He was a breakthrough performer on the Indianapolis television scene in the 1970s, a flashy, flamboyant character who tried to dominate whatever room he was in. He dominated the ratings, too.
Coppock was a bit like Gorgeous George, the wrestler from the 1950s who purposely annoyed fans with his preening. Coppock wore full-length fur coats to local sporting events, loved being booed and did whatever he could to stay in the public eye. Even if it meant wrestling a bear.
He was good at his craft, too, and eventually was hired away by a television station in Chicago – with an assist from Bob Knight – where he continued to advance his career. He’s still an institution there, finding ways to stay active and visible beyond the age most television broadcasters are put out to pasture.
We recorded this one over the telephone. I would have loved to have done it face-to-face in the studio, but he doesn’t get back to Indianapolis often. The audio quality isn’t ideal, but the stories are.
First aired 2013
Tagged with: Chet Coppock, Chicago sportscaster, WISH-TV8