Faded Sandpaper

Al McCoy

Al McCoy

Al McCoy has been called the dean of NBA play-by-play announcers and has been “The Voice of the Suns” for 40 memorable years, nearly the length of the franchise’s existence. He is the Sr. Vice President, Broadcasting for the National Basketball Association’s (NBA) Phoenix Suns.

McCoy first hit the air during a preseason game on September 27, 1972, and has been synonymous with Suns basketball ever since. From “Shazam” to “Zing Go the Strings” to “Heartbreak Hotel,” McCoy has cultivated an unparalleled style.

McCoy will forever be remembered for his call in the 1976 Suns-Celtics NBA Finals at Boston Garden when he had to fling an inebriated fan off his lap as he was describing “The Shot Heard ‘Round The World” by Garfield Heard that sent the game into the third of three overtimes.

The 2012-13 season will mark his 41st season and he will call play-by-play action on KTAR Radio and the Suns radio network. McCoy’s term with the Suns is the longest consecutive run with one team among current NBA broadcasters. His many contributions to the sport were recognized when he received the 18th Annual Curt Gowdy Media Award from the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame during Enshrinement Weekend in September 2007 in Springfield, Mass. The Suns honored him with the Al McCoy Media Center, dedicated in October 2007.

In 2012, Phoenix Magazine named McCoy the best play-by-play announcer in their annual “Best of the Valley” issue for the 14th consecutive year. He’s the only broadcaster to win the award since it debuted in 1999. McCoy was honored with induction into the Silver Circle Society by the Rocky Mountain Southwest chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences and a Lifetime Achievement Award from the House of Broadcasting Museum. He also became the first play-by-play announcer to be inducted into the Arizona Broadcasters Association Hall of Fame on Oct. 19, 2004.

McCoy’s broadcasting career began in 1951 at KJFJ Radio in Webster City, Iowa when he was a freshman at Drake University. In 1958, he arrived in Arizona to do play-by-play for the Triple-A Phoenix Giants baseball club. He has also covered Phoenix Roadrunners hockey, Arizona State football and basketball and filled in as a backup for the Arizona Diamondbacks.

A native of Williams, Iowa, a tiny farming community, McCoy was a member of his high school basketball team and was influenced by legendary broadcasters Harry Caray, Bert Wilson and Jack Brickhouse. He received his degree in drama-speech from Drake University and performed graduate work at the University of Iowa. In 1994, McCoy received Drake’s Alumni Achievement Award.

He and wife Georgia, a Valley artist, have three sons: Mike, and twins Jay and Jerry. A culinary critic, he is the club’s expert on gourmet restaurants around the league. McCoy is an accomplished jazz pianist.