Bill Anderson, a former Tennessee football player and Vol Radio Network broadcaster died early Tuesday morning at the age of 80.
Anderson was born in Hendersonville, North Carolina, and came to UT from Manatee High School in Bradenton, Florida.
He played football for the Vols from 1955-57. During that time he played on the 1956 SEC Championship team that finished ranked No. 2 in the country. Anderson also served as one of the captains for the team in his final season.
After playing for the Vols, Anderson was chosen in the third round of the 1958 NFL Draft by the Washington Redskins. He played in the capital until 1963, earning All-Pro honors, a team Rookie of the Year award and a team Player of the Year award.
He then retired shortly to coach Tennessee's offensive end in 1964, before legendary Green Bay Packers Coach Vince Lombardi persuaded him to come back to the league. Anderson spent the next 2 seasons playing at Green Bay, and helped the team win the first ever Super Bowl in 1967.
Anderson returned to Knoxville shortly after the Super Bowl win and worked with the Vol Network from 1968-1998, partnering with John Ward as the voice of Tennessee Athletics for three decades. The duo built up a massive following, becoming the nation's longest-running college football tandem.
Bob Kesling, lead play-by-play announcer and current voice of the Vols spent a lot of time with the famous duo of John Ward and Bill Anderson. It's a time he won't soon forget.
"I was very fortunate to sit in the booth with both John and Bill," said Kesling. "They truly were great friends, in and out of the booth. John knew so much about broadcast and Bill was so knowledgeable on football, it was a great combination. Bill loved Tennessee, he loved to be around all the players and coaches."
Anderson was a member of both the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame and the Knoxville Sports Hall of Fame.
Though the loss will be noticed, Kesling said Anderson wouldn't want people to feel upset.
"He wouldn't want anyone to be sad today."
Arrangements for Anderson's funeral have yet to be made, but will be announced later by Rose Mortuary Mann Heritage Chapel.
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