Jeff Jeffers inducted into Indiana Sportswriters and Sportscasters Association Hall of Fame

Former WNDU sports director Jeff Jeffers was inducted into the Indiana Sportswriters and Sportscasters Association Hall of Fame Sunday.
Published: Apr. 11, 2022 at 6:56 AM EDT
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INDIANAPOLIS (WNDU) - Family and friends of former WNDU Sports Director Jeff Jeffers can now say he had a Hall of Fame career.

Jeff was inducted into the Indiana Sportswriters and Sportscasters Association Hall of Fame on Sunday. Jeff, who was known as “the dean of local sports,” graced the airwaves of WNDU for over 40 years before passing away in 2017 at the age of 64.

“For those of us to who do this profession in the state of Indiana, it’s about as big as it gets,” says Chuck Freeby, WHME Sports Director, co-host of WNDU’s “Countdown to Kickoff,” and fellow member of the Indiana Sportswriters and Sportscasters Hall of Fame. “Obviously, there are national honors. I know Jeff has got some national honors in his career. But this is long overdue for him.”

Freeby, who was inducted into the Indiana Sportswriters and Sportscasters Hall of Fame in 2019, was on hand to see his friend and former colleague receive the same honor.

“When they lowered the standards enough and put me into the hall of fame, one of the first things I said in my speech was we need to correct a mistake and we need to get Jeff into the Hall of Fame,” Freeby joked. “I’m absolutely thrilled that this much-deserved honor for Jeff has finally happened.”

While Jeff covered all aspects of sports in the region, he was synonymous with his coverage of Notre Dame football. Jeff led WNDU’s “Countdown to Kickoff” and became one of the most recognizable figures on Saturday afternoons.

“Who covered Notre Dame football in his medium the way he did?” asks Angelo Di Carlo, sports director at Redeemer Radio who worked alongside Jeff for many years at WNDU. “You know, as an on-air television personality, no one covered Notre Dame football like Jeff Jeffers. Period.”

Former WNDU Executive Producer and long-time producer of WNDU’s “Countdown to Kickoff” Tom Cullen agreed.

“He was the voice of Notre Dame football in South Bend for decades,” Cullen said. “Those days were so special because you saw what made him a legend was his love and passion for that sport.”

After four decades at WNDU, Jeffers built relationships that those who had the privilege of knowing him have held on to.

“Relationships is how he measured his career,” says Reilly Jeffers, Jeff’s son. “From the high school coaches on a Friday night, to the high school players that left their heart on the line—he could tell their stories. A job is just a job. If you can cherish the moments that you spend with people. That it really matters to you, that fills your heart with joy. That’s when it really becomes something.

“As fellow famous Hoosier James Dean once said, ‘if a man can bridge the gap between life and death, if he can live long after he’s gone, then maybe he truly was a great man,” Reilly added.

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