Local legend Sonny Jurgensen retires from Redskins broadcast booth

Sonny Jurgensen (Photo: Washington Redskins)

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — A sports legend whose hall of fame story started in the Port City is calling it a career.

Sonny Jurgensen, the Pro Football Hall of Famer, who was a standout athlete at New Hanover High School, is retiring from his long-time gig as a color commentator on radio broadcasts for the Washington Redskins.

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“I’ve decided to hang up my headphones and my clipboard,” Jurgensen said in a statement. “It’s been a great 55 years in Washington. I want to thank our Redskin fans for being so generous to me and our teams, we owe it all to you. I’ve had so many wonderful memories of thousands of teammates I’ve played with and talked about during my years in radio and television in Washington, DC.”

Jurgensen, 84, played football, baseball and basketball at New Hanover in the early 1950s under legendary coaches Leon Brogden and Jap Davis. He went on to Duke University and a Hall of Fame career in the NFL as a quarterback for the Redskins and the Philadelphia Eagles.

After his playing days, Jurgensen spent decades as a broadcaster, teaming up with Sam Huff and current Leland resident Frank Herzog for many years calling Redskins games.

Jurgensen was inducted into the North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame in 1971, the Duke Sports Hall of Fame in 1979 and the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1983. He was also among the inaugural class of the Greater Wilmington Sports Hall of Fame in 2006. In 2007 New Hanover High School named the field at Legion Stadium after Jurgensen and fellow standout quarterback Roman Gabriel.