The Chicago Blackhawks, in conjunction with the Hockey Hall of Fame and National Hockey League Broadcasters’ Association, announced today that television play-by-play announcer Pat Foley has been selected as the Foster Hewitt Memorial Award winner for outstanding contributions as a hockey broadcaster.
“It is very humbling to be recognized for such a prestigious honor and I am overly thankful,” said Foley. “Lloyd Pettit and Dan Kelly are long-time heroes of mine and I don’t feel as though I belong in the same category as them, but to hear my name anywhere close to theirs is almost unfathomable. The list of people who have helped me immeasurably throughout my 31 years behind the Blackhawks mic is endless, most notably my parents, my family, broadcast partners and countless production crews, and I hope all those folks take great pride in this recognition as well. Being brought back to the world-class Chicago Blackhawks organization by Rocky Wirtz and John McDonough has been nothing short of a thrill and I am forever grateful.”
“There is not a more deserving person for this honor than Pat Foley. We are proud that he is a member of our team,” said Blackhawks Chairman Rocky Wirtz.
Foley, a Glenview, Ill., native has spent 31 seasons with the organization having called Blackhawks games from 1981 to 2006 before returning to the Blackhawks booth for the 2008-09 season. Foley partners with U.S. Hockey Hall of Famer Eddie Olczyk to broadcast all Blackhawks games on Comcast SportsNet Chicago and WGN-TV Channel 9.
Foley was born and raised in the northern suburbs, where he attended Loyola Academy in Wilmette, Ill., and received a degree in telecommunications from Michigan State University. Foley called baseball and hockey games at MSU before making his professional debut with the International Hockey League’s Grand Rapids Owls in 1977.
In 1991, Foley received an Emmy for “Outstanding Achievement–Sports Program Live Series,” followed by a 2009 Emmy for “Outstanding Achievement for Individual Excellence On Camera: Programming” and a 2012 Emmy for “Outstanding Achievement for Sports Programs - Sporting Event/Game - Live/Unedited Program/Special.” He was inducted into the Chicagoland Sports Hall of Fame in 2002, joining local legends such as Jack Brickhouse and Harry Caray. The Blackhawks honored Foley for his 30th season as the team’s play-by-play voice in a pregame ceremony on April 19, 2013, at the United Center before hosting the Nashville Predators.
Foley will receive his award at the Hockey Hall of Fame NHL Media Awards Luncheon presentation in Toronto on Nov. 17; his award plaque will be displayed in the Esso Great Hall at the Hockey Hall of Fame alongside the 90 past award recipients.
Named in honor of the late “Voice of Hockey” in Canada, the Foster Hewitt Memorial Award was first presented in 1984 by the NHL Broadcasters’ Association in recognition of members of the radio and television industry who have made outstanding contributions to their profession and to the game of hockey.