Long-time Chicago sportscaster Chet Coppock has died from injuries he suffered in a car accident in South Carolina, his family confirmed Thursday.
Coppock’s daughter Lyndsey confirmed the news on her Facebook page, saying the legendary broadcaster had been involved in a car accident last week, and died from his injuries on Wednesday night.
“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 trailblazer help shape into the adults we know he was so incredibly proud of,” his daughter said in the post.
Coppock was a staple on Chicago radio and television for decades, hosting the famous show “Coppock on Sports” on WMAQ Radio and pioneering sports talk radio in the city. He also hosted pre and post-game shows for Notre Dame football and basketball, authored five books, and was a strong supporter of numerous charitable endeavors, including the Easter Seals and March of Dimes.
"He was a character," NBC 5 Engineer Hedy Zussman said about her former colleague at the station. "He talked very loud, and boy could he talk."
Coppock also worked for several area sports teams, including the Chicago Blackhawks.
“His passion for the city of Chicago and its sports teams was unrivalled and always on full display through his larger-than-life personality,” Blackhawks President and CEO John McDonough said in a statement. “Those who had the pleasure to work with Chet were truly fortunate.”
The Chicago Bears also plan to honor Coppock's life by leaving an empty seat in the press box for their opening game against the Green Bay Packers later this fall.
Local sportscasters praised Coppock as a pioneer in the field, and many said that he helped give them their start in the business.
"To this day I've never taken a broadcasting class in my life, but broadcasting is my life," said ESPN Radio host David Kaplan. "And Chet gave me a chance and took a chance on a guy and without him there is no chance I'm doing this."
Memorial services are pending, according to the family.