Gerry Vaillancourt, a long-time sports broadcaster who called Charlotte Hornets games for more than a decade, died on Sunday at the age of 72.
The cause of death was related to a heart condition, his daughter, Kelly Vaillancourt, told the Charlotte Observer newspaper.
Vaillancourt worked for several Charlotte-based radio and television stations since the late 1980s, but was best known for calling Charlotte Hornets games on television and radio from 1990 to 2002. He moved to New Orleans to continue calling Hornets games when the team moved there in the early 2000s.
Vaillancourt returned to the Charlotte radio market in 2017 with a show on WZGV (730 AM, The Game).
“For listeners in Charlotte and beyond, he was a donut-loving, coffee-drinking, highly-opinionated on-air talent; to us, he was all of those things and more,” a spokesperson for WZGV said in a social media post on Sunday.
Colleagues remembered Vaillancourt as a stalwart broadcaster who warmly shared his wealth of sports knowledge with listeners at every turn.
“Gerry was one of the originals in the start of sports talk in Charlotte: funny, entertaining and a basketball encyclopedia,” Jim Szoke, a colleague at radio station WBT (1110 AM, 99.3 FM), said in an interview.
Vaillancourt’s passing was first announced by the Hornets public relations department, who issued a statement on Sunday.
“His analysis and opinions will be greatly missed, and our condolences go out to his family, friends and colleagues,” the Hornets said.
— Charlotte Hornets PR (@HornetsPR) November 27, 2022