Hawthorne to Receive Chris Schenkel Award from NFF

Hawthorne to Receive Chris Schenkel Award from NFF

Longtime Tigers announcer honored for distinguished career in broadcasting.

IRVING, Texas — The National Football Foundation (NFF) & College Hall of Fame announced today that LSU play-by-play announcer Jim Hawthorne will be the 2015 recipient of the NFF Chris Schenkel Award. Presented annually since 1996, the award recognizes individuals who have had long, distinguished careers broadcasting college football with direct ties to a specific university.

Jim Hawthorne has had an exceptional broadcasting career with the Tigers, spanning more than thirty years, and during that time, his voice has become synonymous with one of the greatest college football traditions in the country,” said NFF President & CEO Steve Hatchell. “We are pleased to honor Jim Hawthorne with the 2015 NFF Chris Schenkel Award as he finishes his remarkable career this fall.”

Hawthorne begins his 33rd and final season as the play-by-play voice of LSU football this fall (1983-2015). Hawthorne began calling play-by-play for the Tigers in 1983. Hawthorne also plays host to weekly, one-hour live call-in shows with the football and baseball head coaches, as well as serving as the host for “Inside LSU Baseball.”

An Anacoco, La., native, Hawthorne took his first job in 1961 at Leesville High School, where he called play-by-play for the Wampus Cats football team. His broadcasting run continued as a DJ and commercial radio broadcaster for KNOC in Natchitoches while he attended school at Northwestern State before moving on to Shreveport’s KWKH.

His sports announcing career received a big boost when he began broadcasting games for the Shreveport Steamer, a World Football League squad that had moved from Houston to north Louisiana. The opportunity led to a 10-year stint broadcasting Centenary College (La.) sports, which in turn lead to an opening to call games for the LSU men’s basketball team in 1979-80. He added LSU football games in 1983 and Tiger baseball games the following year.

During his three-decade career in Baton Rouge, Hawthorne has covered some of LSU’s greatest coaches and student-athletes, including NFF National Scholar-Athletes Ignazio Albergamo, Solomon Graves, Chad Kessler, Bradie James, Rodney Reed and 2005 William V. Campbell Trophy winner Rudy Niswanger. His time at LSU has included the 2003 and 2007 national championships, six SEC championships, two Heisman Trophy finalists and countless legendary calls.

Hawthorne represents the third Schenkel Award recipient with ties to the Southeastern Conference, joining broadcasters Jack Cristil (1997, Mississippi State) and Larry Munson (2003, Georgia).

Hawthorne will accept the Schenkel Award Dec. 8 at the 58th NFF Annual Awards Dinner alongside the yet-to-be-announced recipients of the other NFF Major Awards, including the NFF Gold Medal, the NFF Distinguished American Award, The NFF Outstanding Contribution to Amateur Football Award, and the NFF John L. Toner Award for excellence in athletics administration. The event will take place at the historic Waldorf Astoria in New York City.

In addition to the presentation of the NFF Major Awards, the 58th NFF Annual Awards Dinner will provide the stage for the induction of the 2015 College Football Hall of Fame Class; the presentation of the 2015 NFF National Scholar-Athlete Awards, presented by Fidelity; and the bestowing of the 26th NFF William V. Campbell Trophy, presented by Fidelity Investments and displayed at its official home inside the New York Athletic Club, to the nation’s top scholar-athlete.

This year’s College Football Hall of Fame Class includes: Trev Alberts (Nebraska), Brian Bosworth (Oklahoma), Bob Breunig (Arizona State), Sean Brewer (Millsaps [Miss.]), Ruben Brown (Pittsburgh), Wes Chandler (Florida), Thom Gatewood (Notre Dame), Dick Jauron (Yale), Clinton Jones (Michigan State), Lincoln Kennedy (Washington), Rob Lytle (Michigan), Michael Payton (Marshall), Art Still (Kentucky), Zach Thomas (Texas Tech), Ricky Williams (Texas) and coaches Bill Snyder (Kansas State) and Jim Tressel (Youngstown State, Ohio State). The 2015 NFF National Scholar-Athlete Class will be announced on Oct. 29, and the winner of the Campbell Trophy will be announced live at the event on Dec. 8.

For ticket information regarding the 58th NFF Annual Awards Dinner, please contact NFF Director of External Relations Will Rudd at 972.556.1000 or wrudd@footballfoundation.com.

NFF Chris Schenkel Award Recipients:
1996 — Chris Schenkel (ABC Sports)
1997 — Jack Cristil (Mississippi State)
1998 — Max Falkenstein (Kansas)
1999 — Jack Fleming (West Virginia)
2000 — Ray Christensen (Minnesota)
2001 — Frank Fallon (Baylor)
2002 — Bob Brooks (Iowa)
2003 — Larry Munson (Georgia)
2004 — Bob Robertson (Washington State)
2005 — Tony Roberts (Notre Dame)
2006 — Johnny Holiday (Maryland)
2007 — Bill Hillgrove (Pittsburgh)
2008 — Bob Curtis (Idaho) and Dick Galiette (Yale)
2009 — Larry Zimmer (Colorado)
2010 — Joe Starkey (California)
2011 — Woody Durham (North Carolina)
2012 — Bob Barry Sr. (Oklahoma)
2013 — Gene Deckerhoff (Florida State)
2014 — Frank Beckmann (Michigan)
2015 — Jim Hawthorne (LSU)