Jim Hawthorne, the ‘Voice of the Tigers’ set to retire after 35 years in the booth.
Ask anyone from Louisiana about LSU sports over the years and you’ll hear names like Shaquille O’neal, Pistol Pete Maravich, Dale Brown, Nick Saban, Les Miles, Tyrann ‘Honey Badger’ Mathieu, and the legendary Skip Bertman. Ask them about the greatest moments in LSU history and they will tell you about “The Earthquake Game” from 1988, Warren Morris’ walk-off homerun to win the 1996 College World Series, and Heisman winner Billy Cannon’s storied run on Halloween night.
But ask them to recall listening to those LSU broadcasts on the radio and you will immediately hear just one name – Jim Hawthorne.
Hawthorne has been the voice of the Tigers for the past 35 years, beginning with the men’s basketball team in 1979 and taking over play-by-play duties for LSU football in 1984 in which he has now called a remarkable 380 consecutive games. So you can only imagine the emotion one might have tied into Mr. Hawthorne and LSU. Personally, I remember very vividly riding in the car with my Dad to and from the Pete Maravich Assembly Center listening to his voice describe how the season has been going and how the Tigers performed that night. There wasn’t a single car ride that didn’t have his voice on our radio.
The LSU faithful will only have one more year to enjoy his services now that Hawthorne has announced his retirement following the 2015-16 basketball season. He will definitely be missed behind the mic but many of the greatest moments in LSU sports history will forever be graced by the ‘Voice of the Tigers.’