(This story has been updated to include corrected information.)
Chet Coppock, the legendary Chicago sportscaster who was a flamboyant showman on television and radio for decades, died Wednesday of injuries in a car accident April 6 near Hilton Head Island, South Carolina.
Coppock, 70, was a passenger in a 2004 Lexus traveling southbound on a highway in Okatie, South Carolina — 14 miles west of Hilton Head Island — when it crossed the median at 1:04 p.m. and struck a 2018 Land Rover traveling in the opposite direction, according to police reports. The Land Rover then stuck a 2019 Chevrolet traveling in the same direction. Coppock, all three drivers and a passenger in the Chevrolet were injured.
Coppock died of multiple injuries 11 days later at Memorial University Medical Center in Savannah, Georgia.
“He was the one and only,” said longtime friend Mark Giangreco, sports anchor at ABC-owned WLS-Channel 7. “He was the original.”
A native of Northfield and graduate of New Trier High School and Columbia College, Coppock was a top sports anchor at NBC-owned WMAQ-Channel 5 in the 1980s. He segued to radio where he became known as the “Godfather of Sports Talk Radio.” His colorful career included stints as an announcer for the Roller Derby and World Wrestling Federation.
He also wrote five books, including two memoirs.
Here is a Facebook post from Coppock’s daughter, Lyndsey Coppock:
We lost our father, Chet Coppock, on April 17th due to complications from injuries he sustained in a car accident outside Hilton Head, SC. 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.
Our father’s wishes were to have a memorial service for friends and family to reflect on good times and to laugh, sharing memories of the past. When we have those details we will share them as soon as possible.
Life is too short and you are never promised another day. Tell your friends and family you love them, you never know when your last moments with them will be. We love you, Dad, and we are so proud of you.