John Ward, a 1948 initiate of the Lambda Chapter at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville joined the Chapter Celestial on June 20th, 2018 at the age of 88.
Brother Ward received his law degree from UT-Knoxville in 1954, and rather than practicing law, he decided to go into the field of radio and broadcasting. Ward began his broadcasting journey with the UT-Knoxville Volunteers in 1958 calling a basketball game for the Vol Network. Then shortly after joined the Army.
After returning to Knoxville, in 1964 he became the announcer, host, and coordinator for the coaches television shows at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville for football and basketball. His broadcasting career really took off after becoming the radio play-by-play voice for UT-Knoxville Basketball in 1965, and then for football in 1968.
With broadcasting partner Bill Anderson, Ward provided color commentary for 31 years as a part of the longest-running broadcasting partnership in college football history. Also covering events for ABC Sports and ESPN. In 1976 he was named the Best College Announcer in the Country, he was an inductee to the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame, a27-time recipient of the Tennessee Sportscaster of the Year Award, and in 1995 the 4th level of the press box in Neyland Stadium was named in his honor the John Ward Broadcast Center.
Ward would serve up his catchphrases to the crowd, such as…
“Give … him … SIX! … TOUCHDOWN, TENNESSEE!”
and most famously, “IT’S FOOTBALL TIME IN TENNESSEE!”
Brother Ward retired from broadcasting after the 1998-99 football and basketball seasons, after the Volunteers won the National Championship in football. His final football broadcast being the 1999 Fiesta Bowl, after which he continued to do some commercial radio advertisements and public service announcements in the state of Tennessee.
In a post made by the Vol Network, ” Tennessee has lost its voice.”
May he be admitted into that rest.