Bob Kesling

Bob Kesling, a 1977 College of Communications alumnus, became the “Voice of the Vols” following John Ward’s retirement. He had worked with and learned from Ward and had experience broadcasting Jefferson Pilot Southeastern Conference TV games and Lady Vols basketball. He had also cohosted the Vol Calls statewide call-in show and had worked as sports director for Knoxville’s WBIR television for 19 years.

Kesling came to Tennessee from Ohio as a college freshman to walk on for the football team. He played fullback on the junior varsity for one year in 1972. He plays the cello and is a huge Boston Celtics fan (he has a closet full of green shoes, buying a pair each time the Celtics win an NBA title). Like John Ward, who was known for his game-related superstitions, Kesling observes some pregame rites, such as wearing lucky underwear and, in Thompson-Boling Arena, staring at the US flag high in the rafters during the national anthem. The flag came from Stokely Athletics Center, where he got his start working on Vol basketball broadcasts. He was named to the newly created position of director of broadcasting in July 1999. Tim Priest (All-SEC defensive back in 1970) and Jeff Francis (who ranked third in career passing yards when he completed his eligibility in 1989) joined Kesling for football broadcasts.

Citation Information

The following information is provided for citations.

  • Title Bob Kesling
  • Author
  • Keywords Bob Kesling
  • Website Name Volopedia
  • Publisher University of Tennessee Libraries
  • URL
  • Access Date May 27, 2022
  • Original Published Date
  • Date of Last Update October 10, 2018