By Josh Ward
We all have people that change the direction of our lives.
People that make an impact when they might not even realize it.
Jimmy Hyams and John Wilkerson are two of those people for me.
John and Jimmy have been an established radio duo for 25 years in Knoxville and East Tennessee.
Together, they’ve helped countless people stay connected to Tennessee athletics.
John and Jimmy will host their final edition of “SportsTalk” together later this week. With Jimmy retiring on March 31, we say goodbye to an unforgettable era.
John will move to morning drive with Vince Ferrara starting April 11.
Jimmy isn’t going away completely: you’ll continue to hear and see him on the radio and TV from time to time.
But a quarter-century run for John and Jimmy together will end this week.
It’s time to celebrate.
For 25 years, John and Jimmy have helped fans celebrate big Tennessee wins… and vent after heartbreaking losses.
Tennessee has experienced more coaching changes than fans care to remember in the last 15 years. It was John and Jimmy who fans counted on to know what was happening behind the scenes.
John and Jimmy gave fans a platform to voice their opinion on whatever was happening with Tennessee sports.
And the big-name guests always appeared on SportsTalk.
Phillip Fulmer, Doug Dickey, former SportsTalk host Mike Keith, Volquest’s Brent Hubbs, and the late great Pat Summitt.
That only starts the long list of guests who respected John and Jimmy and made repeat appearances on their show.
John and Jimmy each have their own list of individual accomplishments.
Jimmy entered the Tennessee Sports Writers Association Hall of Fame in 2011 and the Greater Knoxville Sports Hall of Fame in 2022. He’s one of the best reporters the state of Tennessee has seen.
John is as good of a play-by-play voice as there is in college sports. He says “Hello, win column!” on behalf of the fans after every Tennessee baseball win.
Some day, John will say hello to the Tennessee Radio Hall of Fame.
On top of their professional accomplishments, they’re two of the best people you’ll meet in the industry.
That’s my connection to their story.
I’ve been lucky to know John and Jimmy for 21 years. But I’ve known them longer than that.
I once was a kid who wanted to work in sports media, thanks to listening to their radio show after school growing up.
In 2001, I had a chance to hang out and eventually work with them. Not long after that, they trusted me enough to help produce their show for more than six years.
Want to learn how to be a pro?
Watch John and Jimmy do their jobs. They’ve provided the blueprint.
I’m thankful for the chance to have worked with John and Jimmy for 20+ years.
More than that, I’m thankful to call both friends.
Congrats on a great career, Jimmy.
And to both John and Jimmy, thanks for 25 great years.