|Is||Radio personality Broadcaster Sports journalist|
|From||United States of America|
|Type||Film, TV, Stage & Radio Journalism Sports|
|Birth||Knoxville, Tennessee, USA|
|Death||20 June 2018, Knoxville, Tennessee, USA|
John Ward (1930 – June 20, 2018) was an American sportscaster, best known as the radio play-by-play broadcaster for the University of Tennessee (UT), primarily from 1965 until 1999, and known to fans as the "Voice of the Vols".
Ward received a law degree in 1954 at the University of Tennessee College of Law in Knoxville. Rather than practicing law, he decided to go into radio and advertising. Ward's first broadcast of a university basketball game for the Vol Network came in 1958. (Under the leadership of football coach Robert Neyland, sports broadcasting rights had been taken in-house.) Shortly after, Ward joined the army.
After returning to Knoxville, Ward went to work at the Lavitch and Davis advertising agency. In 1964 he began handling the duties as announcer-host-coordinator for University of Tennessee coaches' television shows in football and basketball. His broadcasting career blossomed when he became the Vols' radio play-by-play voice, first, for basketball in 1965 and three years later for football (1968).
In addition to his duties with the Vol Network, Ward covered events for ABC-TV and ESPN. Ward and Bill Anderson, his color commentator for 31 years, became the longest-running broadcasting partnership in college football.
Ward's trademarks include: his introduction to each game, "It's football time in Tennessee!" his touchdown call, "Give ... him ... SIX! ... TOUCHDOWN, TENNESSEE!" asking, "Did he make it?" and answering, "HE MADE IT!" after a made field goal; made extra points were "GOOD-DAH!" counting runners down toward the goal line, "four...three...two....one..." and enthusiastically saying, "BOTTOM!" after a made basket in basketball. He was well known for wearing a light blue towel around his neck.
After the 1998–99 football and basketball seasons, in which the Volunteers won the National Championship in football, Ward and Anderson retired, and were replaced by Bob Kesling and Tim Priest, respectively. In his final season as "Voice of the Vols," UT named the fourth level of the East Skybox at Neyland Stadium "The John Ward Broadcast Center." Ward's final football broadcast was the 1999 Fiesta Bowl, the first BCS national championship. Tennessee defeated Florida State to win its second undisputed national championship. His final basketball broadcast for the Vols came in the second round of the 1999 NCAA men's tournament, with Tennessee's loss to Southwest Missouri State University on March 21.
In later years, Ward still did some commercial radio advertisements and public service announcements heard statewide.
The John Ward Broadcast Center in Ward's honor in 1995. Ward is a member of the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame.
Ward married Barbara Gallant in 1972. In 1994, they donated an estimated $2 million to the UT athletics department. She died in 2017, following a traffic accident.
Ward died on June 20, 2018 at the age of 88.