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 an Emmy for "Outstanding Achievement for Sports Programs - Sporting Event/Game - Live/Unedited Program/Special" in 2012, 2014 and 2015. Additionally, Foley was nominated for an Emmy for "Outstanding Crafts Achievement for On-Camera Talent - Sports Anchor/Reporter/Play-by-Play" in 2016.
He was inducted into the Chicagoland Sports Hall of Fame in 2002, joining local legends such as Lloyd Pettit, Jack Brickhouse and Harry Caray. Foley was part of his first professional league championship after broadcasting Wolves games during their run to the 2008 Calder Cup. In 2014, he was selected as the Hockey Hall of Fame Foster Hewitt Memorial Award winner for outstanding contributions as a hockey broadcaster.
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.