WRAL’s Tony Gupton: From Opening Dean Dome to Coach K’s Last UNC Game

“I’ve always been a ‘sports junkie’ and to be able to be part of the biggest rivalry in college sports has been such a blessing, and I have never taken it for granted just how special this project is.”
– WRAL-TV’s Tony Gupton

Tony Gupton

WRAL-TV’s Tony Gupton joined the CBC team in 1980, the same year Coach K started at Duke. Gupton helped cover the “Battle of the Blues’ match up at UNC on Saturday, February 5, 2022, Coach K’s last at the Dean Dome. Gupton has covered every Duke game in Chapel Hill for the past 36 years.

The night of Saturday, February 5, 2022, was a big one for Duke fans as Head Coach Mike Krzyzewski entered the Dean Dome to lead his team in his last “Battle of the Blues” game at UNC.  WRAL-TV Technical Project Coordinator/Training Supervisor Tony Gupton was there, helping with coverage of one of the biggest games in college hoops.

“One last time!! Covering Coach K’s last stand at the Smith Center. K started at Duke in 1980, I started at WRAL in 1980 – that’s a lot of history,” said Gupton.

Capcom reached out, and Gupton shared his almost four-decade history with helping the Big 5 cover Coach K:

The Duke-UNC rivalry has been a significant part of my TV remote duties here at WRAL. Hard to believe this but I have covered over 75 UNC vs Duke games or as we call it here at WRAL, “The Battle of the Blues!”

It all started for me January 18, 1986, the opening day of the Dean Dome and my first remote covering these 2 teams. Never in my wildest dreams did I think 36 years later, I would have covered every Duke game in Chapel Hill, and I would find myself back in the Dean Dome covering Coach K’s last stand against the Heels in Chapel Hill.

Tony Gupton

WRAL-TV’s Tony Gupton joined the CBC team in 1980, the same year Coach K started at Duke. Gupton helped cover the “Battle of the Blues’ match up at UNC on Saturday, February 5, 2022, Coach K’s last at the Dean Dome. Gupton has covered every Duke game in Chapel Hill for the past 36 years.

I’ve always been a ‘sports junkie’ and to be able to be part of the biggest rivalry in college sports has been such a blessing, and I have never taken it for granted just how special this project is.

WRAL has owned the local coverage of the Battle of the Blues and it grew into a monster of a remote over the years with news anchors joining our entire sports team on site and our ratings going through the roof for this game.

I’ve enjoyed every minute and it’s not quite done yet – one more to go over at Cameron!

Tony Gupton joined the CBC family in May 1980, first working in the WRAL Gardens and then jumping when an opportunity arose to join the WRAL-TV Operations team.  He worked in video tape and master control during college to pay for his books and tuition, planning to become a banker.  But the siren’s song of television engineering ended up ensnaring him.  When WRAL became on of the first TV stations to get a KU band satellite uplink, he says, “I had to take a shot at it.” And the rest is history…

Thanks to WRAL-TV’s Tony Gupton for these Capcom photos.

 

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