NEW YORK (AP) — Sandy Grossman, who directed a record 10 Super Bowl broadcasts and spent more than two decades in the TV truck working with announcers Pat Summerall and John Madden, has died. He was 78.
He died Wednesday at his home in Boca Raton, Fla., of cancer, his son Dean said.
"His amazing directorial talents on the NFL truly distinguished him as one of the great directors in the history of sports television," CBS Sports Chairman Sean McManus said. "For many years Sandy Grossman's name was synonymous with excellence in NFL coverage."
Grossman also directed 18 NBA Finals and five Stanley Cup Finals. He won eight Emmys.
"He was a brilliant director and a thoughtful colleague," Fox Sports President Eric Shanks said. "He mentored many of us here and throughout the sports TV industry, and we learned more from him than he could imagine."
His innovations included using music to go into the break during basketball games. After Grossman played "The Hustle" by Van McCoy, his son recalled, sales of the song skyrocketed, so the musician sent his father gold records as a thank you.
Visitors to his TV truck over the years included Richard Nixon and Oliver Stone, Dean Grossman said Thursday.
With producer Bob Stenner, Grossman guided the partnership of Summerall and Madden, first at CBS then after their move to Fox. Summerall's understated style paired with Madden's booming enthusiasm became the soundtrack of the NFL's expanding popularity.
The four worked together so long that Grossman and Stenner knew exactly which replays Madden would want to break down, Dean Grossman said.
Sandy Grossman is survived by his wife of 51 years, Faithe, four children and eight grandchildren.