Legendary Tennessee radio announcer and “The Voice of the Vols” John Ward has passed away according to an announcement from the Vol Network on Wednesday night.
Tennessee has lost its Voice. pic.twitter.com/ayqMRqH6wU
— Vol Network (@VolNetwork_IMG) June 21, 2018
Ward began play-by-play duties for the University of Tennessee in 1958 when he was hired to be the radio play-by-play voice for UT basketball. He would take over play-by-play duties for football in 1968 as well, and he would become “The Voice of the Vols” over the next 40 years.
Ward called countless games for Tennessee as their main radio announcer. He became famous for his catch phrases such as “Give him six!” and “It’s football time in Tennessee!” throughout his decades of service. He announced prior to the 1998 football season that he would be stepping down after the season. And he got to go out on top, as the football Vols went undefeated and won the 1998 national championship in Ward’s final season as the Voice of the Vols.
Ward’s wife, Barbara, passed away last year on July 24th.
Ward graduated from the University of Tennessee in 1953 with a College of Law degree. His voice became synonymous with Tennessee football over his decades on radio, and to this day Vol fans around the country remember growing up hearing Ward’s legendary voice on the air.
Here is a compilation of some of his best calls as the Voice of the Vols: