Former WPDE/ESPN icon Scott loses cancer battle

scottFormer WPDE-TV reporter and longtime ESPN anchorman Stuart Scott died Sunday morning after a long bout with cancer. He was 49.

A regular in the Hootie & The Blowfish Celebrity Pro-Am at Barefoot Golf Resort each year, Scott was known for his on-air catch phrases like “Boo-yah!” and “Cool as the other side of the pillow.” His words and memory will live on for generations of fans who grew up watching him broadcast the highlights with flair on ESPN.

Scott got his professional broadcasting start on the Grand Strand. The University of North Carolina graduate landed a gig at WPDE in the late 1980s and developed his style that was a vast departure from local TV news protocol. In fact, it was at the Florence-Myrtle Beach based station where he first used his infamous pillow reference.

Scott spent more than 20 years at ESPN before cancer intervened in 2007. His rose to fame due to his work on a variety of ESPN shows, including “SportsCenter,” “Monday Night Countdown,” “Sunday NFL Countdown” and “NFL PrimeTime.”

“NFL Countdown” began Sunday’s show with a tribute to Scott, with colleagues Chris Berman, Keyshawn Johnson, Cris Carter, Mike Ditka, Wendi Nix and Merrill Hoge offering their remembrances.

“Stuart made ESPN what it is. He made us better people,” Berman said.

At the ESPYS on July 16, following another round of cancer surgery, Stuart accepted the Jimmy V Award for Perseverance with strength, humor and grace.

“When you die, it does not mean that you lose to cancer. You beat cancer by how you live, why you live, and in the manner in which you live,” he said.

ESPN president John Skipper called Scott “a true friend and a uniquely inspirational figure” and that his “energetic and unwavering devotion to his family and to his work while fighting the battle of his life left us in awe, and he leaves a void that can never be replaced.”

Scott is survived by his parents, O. Ray and Jacqueline Scott; siblings Stephen Scott, Synthia Kearney and Susan Scott; his daughters Taelor, 19, and Sydni, 15; and girlfriend Kristin Spodobalski.

Photo courtesy of ESPN

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