• Register

Chicago Sports Broadcasting Legend Chet Coppock Releases His Autobiography

For nearly five decades, when it comes to Chicago television or radio sports reporting and commentary, one name is first to pop into people's minds: Chet Coppock. For the first time ever, Coppock has decided to collect his lifetime of stories from his amazing career in sports media and collect them all in an autobiography, entitled "Chet Coppock: Laying It On The Line."

From sideline reporting, to sports anchoring, to hosting sports shows, to live announcing, to being a sought-after interviewer, to being a flamboyant character... Chet Coppock has done it all in his 46 years in the sports media business.

Chet Coppock has had a larger-than-life broadcasting career, that more than matches his larger-than-life on-mic persona. He has been a sports broadcasting fixture on the Chicagoland media scene since he was just 17 years old in 1966, announcing basketball and football games on Winnetka's New Trier High School radio station, WNTH-FM. He began his professional career right out of graduation from Columbia College Chicago in 1970, producing the Milwaukee Bucks' radio network programming. Although he did spend a few years working in Milwaukee, Indianapolis, and New York, Coppock has spent the bulk of his career working in his adopted hometown Chicago market.

Among the many local television stations Coppock has worked at include: WSNS-TV, WFLD-TV, WMAQ-TV, SportsChannel, and Fox Sports Net Chicago. He has worked in radio at WMAQ-AM, WLUP-AM/FM, Sporting News Radio, WMVP-AM, and most recently, on WLS-AM. While at WMAQ-AM, he began the sports talk show "Coppock on Sports," becoming one of the first big sports talks shows in the country and in Chicago. Chet Coppock has been nicknamed "The Godfather of Sports Talk Radio" for his pioneering sports-themed radio talk shows, which have now become commonplace all over the radio dial nationwide.

He has won an Emmy Award and a Peter Lisagor Award for his work. In 2013, the Chicagoland Sports Hall of Fame inducted Coppock into their ranks, honoring him with the Jack Brickhouse Lifetime Achievement Media Award.

When the microphone is on, Coppock has always taken on a huge persona, which is often perceived as egotistical. In public, he would usually be seen wearing expensive clothes and even an over-sized fur coat. That public persona of Coppock's has always been part of his "schtick" -- a vaudevillian-like gimmick that made him stand out from the rest of the sports media pack. While many people "got it," there were those who took the act seriously and disliked Coppock for his apparent outrageousness.

When not doing straight sports reporting or broadcasting, Chet Coppock has never been one to shy away from voicing his opinions or speaking his mind. The words flow fast and furious in an almost poetic manner. At the same time, those words and thoughts tend to come out unfiltered. This trait has endeared him to local and national sports figures, as well as to countless fans. At the same time, that trait has caused him to have local sports fans dislike him deeply and gotten him into trouble with station owners on occasions.

For his new autobiography "Laying It On The Line," Coppock brings that same unfiltered fire he has long been known for and puts it all in writing.

Of course the book covers his decades of working sports -- the people he has worked with, those who treated him well, those who stabbed him in the back, his famous feuds, his first broadcasting experience in high school, his battles in Milwaukee, his firing from WMAQ-TV, why he left for New York television, his famous interviews, his time emceeing pro wrestling and roller derby, his days working on The Loop radio, his close relationship with the legendary Jack Brickhouse, and much more. Coppock pulls no punches as he spills the details.

The book covers his life away from the microphone, as well. This includes Coppock opening up about his sometimes difficult relationship with his father, how his father taught him how to mingle with and interview famous athletes, his father's passing, his own marriage and painful divorce, his children, his humorous romps with Playboy Bunnies and TV/film starlets, his struggles with deep depression, and the sadness of having his persona be misunderstood by the public.

In 2009, Coppock released his first book, "Fat Guys Shouldn't Be Dancin' at Halftime: An Irreverent Romp Through Chicago Sports." While that book did have some of Coppock's life stories within it, it was not a true autobiography and more a series of his light-hearted essays and thoughts. "Laying It On The Line" is the tell-all book that fans will want to pick up to finally know the real man under that fur coat and big smile.

In talking about "Laying It On The Line," Chet Coppock told CRM today: "I couldn't and wouldn't write just another sports book. I wanted to give people a chance to see Chet Coppock away from the mic. The highs and lows, the struggles, the feuds, and the misconceptions about me. I wanted people to understand my years of depression and how I coped. This book is the real Chet Coppock -- warts and all."

The book is co-written and edited by Patrick Hurley, an author, comedian, and public speaker, who also had a career in the 1980s on Chicago television working on "The Bozo Show" and a pair of specials for WGN-TV. Hurley currently has six published books and three Emmy Awards to his credit.

"Chet Coppock: Laying It On The Line" officially goes on sale to the public on Thursday, August 14th. The self-published book can only be purchased at one of the many book signing events that are planned for the coming weeks, or online exclusively at this link HERE.

He will be holding his first book signing party on Thursday afternoon at the East Bank Club in downtown Chicago. On Saturday, Coppock will be at Riddles Comedy Club in Alsip at 6:00pm. Those who buy a copy of his book will get it autographed and gain free admission for that night's show. Numerous other book signing events are planned for this month and beyond.

Although he does not currently have a full-time job, Coppock keeps extremely busy working numerous other jobs, including hosting the pre- and post-game shows for Notre Dame Football on WLS-AM, hosting the Heritage Series videos for the Chicago Blackhawks, providing regular "Coppock on Sports" podcasts on his website, and hosting live events around town.


The CHICAGOLAND RADIO & MEDIA website is the #1 resource for news, information, discussions and celebrations of all things related to Chicago radio, television, newspapers and more. Please help support the website by clicking on the "Donate" button below! THANK YOU for your backing!

CRM Website Information

The Chicagoland Radio & Media website (abbreviated as CRM) is a celebration of all things relating to Chicago-area media matters. CRM is a news source, a location for fans to voice their opinions, and an online museum of Chicago media's past and present, with a hopeful eye to its future. For the visitors, readers, and fans of the website, CRM is a both a resource and a release, both educational and an escape, and both factual and fun.

If it has a connection to Chicago area radio, television, print, and/or other forms of media -- information on it can be found here at ChicagolandRadioAndMedia.com!