Bill Raftery

  • Legendary, Two-Time Emmy Award-Winning Sports Analyst and Commentator
  • Famed Former Seton Hall University Head Coach

Legendary, two-time Emmy Award-winning sports analyst and commentator Bill Raftery has covered basketball on television and radio for CBS and ESPN for over three decades. Raftery’s colorful commentary has brought new life to The NCAA Tournament and Final Four, the Big East Championship, the Big Ten Championship, and the New Jersey Nets telecasts, among many other premier events, and he's beloved for his signature catchphrases such as, “with a kiss,” “onions!” and “a little nickel-dimer.” An inductee into the Sports Broadcasting Hall of Fame, he is known to combine keen analysis and opinion with unsurpassed enthusiasm for the game.

Raftery also served as head basketball coach at Seton Hall University, where he is credited with revitalizing the program and leading the Pirates to seven straight winning series.

In commentary that is equal parts empowering, informative, and humorous, Raftery shares lessons on teamwork, resilience, success, leadership. and building character from the world of sports for audiences of every industry.

 

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Few in this industry are recognized as being at the top of their game, as well as being universally respected and liked by colleagues, coaches, players, and fans...

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With a kiss!: In pursuit of greatness

Two-time Emmy Award-winning sports analyst and commentator Bill Raftery brings the same energetic, one-of-a-kind style he's known for as an announcer to audiences nationwide, as he shares lessons on achieving greatness and finding success, whatever it may mean to you. Drawing on his profound experie ...

Two-time Emmy Award-winning sports analyst and commentator Bill Raftery brings the same energetic, one-of-a-kind style he's known for as an announcer to audiences nationwide, as he shares lessons on achieving greatness and finding success, whatever it may mean to you. Drawing on his profound experiences as both a broadcasting legend and head coach of Seton Hall, Raftery reveals what it takes to set the bar ever higher and to consistently meet your goals. With commentary infused with humor and anecdotes from a legendary career in sports, Raftery leaves audiences empowered, inspired, and with the tools to shift their mindset and take action. 

Building character: Lessons from the world of basketball

Beloved for his signature catchphrases, such as “with a kiss,” “onions!” and “a little nickel-dimer”, legendary announcer Bill Raftery is known for bringing his colorful personalty, passion, and pursuit of greatness to every game. In this empowering and illuminating talk, he shares his lessons learn ...

Beloved for his signature catchphrases, such as “with a kiss,” “onions!” and “a little nickel-dimer”, legendary announcer Bill Raftery is known for bringing his colorful personalty, passion, and pursuit of greatness to every game. In this empowering and illuminating talk, he shares his lessons learned on building character, working with others, and being true to yourself in a way that brings personal and professional success. From handling defeat with grace, to always looking out for your teammates, to always being your authentic self, Raftery's talk is chock full of insights, humor, and riveting anecdotes, that leave audiences thinking and inspired. 

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Biography

“With a kiss!”, a signature phrase heard during almost every basketball telecast, is Bill Raftery’s patented line for a basketball bank shot.

For the last 30 years, the excitable announcer has covered basketball as an analyst on television and radio for CBS, ESPN, and CBS Radio.  The NCAA Final Four, the Big East Championship, the Big Ten Championship, the ACC Championship, the SEC Championship and New Jersey Nets telecasts are just a few of the premier events that Raftery has had the privilege of calling during his career.  Raftery brings his playing and coaching experience to every telecast, offering keen analysis and opinion during the games.

Raftery’s began his broadcasting career in 1982 with ESPN, where he serves as a game analyst for college basketball.  During that same year, Bill also distinguished himself as an analyst on CBS’s college basketball coverage.  He has served as a game analyst for Westwood One/CBS Radio’s coverage of the NCAA Men’s Final Four since 1991.

From 1970-1981, Raftery served as head basketball coach at Seton Hall University, where he revitalized the program and led the Pirates to seven straight winning seasons and a record of 154-141.  Raftery led the team to four ECAC post-season tournaments and two National Invitational Tournament appearances.  His 154 wins as a coach place him fourth on the all-time list at Seton Hall behind Honey Russell, P.J. Carlesimo and Frank Hill. From 1979-1981, he also served as President of the Big East Coaches Association.  Prior to coaching at SHU, Raftery spent five years coaching at Fairleigh Dickinson University in Madison, New Jersey.  He led the Jersey Devils to a 63-48 record from 1963-68. In his final year at FDU, he led the team to an 18-6 record and earned Coach of the Year honors from the New Jersey Basketball Writers Association.

A standout on the court as well, Raftery played three seasons at LaSalle University under legendary coach Donald “Dudley” Moore.  During the 1959-1960 season, he set a freshman scoring mark with 370 points.  The next year, he led the varsity team with 17.8 points per game and in his senior year, he co-captained the Explorers to the National Invitational Tournament. Following his senior year at LaSalle, he was drafted by the New York Knicks.

Bill lives with his wife Joan in Florham Park, NJ. They have four children. In his spare time he enjoys playing golf.