Sandy Grossman, 78, of Boca Raton, Fla., died April 2, 2014. He was born in Newark and resided in Edison for many years.
Mr. Grossman graduated from Weequahic High School, Newark, and studied broadcasting at University of Alabama.
After graduating in 1957, he found a job as an usher at the Ed Sullivan Theater in Manhattan, and eventually found work at CBS, first in public affairs at the local station, Channel 2, and then in 1963 as a production assistant at CBS Sports. He was lead director of NBA broadcasts in the 1970s before becoming the top NFL and NHL director.
His innovations included using music to go into the commercial breaks during basketball games. After he selected “The Hustle” by Van McCoy, sales of the song skyrocketed and McCoy thanked him by presenting him with a Gold Album.
He worked with Robbie Knievel on the jumps over the Grand Canyon, on the Intrepid, and in Las Vegas, as well as two New Years’ Eve specials with Ryan Seacrest for Dick Clark productions. He also televised the first moon walk.
He was an eight-time Emmy Award-winning sports director, originally with CBS Sports for 30 years, and later with FOX Sports, until he retired in 2008.
He was at the helm of 10 Super Bowls, 18 NBA finals, four NHL finals, NCAA basketball tournaments, and at many Olympic events and ceremonies. After retiring in 2012, he was hired by the Elite Football League of India to give its TV camera crews a crash course on covering American sports, and ended up directing the coverage as well.
He won the award for Most Outstanding Directorial Achievement from the Directors Guild of America for his coverage of Super Bowl XVIII. He was inducted into the University of Alabama Hall of Fame.
He is survived by his wife of 51 years, Faithe (Lurie); two sons, Robert (Sherry) and Dean (Dina); two daughters, Jodi (Jeff) and Bari (Jeffrey); and eight grandchildren.
Services were held April 6 with arrangements by Beth Israel Memorial Chapel, Delray Beach, Fla. Memorial contributions may be made to Hospice by the Sea, 1531 West Palmetto Park Rd., Boca Raton, FL 33486; or Dana Farber Cancer Institute, Attn: Paige Tobie Center for Sarcoma and Bone Oncology, Dana 2108B, 450 Brookline Ave., Boston, MA 02215 (indicate in memo for Sandy Grossman-Soft Tissue Research).