Woody L. Durham
Former Play -by- Play Announcer
Tar Heel Sports Network
40 years as the “Voice of the Tar Heels” (1971-2011) Retired in June 2011
Born August 8, 1941 in Mebane, North Carolina, grew up in Albemarle, North Carolina, and began his
broadcasting career at age 16 at WZKY radio.
~ Graduated from the University of North Carolina in 1963 with an AB degree in radio, television and
“‘ While an undergraduate at UNC, Durham was the Sports Director of WUNC- TV for three years.
~ Worked briefly in Florence, SC, at WBTW – TV and then went to Greensboro, NC, where he served for
14 years (1963-1977) as the Sports Director for WFMY-TV
~ Worked as Director of Sports and Sports Development for four years (1977-1981) at WPTF-TV in
~ Since November 1981 has worked with VilCom Inc. of Chapel Hill then Learfield Communications
Inc. of Jefferson City, Missouri as the play-by-play announcer for Tar Heel Sports Properties until his
~ Was the “Voice of the Tar Heels” for 40 years (1971-2011). The 2010-2011 season marked his final
year as play-by-play announcer for Carolina’s football and basketball teams. During his tenure as
“Voice ofthe Tar Heels” Carolina played more than 1,800 football and basketball games winning
72 of the games during his tenure.
~ Served as host and producer of the UNC coaches’ television shows between 1971 and 1984 and hosted
the Coaches radio and television shows until his retirement.
Has been honored 13 times as the North Carolina Sportscaster of the Year. The most recent was 2009.
(In fact, Woody and his son Wes were both honored by the National Sportscasters and Sportswriter
Association in 2005 and 2009.)
Served as a Member of the Board and Chairman of the Eastern North Carolina Chapter of the National
Multiple Sclerosis Society.
~ Served as Co-Chairman of the Carolina Kids Classic for 22 years, helping to raise more than three
million dollars for the Ronald McDonald House, the UNC Children’s Hospital and the Childhood
~ More recently, he and his wife, Jean, have served as Honorary Chairs of a seven-million dollar
expansion campaign for the Chapel Hill Ronald McDonald House.
Inducted into the Stanly County Sports Hall of Fame in 1993.
~ Received the “Carolina Priceless Gem” from the UNC Athletic Department in January 1994 for doing
his 1,000th broadcast of a Carolina game.
~ Received a Distinguished Service Award from the North Carolina High School Association in May
~ On May 13, 1995 received the Distinguished Service Medal from the UNC General Alumni
Association for outstanding service to the University and the Association.
~ In November of 2000 received the William R. Davie Award, the highest honor given by UNC-CH
trustees, bestowed upon friends of the University to recognize extraordinary service to the University or
); In March 9, 2002, received the Marvin “Skeeter” Francis Award during the 2002 ACC Men’s
Basketball Tournament in recognition for special service to the ACe.
Honored by the North Carolina High School Athletic Association on May 1, 2003, with the Russell
Blunt Legends Award for being a true “legend” in athletics.
On April 4, 2004 he was inducted into the North Carolina Broadcasters Association Hall of Fame,
honoring individuals who have made significant contributions to the North Carolina broadcast industry.
On May 19,2005, he was inducted into the North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame, commemorating North
Carolinians who have made significant contributions to the sports world. At the time he was 14th
member of the media to be so honored, and only the sixth Broadcaster.
On June 10, 2005, he received the Lindsey Nelson Outstanding Sportscaster Award from the All-
American Football Foundation which is presented to an outstanding collegiate broadcaster who has
promoted or advanced the game of college football.
In November 2007, he was inducted into the UNC Golf Programs AE. Finley Order of Merit
recognizing former players, coaches, administrators and friends who have contributed to the programs.
On June 28, 2008 he was inducted into the Mebane Sports Hall of Fame.
On April 23, 2010, Woody and Jean Durham were presented the Outstanding Service Award from the
Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center Board of Visitors for superior leadership, service and loyal
In May 2011 was honored with the Sanford Area Chamber of Commerce’s Lifetime Achievement
In May, 2011, he was honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Sportscasters
and Sportswriters Association in Salisbury, Ne. The award was presented to him by his son Wes, the
Georgia Sportscaster of the Year.
On December 6, 2011, he received the Chris Schenkel Award from the National Football Association at
the Waldorf Astoria in New York City. This award is presented annually by the National Football
Foundation to a sportscaster for service to college football with a lengthy association with one
~ On January 10,2012 he was presented with the Order of the Long Leaf Pine by Governor Beverly
Perdue. This honor is given to individuals with a record of extraordinary service to the state of North
Carolina and is one of the highest honors the governor can bestow on a North Carolina citizen.
The radio broadcast booth in Kenan Stadium is now named in his honor; it is now named the “Woody
Durham Tar Heel Sports Network Radio Booth”.
On September 1,2012, John F. Blair Publisher in Winston-Salem released “WOODY DURHAM: A
Tar Heel Voice”. Written with the assistance of Adam Lucas, the book sold more than 5,000 copies in
the first three months and went into a second printing.
J On September 28,2012, he received the Distinguished Service In Sports Award from the Alamance
County Sports Development Council in Burlington, N. C.
~ On December 5, 2012, the Houston (Texas) Rotary Club, which has presented the Lombardi Award for
nearly 50 years to the best Defensive Lineman or Linebacker in college football, presented him with
first Lombardi Broadcaster Award.
~ On September 16,2013, he was inducted into the Guilford County Sports Hall of Fame in Greensboro,
N.C., 36 years after serving 14 years (1963-1977) as Sports Director of WFMY-TV.
Resides in Chapel Hill with his wife, Jean, and they were married 50 years on June 23, 2013. They
have two sons, Wes and Taylor, and 14-year-old twin grandchildren, Emily and Will.
~ Woody’s two sons have followed in his footsteps; Wes, an eight-time Georgia Sportscaster of the Year
has turned to television where he does football, basketball and baseball for Fox Sports and RayCom,
but in the NFL he will be the radio voice of the Atlanta Falcons for a 10th season … while Taylor, who
works for IMG College, is in his fifth year doing football, basketball, baseball games as well as
coaches’ radio shows for Elon University, the alma mater of both Durham sons.