Patrick Foley '72 (2008)
Listening night after night to the call of the inestimable Lloyd Pettit, the legendary voice of the Chicago Blackhawks, Patrick J. Foley could not have quite imagined what lay ahead for him. As a kid growing up in Evanston listening to that magical voice and starting to dream of a life behind a microphone, he could not have imagined that a few decades later he would be widely regarded by the next generation of Blackhawks' fans as the new voice of the franchise and the heir to the Pettit legacy. Upon graduation in 1972 from Loyola—where he played two years of varsity basketball—Pat headed to Michigan State University to pursue his dream. There, while working toward a degree in telecommunications, he began to hone his craft, cutting his sportscasting teeth covering Spartan football, baseball, and hockey. In his senior year, he served as sports director of the MSU radio station before taking his degree to his first professional broadcasting job at a CBS affiliate in Flint. Pat's big break came during his stint calling games for the Grand Rapids Owls of the International Hockey League. Hearing tapes of Pat's work with the Owls convinced late Blackhawks' vice-president Michael Wirtz that he had his man. On October 19, 1980, the night that Stan Mikita's #21 jersey rose to the rafters as the first Hawk jersey to ever be retired, Pat Foley, at age twenty-six, launched one of the singular careers in Chicago sportscasting history. Armed with a consummate knowledge of the game and a unique ability to deliver the action, intensity, and excitement on the ice, Pat soon became a local icon, his call of the game inextricably linked to the Hawks when they were the hottest ticket in town. The rest is history. For the next twenty-five years, his voice and its contagious enthusiasm became synonymous with Blackhawks' hockey. Now the wheel has come full circle. Today, after a two-year hiatus from the Hawks, Pat, like so many others in the Hawks' family, is coming home once again. Pat earned an Emmy Award for Outstanding Achievement in a Live Sports Program in 1991 and he was inducted into the Chicago Sports Hall of Fame in 2001, joining local legends Jack Brickhouse and Harry Caray.