The memorable career of Jim Hawthorne, the Voice of the LSU Tigers since 1979, will come to a close after the 2015-16 basketball season.
That much we’ve known for the last few months. The search for Hawthorne’s replacement is also entering its final stages, trimmed down to six remaining finalists.
On Monday, Hawthorne joined TSD publisher Ben Love on “Bumper to Bumper Sports” on 103.7 FM (KLWB) in Lafayette to reflect on his storied run in Baton Rouge, his upcoming retirement and how he decided on the timing as well as his hopes for the person selected to be his successor.
On calling football and Moreau’s plans
“It’s only one game a week, but the magnitude of an LSU football game is such that it carries a tremendous amount of pressure and weight on it. We have a great crew of eight that works every football game. That’s what makes the broadcast work. I’ve been exceptionally blessed. And Doug and I will go out together. I don’t believe Doug will be back after next year either. We’ve been together as a team for about 26 years, so I’m really looking forward to working with him for this one last year.”
Reflecting on the recent Super Regional
“It was special this weekend with UL-Lafayette here, two really good teams and teams that represent the state of Louisiana so well and are so close to each other. It was really, really quite an experience.”
On how he got to his position
“You have to be exceptionally fortunate. I guess also you have to be in the right place at the right time. I know that was the case for me because I did not grow up with the goal to be the voice of LSU athletics. That's not something I said I wanted to do and worked toward that. I merely wanted to be in radio, that's what I wanted to do for a career.”
Sharing his outlook on retiring
“I moved to Baton Rouge in 1982 and this is my home ever since then. It's been a great thrill, probably more than I ever deserved. But it's time to move along and let somebody else have the same opportunities.”
When asked about the timing of his retirement
“I was going to retire at the end of baseball this year. When I spoke to the people in the athletic department and CBS Sports Properties at LSU, they asked me would I please consider coming back to do football and basketball next year. I agreed. They asked me to do it, otherwise I would have retired next week.”
On advice he’ll give next man, discussing that search
“The first thing that I would say is that I hope whoever it is that he realizes what a gift he's being given, to have the opportunities to do LSU football, basketball and baseball. Because it is an incredible honor. So I would hope that he would understand it in that context and that he will endear himself to the Tiger Nation. I can promise him that he will have a lot of thrills ahead of him.
“I know who the six finalists are out of the 140 or so that applied. They're in the process this week of interviewing those people face-to-face. I'm not involved in the process. They do ask me a question or two now and then, but I'm involved in making that choice and really don't want to be.”
LSU ride a 'great thrill' for Jim Hawthorne
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