Dick Vitale Net Worth

What is Dick Vitale Net Worth and Salary?

Dick Vitale, a celebrated American basketball sportscaster and former head coach in both the NBA and college basketball, boasts a net worth of $20 million.

Over his illustrious 40-year career as an ESPN college basketball broadcaster, Vitale became renowned for his distinctive catchphrases and vibrant, dynamic commentary.

Beyond broadcasting, Vitale has authored several books and made memorable appearances in films, further solidifying his status as a multi-talented sports icon.

Early Life and Career Beginnings

Dick Vitale, born in 1939 in Passaic, New Jersey, and raised in Garfield, has a remarkable story of perseverance and passion for basketball.

His father, John, worked as a clothing press operator and security guard, while his mother, Mae, toiled as a factory seamstress. Vitale’s humble beginnings instilled in him a strong work ethic that would shape his future successes.

Vitale attended East Rutherford High School, showcasing his budding talent and love for the game.

He pursued higher education at Seton Hall University, earning a bachelor’s degree in business administration, and later obtained a master’s degree in education from William Paterson University.

His coaching career began in 1958 at a Garfield, New Jersey, elementary school. Demonstrating his coaching prowess, Vitale quickly advanced to the high school level, taking the helm at Garfield High School for a season before returning to his alma mater, East Rutherford High School.

There, he made a significant impact, leading his teams to two New Jersey state championships with an impressive record of 131-47 from 1964 to 1971.

This remarkable journey from a small-town coach to a celebrated sports figure underscores Vitale’s dedication and enduring influence on the game of basketball.

College and NBA Coaching

In 1971, Dick Vitale’s coaching career took a significant leap forward when he became an assistant coach at Rutgers University, working under head coach Dick Lloyd.

After two productive seasons at Rutgers, Vitale was appointed head coach at the University of Detroit. His tenure there was marked by remarkable success, including leading the team to the prestigious 32-team NCAA tournament in 1977.

Vitale’s record at Detroit was an impressive 78-30, highlighted by an extraordinary 21-game winning streak during the ’77 season. His exceptional performance earned him a promotion to the university’s athletic director.

In 1978, Vitale made the jump to the professional leagues, taking on the role of head coach for the NBA’s Detroit Pistons. During the ’78-’79 season, he guided the team to a 30-52 record.

Despite this challenging season, Vitale’s passion and energy were evident. However, midway through the following season, Pistons owner Bill Davidson decided to make a coaching change, bringing Vitale’s stint with the team to an end.

This transition marked a pivotal moment in Vitale’s career, setting the stage for his future success as one of the most iconic and beloved figures in sports broadcasting.

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Start in Broadcasting

After his tenure with the Pistons, Dick Vitale was offered his first television opportunity by Scotty Connal at the fledgling ESPN network. Initially hesitant, Vitale accepted the role with the intention of returning to coaching soon.

However, in December 1979, he found himself calling ESPN’s first college basketball game alongside Joe Boyle, witnessing DePaul University triumph over Wisconsin 90-77.

Transitioning to broadcasting was challenging for Vitale. He missed his first production meeting in Chicago and frequently talked over commercials and play-by-plays.

Despite these early missteps, his employers saw his potential and unique charisma. Vitale’s turning point came during the 1983 Final Four, where the overwhelming fan support and autograph requests made him realize his growing impact and popularity.

This marked the beginning of a legendary broadcasting career, where Vitale’s energetic commentary and signature catchphrases would become synonymous with college basketball.

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Continued Broadcasting Success

In 1985, Dick Vitale’s broadcasting career reached new heights when the American Broadcasting Company (ABC) acquired ESPN.

This pivotal transition led Vitale to expand his reach to a wider audience through ABC’s network.

One of his most notable achievements during his tenure was his coverage of every televised game between Duke and the University of North Carolina from 1979 to 2015, cementing his status as a fixture in college basketball broadcasting.

As his career progressed, Vitale’s influence continued to grow. By the 2004-2005 season, he was calling approximately 40 games a year, captivating audiences with his trademark enthusiasm and insight.

One standout moment in his career occurred in 2002 when he called a high school game between Oak Hill Academy and St. Vincent-St. Mary’s, featuring none other than future NBA all-star LeBron James.

Vitale’s ability to recognize and showcase emerging talent further solidified his legacy as one of the most beloved and influential voices in basketball broadcasting.

Other Media Appearances

Dick Vitale’s influence transcends sports broadcasting, extending into various realms of entertainment and literature.

In 1994, he made his mark in the gaming world by lending his voice and likeness to the Sega Genesis video game “Dick Vitale’s ‘Awesome, Baby!’ College Hoops,” followed by contributions to EA Sports’ “NCAA Basketball” series.

Beyond gaming, Vitale’s charismatic persona has graced numerous commercials for brands such as DiGiorno, Oberto, GEICO, Hooters, and Taco Bell.

Additionally, he has made memorable appearances in several films, often portraying himself as a sports commentator in movies like “The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad!,” “Blue Chips,” and “He Got Game.”

Not content with just the screen, Vitale has also made a mark in literature. With a slew of titles to his name, including “Vitale,” “Time Out Baby!,” and “Holding Court: Reflections on the Game I Love,” he shares his passion for basketball and life’s lessons.

Notably, his autobiography “Living a Dream,” co-written with Dick Weiss, provides insights into his career with ESPN, his coaching days with the Pistons, and his enduring friendship with coach Jim Valvano.

Through his diverse ventures, Dick Vitale continues to captivate audiences and inspire fans worldwide.

Personal Life

Dick Vitale’s personal life is as vibrant as his broadcasting career. Since 1971, he has shared a loving partnership with his wife, Lorraine McGrath, forming a strong foundation for their family.

Together, they have been blessed with two daughters, Sherri and Terri, who have in turn gifted them with five cherished grandchildren.

Beyond the basketball court, Vitale’s sports allegiance extends to his favorite non-NBA teams: the Rays, Lightning, and Buccaneers, all hailing from his beloved hometown of Tampa Bay.

His passionate support for these teams reflects his deep connection to the community and his unwavering loyalty to its sporting traditions. In both his professional and personal life, Dick Vitale continues to embody the spirit of enthusiasm, love, and dedication.

Real Estate

In 2001, Dick and Lorraine Vitale purchased a 1.4-acre plot in Bradenton, Florida, for $485,000.

By 2003, they completed construction on a lavish 12,700 square-foot mansion.

Today, this impressive estate is valued between $5-7 million, showcasing their astute investment and refined taste.

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