- Dick Vitale, College Basketball analyst
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I was saddened to learn of the passing of my close friend, Fred Barakat, a former ACC associate commissioner and longtime basketball coach.
I coached against Fred the scholastic level, in high school and in college. We were also friends for a long time. Our wives, Lorraine and Florence, were extremely close. I had spoken to Fred a couple of weeks ago, when he returned from a trip to Italy, where he was visiting his daughter.
Fred was a family man, so proud of his children. Every year at the ACC tournament, we would be invited to have dinner with his family, and it was quite a scene. Everyone was smiling and laughing.
Fred was a genuine, caring person. He was a hard worker who loved the sport. He was even given a little work doing color commentary for ESPNU.
I can remember how happy he was when we had a party at my house a few years ago. We were celebrating the ACC tournament being held in Tampa, as well as his future retirement.
He was a very, very special person. The college basketball community has suffered a major loss. My sympathies to Florence and the entire Barakat family.
Dick Vitale was saddened to learn of the passing of his close friend, former ACC associate commissioner and longtime basketball coach Fred Barakat.