KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Tennessee broadcasting legend John Ward was the Voice of the Vols for some five decades, and his passing on Wednesday night has understandably garnered great attention.
Tennessee athletic director Phillip Fulmer issued a statement on Thursday morning:
“Our entire Tennessee family mourns the loss of the great John Ward. The University of Tennessee has lost one of its most beloved ambassadors.
“For generations of Vol fans, John’s voice brought to life many of their fondest memories of Tennessee football and basketball. His visionary thinking paved the way for the Vol Network’s rise to prominence as the standard bearer for intercollegiate athletics marketing and broadcasting.
“Despite our shared sadness, I believe it is appropriate to proudly reflect on and cherish the fact that John was ours. We will ensure that his legacy and memory are appropriately honored in the days, months and years to come.”
Tennessee coaches remembered Ward, including former Vols’ first-round NFL draft pick Terry Fair and new head coach Jeremy Pruitt:
It was an absolute honor to have the Legend and the greatest John Ward call all of my games as a Vol! RIP, you’ll be missed by Volnation! Sad day! #GiveHimSix
— Terry Fair (@UTCoachTFair) June 21, 2018
It’s a sad day for the Tennessee family. In my short time here, I’ve learned that John Ward was a legend and an irreplaceable part of the tradition here at the University of Tennessee.
— Jeremy Pruitt (@CoachJPruitt) June 21, 2018
Longtime state representative Jimmy Duncan Jr. also remembered Ward:
I am so sad to hear of the passing of John Ward. He had such a positive influence on countless students, players, and fans during his over 30 years of broadcasts. My prayers are with his loved ones as we mourn the loss of such an iconic legend and fine Tennessean. @Vol_Football
— Rep John Duncan Jr. (@RepJohnDuncanJr) June 21, 2018
WNML’s Josh Ward put together a tribute to John Ward for today’s podcast:
Tennessee football podcast