Bob Harris (born 1942), the "Voice of the Blue Devils" is a Hall of Fame-inducted play-by-play announcer for Duke University men's basketball and football teams. In his 40 seasons at Duke, Harris has broadcast 456 consecutive Duke football games (2015) and 1,358 Duke basketball games (2016). His 1,980 game career includes 41 ACC men's basketball tournament games, 126 NCAA men's basketball tournament games in 35 trips, 13 Final Four appearances, 11 national championship games and 5 NCAA Champion titles.
Harris was inducted into the Stanly County Sports Hall of Fame in 1993. He was inducted into the North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame in 2006. Harris was named the 2011 North Carolina Sportscaster of the Year by the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association, winning for the third time, following wins in 1988 and 1991. Harris has said, "I'm a fan. A fan with a microphone." On June 25, 2016, Harris received the prestigious "Order of the Long Leaf Pine" award from NC Governor Pat McCrory for 40 years of service to the state.
Born in 1942, Harris grew up in Albemarle, North Carolina. Beginning in 1960, Harris attended North Carolina State University for two years before leaving college to work for Goodyear. He later returned to his hometown for a job selling insurance, where he began working part-time for WZKY, in 1967. Harris volunteered to provide coverage of local football for the station, which led to him being hired as a full-time sports announcer, as well as sports director for eight years.
In 1975, Harris and his family relocated to Durham where Harris had been offered a sales job on WDNC. A week later, he was hosting a sports talk show. Eventually, he served as color commentator to then-Duke sportcaster, Add Penfield, broadcasting Duke football and basketball games. When Penfield experienced health problems, Harris filled in. Penfield retired in the spring of 1976, opening the door for Harris to become the "Voice of the Blue Devils" beginning with the 1976 football season.
Nationally, Harris is best known for his play-by-play of Christian Laettner's buzzer beater in Duke's victory over the University of Kentucky in the 1992 East Regional of the NCAA Basketball Tournament. ESPN considers the 1992 East Regional Final in Philadelphia the "greatest college basketball game ever" played. Harris' description of "The Shot" from the radio broadcast is most often featured with the archival video footage, replacing that of the original television commentators:
In December, 2010, Harris published his autobiography,"How Sweet It Is!: From the Cotton Mill to the Crows' Nest", recounting his storied career as the "Voice of the Blue Devils". He has been courtside to witness all five of Duke's National Championship wins.
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