Bobby Denton

1941–2014

Bobby Denton, the Voice of Neyland Stadium, handled the PA duties at home football games from 1967 to 2013. His 48 years on the public address system was the longest tenure in college sports. Born in Clinton and an East High graduate, he was first a PA announcer at NASCAR races, became the voice of the Talladega Superspeedway, and came to Knoxville to work for WSKT radio. He soon transferred to WIVK radio station, where his promotional genius played a major role in WIVK’s rise to the nation’s number one country radio station.

When John Ward left the PA job at the conclusion of the 1966 football season, Gus Manning hired Bobby Denton to take over. His “It’s FOOTBALL time in Tennessee” became a hallmark of Tennessee football. For several years he announced the concession prices and told the crowd to “pay these prices and please pay no more.” He convinced the Athletics Department to print the prices in the program and then told the fans the page number upon which the prices could be found and urged them to “pay these prices and please pay no more.” In a game against South Carolina, with Lou Holtz as the coach, near to the end of the game South Carolina was 3rd and 45, and Denton announced that it was “3rd and the river.” After the game Holtz was asked whether he thought Denton’s remark had been appropriate. He replied, “I thought it was farther than that.”

Denton famously smoked cigars and talked to everyone who crossed his path. He was inducted into the Knoxville Advertising Hall of Fame and the East High School Hall of Fame, among many professional and civic awards. Denton was to have accepted for WIVK its induction in the Tennessee Radio Hall of Fame May 3, 2014, but died on April 9.

Citation Information

The following information is provided for citations.

  • Title Bobby Denton
  • Coverage 1941–2014
  • Author
  • Keywords Bobby Denton
  • Website Name Volopedia
  • Publisher University of Tennessee Libraries
  • URL
  • Access Date May 27, 2022
  • Original Published Date
  • Date of Last Update October 6, 2018