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“Arrogant” is the word ACC broadcaster Tim Brant used to describe his fresh out of college, 24 year old self. If you are ever fortunate enough to ever meet Brant, you would say he is the farthest thing from that word.
The 67-year-old broadcaster has truly done it all, but has never forgotten his roots. On March 12th, Tim Brant will call his final ACC Men’s Basketball Championship Game in his hometown of Washington DC. “The ACC means everything,” Brant recalled as he reflected on his 40 year journey. “I grew up with the ACC, played in the ACC at Maryland, and broadcasted in the ACC.” The 1973 University of Maryland football standout graduated with a degree in journalism and a dream of making it big in the media world. Brant approached Roone Arledge, the president of ABC Sports at the time, about a job with the company after getting cut from Redskins training camp.
Arledge was skeptical, claiming Brant needed more experience before getting any type of shot in front of the screen. This “arrogant” 24 year old responded, “you can give a guy experience, you can’t give a guy talent.” This line molded the iconic career of this ACC Legend.
Prior to sitting down with Brant, I attended the ACC Legends Luncheon honoring the Class of 2016 ACC Legends, an event Tim Brant has hosted since its inception. The amount of care and honesty Brant displays with each legend is second to none. From reminiscing with Jay Williams about the Miracle Minute against his beloved Terrapins to humorously harassing Notre Dame great Adrian Dantley about his long gone large frame, the conversational feel never left the event. “It’s like being with old friends,” exclaimed Brant. “It’s family, it’s truly family.”
Approaching his seventeenth ACC Men’s Basketball Tournament, Brant reflected on his incredible journey with the ACC. “I’ve been so blessed, so fortunate,” he said, when asked about the thing he will take away from his years working with the ACC. “I feel like Forrest Gump sometimes, how did this happen?” He has traveled the world, met numerous iconic sports figures, and through nothing but words, painted pictures of some of the most memorable sports moments of our lifetime. Yet Brant always comes back home to the ACC. He took me back to 1995 in Greensboro for the championship matchup between the University of North Carolina Tar Heels and the Wake Forest Demon Deacons. “Everyone in the arena knew who was getting the ball,” Brant said of the final play as 2016 ACC Legend and Wake Forest coach Dave Odom called a timeout with ten seconds left on the clock. “Randolph Childress, he just buried it.” Brant said, recreating the moment with his gestures and inflection.
That is what makes Tim Brant so special. He can bring you back to a historic sports moment or back to his childhood growing up in the DMV with the same enthusiasm, joy, and genuine emotion. It does not matter if you’re Michael Jordan or the usher guarding the locker room, Tim Brant will go out of his way to make you feel special. He is one of those guys to look up to in the industry, one who will time to speak with an aspiring broadcaster and humble himself despite being one of the most recognizable names in sports broadcasting. “It’s time for me to move aside and let the young guys like yourself take over,” Brant chuckled. He would deny it, but those are some big shoes to fill. The care, professionalism, and charisma Tim brings to the table is amazing, and should be honored as his career comes to a close.
Saturday will be the final time Tim Brant adorns the beloved headset he has found comfort in for his entire career. But this does not mean goodbye. Tim may be leaving his established place along press row, but his legacy will forever remain. “This tournament is special...it’s incredible. Tomorrow night will be emotional, but it’s what I want.” Grandpa Tim is looking forward to spending more time with his family, which now includes three grandchildren with a fourth on the way. In the end, that is what it’s all about for Tim; family. Whether it be back home in the DMV, along side his numerous broadcast partners, or with his ACC brothers and sisters, they are all family.
Tim has covered the Olympic games, Tour de France, and some of the greatest collegiate and professional sporting events of all time, and yet according to him, “There is always something about the ACC that brings [him] home.” Well, from all of us here at the ACC, thank you Tim, congratulations on your outstanding and inspiring career, and welcome home.