IN FOCUS: Legendary Voices
LSU Sports Interactive
Hodson to Fuller. Warren Morris’ home run. “Tigers Win! Tigers Win!” These are just a few memorable calls people think of from famed LSU play-by-play broadcaster Jim Hawthorne, and after decades of calling football games, Hawthorne is now having his swan song in his final season as the “Voice of the Tigers.” With his longtime partner in the broadcasting booth, Doug Moreau, the duo will have worked together for more than 25 years. Or so they think.
“It’s funny,” Moreau laughed. “Jim and I have talked and we can’t figure out exactly the year that we started together. (It’s been) more than 25 years.”
“I have been extremely blessed and extremely fortunate to have been part of the LSU radio broadcast team for more than 30 years,” said Hawthorne, who started his LSU career as the Tigers’ men’s basketball announcer in 1979. “It has meant more to me than I could possibly describe.”
Moreau started working on LSU football radio broadcasts starting in 1972 as a sideline reporter when John Ferguson was the Tigers’ play-by-play announcer. After Ferguson retired, Hawthorne took over prior to the 1984 season, and Hawthorne and Moreau became a full-time broadcasting team in 1988. The pair have called some historic games, most notably the National Championship game against Oklahoma in the 2004 Sugar Bowl, the 2007 National Championship Game against Ohio State, as well as the “Game of the Century” against Alabama in 2011 and the “Earthquake Game” against Auburn in 1988.
Hawthorne’s LSU career has also included three Final Four appearances by the men’s basketball team and six baseball national championships in Omaha for the College World Series.
Together, Hawthorne and Moreau have left an indelible mark on LSU. After Hawthorne announced his retirement earlier in the year, it put things in perspective for his colleagues and others who have worked with him over the many seasons of football, basketball and baseball.
“When I first started to work with Jim, it was like I was working with someone I had worked with forever,” recalled Charles Hanagriff, who has shared the microphone with Hawthorne on LSU baseball broadcasts since the early 2000s. “Working with him is like working with a human history book of LSU. It’s like a looking glass into everything LSU sports.”
“For me to work with a legendary voice in the SEC, you think of broadcasters like Eli Gold and Jack Cristil,” said LSU football sideline reporter Gordy Rush. “They’re just memorable voices, and to be a part of that (LSU) broadcast team is a tremendous honor in this industry.”
“My favorite thing about working with Jim is when I started working with him, he would give me pointers occasionally, but he pretty much just let me be my own person,” said Patrick Wright, the voice of LSU women’s athletics. “He let me have my own style and be the broadcaster I was meant to be. He never got me to do things a certain way.”
And even though Moreau hasn’t yet decided what his plans will be after this season, his presence in the booth will be missed when he retires from the booth.
“Doug is one of the most easygoing guys you would ever want to run into,” said Wright. “He’s one of the nicest people I’ve known, and he’s always been very good to me. We can joke and say anything to each other.”
Hawthorne and Moreau have become a staple amongst the LSU fan base, and their voices have become synonymous with LSU football over the past decades. When it is all said and done, the two will go down in LSU lore as legends on the radio network.
Even though Hawthorne is due to retire at the end of the 2015-2016 men’s basketball season, those who have worked with him make it a point to let everyone know that they aren’t losing a friend. Their friend just won’t be in the booth.
“More than anything, I’ll miss my friend,” said Hanagriff. “Baseball is the most time-consuming of all the sports. We spend a lot of time talking about other topics, and we’ve shared a lot of rain delays and road trips talking about family and friends. I’m going to miss my friend the most.”
“I know that Jim is looking to do a radio show playing some old country music called ‘This is Country’ on Sunday evenings on 100.7 The Tiger,” said Rush. So we’ll still work together, but having Jim along (for the football broadcasts) is what I’ll miss most.”
“He’s not going to disappear,” said Moreau. “He’ll still be my friend and we’ll chat. I’ll miss the regularity of doing games with him. You look forward to it. I’ve been very fortunate to do what I do. I did it with John Ferguson, and Wayne Mack. You sit back and admire their ability and I do that with Jim. He’s a real broadcaster.”