Jim Hawthorne (sportscaster)

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Jim Hawthorne
Born Anacoco, Louisiana, USA
Residence Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Alma mater Northwestern State University
Occupation Sports announcer

Jim Hawthorne is a former radio sportscaster. He is best known for having called radio play-by-play for the LSU Tigers sports teams of Louisiana State University for over 36 years, from 1979 to 2016, earning the nickname, "Voice of the Tigers".[1] Before LSU, he called radio play-by-play for his alma-mater Northwestern State and Centenary College, as well as Texas League baseball and in the short-lived World Football League (WFL).[2]

Hawthorne began calling LSU basketball games during the 1979–80 season. He began calling LSU football games in 1983 and LSU baseball in 1984 taking over for John Ferguson.[3][4] Overall, he was LSU's radio play-by-play announcer for two BCS National Championship titles in football, all six of its College World Series championships in baseball, and three Final Four appearances in basketball.[5]

His final season at LSU was the 2015 football season and 2015–16 men's basketball season. His final baseball season was the 2015 baseball season with Chris Blair taking over for the 2016 baseball season.[5][6]

Notable calls[edit]

  • The "Earthquake Game" on October 8, 1988, in which the Tiger Stadium crowd's reaction to LSU's game-winning touchdown pass against Auburn is reported to have registered on a seismograph on campus.[7]
  • Warren Morris' walk-off home run for LSU in the 9th inning of 1996 College World Series, which Hawthorne singles out as his favorite call.[5][8]
  • The "Bluegrass Miracle" on November 9, 2002, a football game won by LSU against Kentucky with a last-second touchdown pass. The call is notable in part due to Hawthorne erroneously identifying the touchdown receiver as Jack Hunt, when it was actually Devery Henderson. Hunt was a defensive back and was not on the field. Hawthorne acknowledged it was Henderson later in the broadcast. The mistake was later deleted from archived versions of the broadcast.[9][10]
  • The 2011 "Game of the Century", a highly anticipated football game between No. 1 LSU and No. 2 Alabama on November 5, 2011, which LSU won in overtime, 9–6.[2]

Awards and recognition[edit]

In 2015, Hawthorne was honored by the National Football Foundation with the Chris Schenkel Award as an individual with a "long, distinguished career in broadcasting with direct ties to a specific university."[11] In 2016, he was inducted into the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame,[12] and also received the Distinguished Service Award in Sports Journalism from the Louisiana Sports Writers Association.[13]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Lowe, C. Kent (June 18, 2016). "Generations knew only Jim Hawthorne as Voice of the Tigers". The Advocate. Retrieved 2017-06-18. 
  2. ^ a b "Voice of LSU Jim Hawthorne to retire". USA Today. February 11, 2015. Retrieved 2017-06-26. 
  3. ^ "Voice of LSU Jim Hawthorne to retire". shreveporttimes.com. February 11, 2015. Retrieved 2018-07-07. 
  4. ^ "In focus: Legendary Voices". lsusports.net. Retrieved 2018-07-07. 
  5. ^ a b c Ching, David (December 28, 2015). "Retiring LSU radio man Jim Hawthorne: 'I've had more thrills than I deserve'". ESPN.com. Retrieved 2017-06-26. 
  6. ^ "It's the last home roundup for Jim Hawthorne, the voice of the Tigers". nola.com. Retrieved 2018-07-08. 
  7. ^ Kleinpeter, Jim (January 1, 2016). "Watch end of LSU radio voice Jim Hawthorne's final football broadcast". The Times-Picayune. Retrieved 2017-06-26. 
  8. ^ Kleinpeter, Jim (February 11, 2015). "LSU broadcaster Jim Hawthorne's greatest call: Warren Morris' home run to win 1996 College World Series". The Times-Picayune. Archived from the original on March 18, 2015. Retrieved 2017-06-26. 
  9. ^ Kleinpeter, Jim (November 9, 2012). "Remembering LSU's Bluegrass Miracle on the 10th anniversary". The Times-Picayune. Retrieved 2017-06-26. 
  10. ^ Watson, Graham (March 20, 2013). "Doc Five: Best College Football Buzzer Beaters – No. 3, Bluegrass Miracle". Yahoo! Sports. Retrieved 2017-06-26. 
  11. ^ "LSU's Jim Hawthorne to receive Schenkel Award". USA Today. May 27, 2015. Retrieved 2017-06-26. 
  12. ^ Thompson, Luke (June 24, 2016). "High character defines Hall of Fame class". Shreveport Times. Retrieved 2017-06-26. 
  13. ^ Kleinpeter, Jim (February 17, 2016). "LSU's Jim Hawthorne to receive Distinguished Service Award from LSWA". The Times-Picayune. Retrieved 2017-06-26. 

External links[edit]