"Give him six."
"It's football time in Tennessee!"
These are the words Tennessee fans loved hearing from legendary "Voice of the Vols" John Ward. But on June 3rd, 1998, Ward said two words many fans never wanted to hear; "It's time."
After more than 30 years, Ward announced he was retiring. His partner, color analyst Bill Anderson, also announced his retirement. Ward's final days behind the microphone came as the Vols captured the 1998 football national championship and the SEC Eastern Division basketball title.
"I told Fulmer, 'Fulmer, Anderson and I got us this far. It's up to you from now on,' Ward explained to WBIR in 2010. "It was just time to quit. That's what I said. It was just time, and it was. I don't regret a moment."
WBIR's then Sports Director Bob Kesling took over for Ward and still holds the position today.
The day John Ward told Tennessee, "It's time" is a memory many Vols fans will never forget and it remains one of your "Straight from the Heart" Moments.
"I told Fulmer, 'Fulmer, Anderson and I got us this far. It's up to you from now on,' Ward explained. "It was just time to quit. I don't regret a moment." WBIR