter, Lyndsey, Coppock's death was the result of complications from injuries he sustained in a car accident near Hilton Head, South Carolina, on April 11.
“His passing is untimely, unexpected and painfully sad, but all we can do at this time is remember how lucky we were to have such a unique and creative trailblazers help shape (sic) into the adults we know he was so incredibly proud of,” Lyndsey Coppock wrote Thursday morning on Facebook.
The bombastic Coppock came to be known as the “Godfather of Sports Talk Radio,” greeting callers by saying, “Your dime, your dance floor.”
Coppock, who grew up in suburban Northfield, was introduced to sports at an early age and had the opportunity to meet sports legends, like George Halas and Sid Luckman, thanks to his father.
“By the time I was eight, I knew I was missing at least three ingredients to become an athlete – speed, a vertical jump and good hands,” Coppock said on his website.
By age 17, Coppock was broadcasting football and basketball games on the school radio station at New Trier High School in Winnetka. Four years later, he was hired to produce the Milwaukee Bucks radio network.
He returned to Chicago shortly after to host a nightly TV talk show on WSNS-44, “Sport Rap,” before becoming a staff announcer on WFLD-TV, where he befriended a promoter that led to a gig as a roller derby announcer.
In the mid-1970s, Coppock worked for six years as a sports director at WISH TV in Indianapolis. He returned to Chicago in 1981, joining the WMAQ-TV staff as a sportscaster. Three years later, he launched “Coppock on Sports.”
During his career, Coppock has also worked on “The Mike Ditka” radio show, and “The Black Table,” as well as talk shows featuring NBA coaches Phil Jackson and Doug Collins.
Survivors include Lydnsey Coppock, who said on Facebook: “Our father’s wishes were to have a memorial service for friends and family to reflect on good times and to laugh, sharing memories of the past. When we have those details we will share them as soon as possible.”
The Associated Press contributed.