ESPN film recalls ‘Voice of the Vols’ in tribute to great SEC announcers

Orange and White Nation

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — An ESPN Film executive produced by East Tennessee native Kenny Chesney will chronicle the cultural rise of the Southeastern Conference through radio announcers like the beloved ‘Voice of the Vols’ John Ward.

As part of the ESPN Films ‘SEC Storied’ series, ‘More Than a Voice’ will recount the SEC’s growth as a cultural institution through the early radio broadcasters like the iconic ‘Voice of the Vols,’ John Ward, who brought the game to life for millions of fans before television became the dominant medium for sports fans.

‘More Than a Voice’ will debut Sunday, Sept. 26 at 7 p.m. on SEC Network. Country music superstar and Knoxville-native Kenny Chesney is listed as the executive producer.

“I’m thrilled to be a small part of this film that sheds light on John Ward’s genius and so many of the other voices who have made the @SEC really special.”

Kenny Chesney on ‘More than a Voice’

The trailer released Tuesday by ESPN features appearances by Vols legend Peyton Manning and lead announcer for the Vol Radio Network Bob Kesling, who took over for the legendary John Ward in 1999.

Ward was synonymous with University of Tennessee athletics as the radio voice for Vol football and basketball for over 30 years. A Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame and Knoxville Sports Hall of Fame member, Ward was named the Tennessee sportscaster of the year 28 times. Level four of the press box at Neyland Stadium was renamed ‘the John Ward Broadcast Center’ in 1995.

Ward also served as a national broadcaster for ABC and ESPN. He passed away in June 2018 at the age of 88.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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