During his 40 years as the voice of the Tar Heels, Woody called more than 1,800 games. He worked with six head football coaches and their 900 lettermen, including 19 first-team All-Americans, and four basketball coaches and their 200 lettermen, including 33 All-Americans. Woody earned the honor of North Carolina Sportscaster of the Year 13 times and was inducted into the N.C. Broadcasters Association Hall of Fame and the N.C. Sports Hall of Fame. By the end of his tenure at UNC, Woody received the Lindsey Nelson Outstanding Sportscaster Award from the All-American Football Foundation and the Chris Schenkel Award from the National Football Foundation and the College Football Hall of Fame.
“Woody’s enthusiasm, his love for Carolina, is something that is extremely special,” said UNC basketball coach Roy Williams during Woody’s induction into the North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame in 2005.
But Woody’s time at North Carolina wasn’t just about him. It was about the athletes and plays he announced. It was about Michael Jordan and James Worthy, Lawrence Taylor and Amos Lawrence. It was about the six national championship basketball games and 13 Final Fours he broadcasted. It was about the Tar Heels and Carolina Blue, and the people and talent that make UNC sports magnificent.
This book highlights behind-the-scenes stories from Woody’s 40 years as the voice of the Tar Heels, which makes it as much a chronicle of Tar Heel history as it is an autobiography. He takes the reader on a nostalgic stroll down memory lane—from his descriptions of a sleepy Franklin Street in Chapel Hill and the days of football legend Choo Choo Justice to the enormous changes in college sports and how they are covered to his dozens of stories about the coaches and players he worked with during his tenure. An appendix offers Woody’s thoughts on every football and basketball player from his broadcasting days who has an honored jersey at UNC. And for the first time, Woody provides some unfiltered opinions on the games and people he covered.
As coauthor Adam Lucas says in his acknowledgments, “This book is about [Woody’s] life, but for many of us, it’s also about an era of Tar Heel sports—one that we heard through him.”
Adam Lucas is the publisher of Tar Heel Monthly and Tar Heels Today and a columnist for goheels.com and Chapel Hill Monthly. He is author of six books about Carolina basketball. He and Woody Durham both live in Chapel Hill, N.C.