The Directors Guild announced today that retired TV broadcast network sports director and DGA Lifetime Achievement recipient Joseph R. Aceti has died. Here is the statement by DGA President Taylor Hackford:
We are saddened to hear of the passing of Joseph R. Aceti, beloved DGA member and the ninth recipient of the DGA Lifetime Achievement Award in Sports Direction. Joe received the Lifetime Achievement Award in 2006, capping a career that by all measures placed him in the pantheon of sports direction. Present at most of the seminal sporting events since the late 1960s, Joe worked for all four major networks on every type of major sporting event including: the 1968, 1972, 1976, 1980 and 1992 Olympic games; the 1990, 1991 and 1992 World Series and numerous Playoff Series; World Figure Skating Championship from 1983-1990; the U.S Open Tennis Tournament from 1984-87; NBA and NCAA basketball; NFL and collegiate football; Major League and Collegiate baseball; and 10 years of directing ABC’s Wide World of Sports with some 300 shows as the coordinating director. With 80 major boxing matches to his credit, Joe was also the guiding hand on broadcasts of some of the all-time greatest bouts, including: Ali vs. Frazier aka “The Thrilla in Manila;” Ali vs. Spinks II; Cooney vs. Holmes; and Hearns vs. Duran.
By all accounts, Joe was a kind and dedicated teacher and mentor to many he met along the way. After Joe was announced as recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award in Sports Direction in 2006, he told us, “I think I did a good job, but the thing I’m most proud of is that I was able to help so many young people during my career. I’ve never been afraid to pass on what I know and I tried to be fair and kind to people. My wife has a saying, ‘You can’t be a teacher and not be kind.’ I think she’s right.”