Bill Raftery Health Update – Is He Retiring?

Bill Raffery

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Sam Bramlett - Author

since 1983, Bill Raffery is a trusted voice for college sports fans.

His signature style of play spawned the now-iconic quote from the 1988 Big East Conference game, when the Pittsburgh Panthers’ Jerome Lane went upstairs to a smashing dunk and Bill roared, “Send it in, Jerome!” with infectious enthusiasm.

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Before becoming a broadcaster, Bill was a coach for Seton Hall from 1971 to 1981 and before that he played ball himself at La Salle University.

Today, 79-year-old Bill is still doing what he does best at CBS alongside Jim Nantz, Grant Hill and Tracy Wolfson. So how is his health – and does he have plans to retire?

Bill Raftery is healthy – and loves to keep busy.

Bill at the 38th Sports Emmy Awards.
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Before becoming a broadcaster, Bill was NCAA head coach for Seton Hall.

Bill turns 80 on April 19 and credits his busy work schedule with staying healthy.

“I feel lucky that people are still letting me do it. I think it keeps you young,” he said the athlete. “We all have friends who retired too early. I don’t know if I could stop working and play golf every day.”

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In addition to his impressive broadcasting career, Bill has been married to his wife Joan since 1969 and the couple have four children and five grandchildren.

His son Billy actually produced and narrated a documentary about his father’s life in basketball called With a kiss in 2016.

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Is Bill Raffery retiring soon?

Not soon. While one of his crewmates Jim Nantz, 63, has announced his resignation (He will be replaced by Ian Eagle) Bill has no plans to retire.

“I expect at some point someone will say maybe you should wrap it up,” Bill explained the athlete. “I don’t think it’s going to work … I don’t even want to think about it, to be honest.”

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In 2017, Bill was inducted into the Sports Broadcasting Hall of Fame – and this year marks his 43rd stint of NCAA Division I championship calling.

“Few in this industry are recognized as front runners and universally respected and liked by peers, coaches, players and fans,” he said Chairman of CBS Sports Sean McManus.

Jim Nantz agreed, adding, “He’s loved. If you listen to him on the air you can hear his smile. The rest of the world has gotten a little bit older, but Raftery is this timeless guy who continues to see things very quickly, very clearly in his commentary, this quirky approach of throwing in a joke here and there. I’m just laughing Bill Raftery Health Update – Is He Retiring?

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