Notable deaths: ESPN announcer Jim Durham, VCU coach Paul Keyes die

November 5, 2012
Jim Durham
ESPN radio announcer

Jim Durham, an ESPN radio announcer who called NBA games for the network, died Sunday at his home in Tomball, Tex. He was 65.

ESPN announced the death but did not provide a cause.

In 2011, Mr. Durham received the Curt Gowdy Media Award from the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame for his contributions to the sport.

Mr. Durham was the lead play-by-play commentator for NBA games on ESPN Radio from its inception in 1996. His last assignment for ESPN was last week’s season opener between Boston and Miami.

A Chicago native, Mr. Durham called Bulls games during Michael Jordan’s first seven seasons. He also was a broadcaster for the Dallas Mavericks, Chicago White Sox and Houston Astros.

Paul Keyes
VCU baseball coach

Paul Keyes, 50, Virginia Commonwealth University’s baseball coach, died Saturday. The Richmond-based school announced the death and said the cause was cancer. The location of death was not reported.

Mr. Keyes, a Newport News native, won 603 games, the most in school history, during 18 years as the Rams’ coach. The Rams went to the NCAA tournament eight times during his tenure and won the Colonial Athletic Association title five times.

The Rams sent 36 players into professional baseball, including six who reached the major leagues.

— From news services