John Ward: The Voice of an SEC Icon Goes Silent
Over the distinguished history of the Southeastern Conference, iconic voices such as John Ferguson, Jack Cristil, John Forney and Larry Munson have echoed the stories of football Saturdays across the South.
Another one of those great SEC voices was Tennessee's John Ward. For over three decades until his retirement after the 1998-1999 basketball season, Ward dazzled the Vols faithful with trademark catch phrases such as "Give him six!" and "It's football time in Tennessee" in addition to his thorough preparation and smooth delivery.
Late Wednesday, the legendary voice of the Vols died at the age of 88.
Whether you are the voice of a local high school team, a small college program or a storied powerhouse tradition in the SEC, there is no greater honor in sports broadcasting than to have the title of the voice of a team.
During the first two segments Thursday, I had the opportunity to share my thoughts on the passing of one of the SEC's legendary play-by-play voices, how technology allows his memory to continue to younger generations, how his excellence behind the microphone compares to today's play-by-play voices and what the play-by-play stars of tomorrow can learn from someone like John Ward.
We also had the opportunity to field calls concerning memories of listening to John Ward call SEC football games on the radio and observing him in person after Tennessee basketball battled Alabama at Coleman Coliseum.
Catch The Gary Harris Show every weekday from 9-11 AM on Tide 102.9/100.9 and the Tide 102.9 app.