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Bill Raftery

Not to be confused with the comedian and impressionist, Bill Rafferty.
Bill Raftery
Sport(s) Basketball
Biographical details
Born (1943-04-19) April 19, 1943 (age 72)
Playing career

La Salle
Coaching career (HC unless noted)

Fairleigh Dickinson–Florham
Seton Hall
Head coaching record
Overall 217–188 (basketball)
Accomplishments and honors
New Jersey Sports Writers Association Coach of the Year (1979)

Bill Raftery (born April 19, 1943) is an American basketball analyst and former college basketball coach.


High school career

Raftery attended St. Cecilia High School in Kearny, New Jersey, where he starred in basketball and became the all-time leading scorer in state history with 2,192 points,[1] a record finally surpassed after 35 years. He earned all-state honors in basketball and led his team to the state championship in his senior season. He was also named all-state in baseball and soccer.[2] He has been named, retroactively, Mr. Basketball USA for 1959.[3]

College career

Raftery played at La Salle University under coach Donald "Dudey" Moore. During his freshman year he scored a freshman record 370 points, followed by a team leading 17.8 points per game in his sophomore year. As a senior he co-captained the Explorers to the National Invitation Tournament. [4]

Following his senior year at La Salle, Raftery was drafted by the NBA's New York Knicks, making it to the final cut, but he never played in the NBA.[5]

Coaching career

From 1970 to 1981, he was the head coach of Seton Hall University, where he posted a 154–141 record and led the Pirates to four ECAC post-season tournaments and two National Invitational Tournament appearances. His 154 wins as a coach places him fourth on the all-time list at Seton Hall behind Honey Russell, P.J. Carlesimo, and Frank Hill. Prior to his job at Seton Hall, he was at Fairleigh Dickinson University at Florham Park where he coached basketball and golf, and also served as Associate Athletic Director. In 1979, he was named Coach of the Year by the New Jersey Sports Writers Association.[6]

Broadcasting career

He has served as an analyst and play-by-play announcer for CBS Sports' college basketball coverage for over 33 years. During CBS' play-by-play coverage of March Madness, Raftery is frequently partnered with Verne Lundquist. His trademark quotes are "Onions!" (whenever a shot is made late in a close game), "Send it in big fella!" (whenever a post player makes a slam dunk), and, "A little lingerie on the deck!" (whenever a player makes a nifty move with the ball).[7] He is especially remembered for "Send it in, Jerome!", his call immediately after Jerome Lane of Pitt shattered the backboard with a dunk during a 1988 game.[7] In 2015, CBS/Turner Sports will partner Raftery with Jim Nantz and Grant Hill to make up the primary announcing team for the NCAA tournament, including the Final Four.[8]

Raftery was also an analyst with ESPN, primarily partnered with Sean McDonough and Jay Bilas and formerly Mike Gorman for Big East games. He has also served as an analyst for CBS Radio/Westwood One's coverage of the NCAA Men's Final Four along with Kevin Kugler and John Thompson.

Raftery has also served as an analyst for the New Jersey Nets and served as an on-course commentator for PGA Tour Champions Tour events.[4] On June 27, 2013, Raftery signed with Fox to call Big East basketball games on the upstart network Fox Sports 1 with Gus Johnson.[9]

Personal life

Raftery is an Irish-Catholic whose parents came from Ireland. His sister is a nun.[10] Raftery earned a bachelor's degree in history from La Salle University and a master's degree in education from Seton Hall University. In 2001, he received an honorary doctorate from La Salle.[6]

Aside from his ESPN and CBS commentating duties, Raftery is the president of W.J. Raftery Associates, an event/marketing firm.

He lives in Florham Park, New Jersey with his wife, Joan and has four children and four grandchildren.[4]

See also

wikiquote:Bill Raftery wikiquote:Talk:Bill Raftery


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