Dick Enberg, a 60-year veteran of the broadcasting industry, died Thursday at his home in California, his family announced. He was 82 years old.
Enberg was a native of Michigan whose first job was at a local radio station was as a custodian. He came to the nation’s attention later as a play-by-play announcer for the UCLA men’s basketball team during the John Wooden dynasty, where the Bruins would win eight national championships during his nine-year tenure behind the mic at Pauley Pavilion.
His signature call of “Oh my!” could be heard at UCLA, during the 10 Super Bowls he called and during Major League Baseball games, of which he called nine no-hitters.
Enberg worked for ESPN, CBS and NBC, as that network’s No. 1 NFL voice with analyst Merlin Olsen during the 1980’s while also serving as host for tennis coverage from Wimbledon. He also called some of the most famous college basketball games ever, including the “Game of the Century” between Houston and UCLA in 1968 and the Magic Johnson-Larry Bird NCAA title game in 1979.
Sean McManus, chairman of CBS Sports, reflected on Enberg’s legendary career in a statement.
“All of us at CBS Sports are saddened to hear of the passing of our friend and colleague Dick Enberg. There will never be another Dick Enberg,” McManus said. “As the voice of generations of fans, Dick was a masterful storyteller, a consummate professional and a true gentleman. He was one of the true legends of our business. His passion, energy and love for the game will surely be missed. Our deepest sympathies go out to Barbara and his entire family.”
Enberg received the Ford C. Frick Award from the National Baseball Hall of Fame, won 13 Sports Emmy awards and a Lifetime Achievement Emmy. He was also honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.