Longtime Seattle AP Sports Writer Jim Cour passes away at 84

SEATTLE (AP) — Jim Cour, who covered sports for The Associated Press in Seattle for three decades before his retirement in 2009, has died. He was 84.

Cour passed away Sunday after a brief hospitalization, his family told the AP.

Cour began working for the AP in Seattle in 1979 after spending 19 years working for United Press International in Los Angeles. Cour also covered news and worked as a desk editor for the AP in Seattle.

He arrived in the Pacific Northwest tasked with documenting the early years of the city’s two infant franchises: the Seattle Seahawks after joining the NFL in 1976 and the Seattle Mariners, who arrived in 1977.

Cour, who survived a childhood bout with polio that gave him a quiet voice with a distinctive raspy tone, was a fixture in the press box of the old Kingdome for those two teams. He also spent time across town covering the Seattle SuperSonics in the early 1980s during the tenure of Hall of Fame coach Lenny Wilkens, and the University of Washington as its football program rose to national prominence under coach Don James.

Cour documented the Seahawks’ first playoff appearance in 1983, and later wrote about the lawsuit that blocked the team from being moved to California and eventually the sale of the team to Paul Allen. He also covered the Mariners’ magical run to their first playoff appearance in 1995 and the eventual construction of their new stadium.

Cour was courtside when the SuperSonics played Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls in the 1996 NBA Finals and a decade later helped in the coverage of the Sonics’ relocation to Oklahoma City.

Cour is survived by three sons and a daughter and their families. Jim’s brother Brian was a reporter at the Oregonian, and two of his sons were longtime volunteer youth sports coaches.