One Thousand and Counting For UTC's Jim Reynolds

"The Voice of the Mocs" Honored Tonight

Thursday, February 21, 2013 - by B.B. Branton

“I have had the good fortune of broadcasting UTC basketball games from some of college basketball’s grandest arenas – Rupp Arena (Kentucky), Phog Allen Field House (Kansas), the Dean Dome and Carmichael Arena (North Carolina) and Hinkle Fieldhouse (Butler) to name a few. Rumor has it that I can add Pauley Pavilion to that list as the Mocs are penciled in to travel to UCLA next season.”

Jim Reynolds, Chattanooga men’s basketball radio announcer

 

Known to many as "J.

R.", Jim Reynolds has been behind the microphone for 30+ years as a Chattanooga basketball and football announcer.

Tonight at McKenzie Arena, the “Voice of the Mocs” will be front and center and honored by many as he broadcasts his 1,000th college basketball game (105.1 FM) for UTC as the Mocs (9-15, 4-7) host UNC-Greensboro (7-18, 5-9) with tip off set for 7 p.m. He and his family will be recognized at halftime.

But more than just one who handles the radio broadcasts, the 57-year-old Reynolds (he turns 58 May 1) is the “Voice of the Mocs,” passionately bringing the action to the UTC fans.

J.R. loves what he does and is passionate about what he does,” said UTC head men’s coach John Shulman.

“He is professional, dependable and reliable.”

While tv actor "J.R." starred on “Dallas: for 14 years, he can’t top the longevity of Chattanooga’s "J.R.", as “The Voice of the Mocs” which has spanned more than three decades.

He’s called the highs and lows, the triumphs and disappointments of the Blue and Gold from coaches Murray, Mack, Henry and Lebo to Shulman.

Broadcasting first from Maclellan and now McKenzie, Reynolds has seen the shorts get longer and the crowds get larger and the name Chattanooga Basketball gain national respect with wins in the NCAA and NIT tournaments.

"Longevity in this business is a rarity today,” said Larry Ward who is the “Voice of the UTC Lady Mocs”.

“J.R. is one of a kind. He found a home early on for his talents and has captured the UTC fans with his style, respect and love of the sports he broadcasts for all to enjoy as much as he enjoys doing them." 

Born in Chicago in the mid-1950s and raised on mama’s cookin’ and radio broadcasts of White Sox, Bears and Blackhawks contests, Reynolds intently listened and learned from some of the best  - Bob Elson, Don Wells, Milo Hamilton (White Sox), Jack Brickhouse (Bears) and Joe Wilson and Lloyd Pettit (Blackhawks).

And years later J.R. had an influence on another aspiring sports announcer.

“To me who started listening to Mocs hoops on the radio in 1980, Jim Reynolds IS Mocs basketball,” said Scott McMahan, co-host of Sport Talk and the public address announcer at UTC men’s and women’s games throughout the season.

“J.R. mentored me for a week when I was in 8th grade and now I've claimed him as co-worker for 20+ years now. I salute you J.R. ... YOU are Mocs basketball!

“His level of work ethic and professionalism makes the rest of us look bad... real bad! His knowledge on all topics is vast and impressive.The people he's interviewed is a who's who list of sports names.

“All the while you won't catch him bragging or boasting about any of it.....most days! When technical issues popped back in the day he might lose his marbles and let you know what he thought about your mother. These days he's mellowed and relaxed, enjoying the ride.

With dreams of being a big leaguer at Comiskey Park wearing the White Sox uniform, JR’s youth was spent “turning two” like Nellie Fox and Ron Hansen at the nearby park or throwing some heat as did Gary Peters, Juan Pizarro and Hoyt Wilhelm.

Or on fall Sunday afternoons he would “run to pay dirt” by avoiding would-be tacklers (trash cans, stray dogs and parked cars) replaying in the neighborhood streets a Bears win earlier that day as Willie Galimore, Bill Wade, Mike Ditka and Richie Petibone led the Monsters of the Midway to a world title in 1963.

But while Bill Veeck (White Sox owner) and Papa George Halas (Bears owner) never offered a tryout for the three-sport Elmwood Park High School athlete, a couple of halls of fame have called his number.

His longevity and talents have not gone unnoticed as he is a member of the UTC and Greater Chattanooga Sports Halls of Fame.

His start in broadcasting came as a student at Illinois State ('77) as he did the play-by-play of basketball games for nearby Illinois Wesleyan followed by ISU games before his UTC career began in the fall of 1980.

“Jim Reynolds is that rare person who can be a true friend and a true professional at the same time,” said coach McCarthy who led the 1997 Mocs to the NCAA Sweet Sixteen with J.R. calling that storybook journey courtside.

“He's one of the best radio people that I've ever observed or worked with on the air.

"J.R. has worked masterfully with a varied array of administrations, coaches, teams and ups and downs. Not only is he an asset to UTC, he's an asset to the entire Chattanooga community.” 

UTC interim athletics director Laura Herron, said, "Jim Reynolds is Mocs Basketball. He is a student of the game that always bring his A-game with quick wit and a positive delivery."

And his loyal followers and friends hope he brings his A-game for another 1,000 broadcasts.

 

Jim Reynolds

Position: radio play-by-play of UTC men's basketball

Age: 57

Hometown: Chicago, Ill.

Spouse: Wendy

Children(6): Jennifer Lee ("Rocko"), Julie Ann, Amy Marie, Holly Lynn, Kaitlyn Rene, Erin Elizabeth (Squeaky)

 

contact B.B. Branton at William.branton@comcast.net

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


UTC's Cotter Earns All-Conference, Two Mocs Named To All-Freshman Team At SoCon Finals

Complete Results     BIRMINGHAM, Ala. --- In her final Southern Conference Championship of her career, senior Amanda Cotter (Bristol, Conn.) earned all-conference honors in the women’s 1500 meter run on the final day at the Samford Track and Soccer Stadium.   “I thought she had it won,” Chattanooga head coach Bill Gautier said.  “She ran a great ... (click for more)

Lookies Lose Second Straight Sunday At Smokies, 5-2

A four-run fifth inning broke a deadlocked 1-1 game and the Smokies went on to a 5-2 win over the Lookouts Sunday afternoon at Smokies Stadium. Inning-by-inning game  r ecap . Smokies starting pitcher Frank Batista tossed seven solid innings of one-run ball, while four consecutive run-scoring singles from right fielder Almora Almora Jr., designated hitter Kyle Schwarber, ... (click for more)

Mayor Berke To Give State Of The City Address Monday Night

Citizens across the community are invited to attend Mayor Andy Berke’s second annual State of the City address, which will be held Monday at 5:30 p.m. in the ballroom of the Chattanoogan Hotel. The event is free and open to the public. “The State of the City is an important time to celebrate our accomplishments, discuss our challenges and chart a new course together,” said Mayor ... (click for more)

Anonymous Facebook Posters Pose Possibility Of Signal Schools Separating From Hamilton County School System

"Should Signal Mountain Schools separate from the Hamilton County School System?"   That’s the question posted on a Facebook page titled, simply, Signal Mountain Independent School District.   The creators of the page do not identify themselves. “(W)e certainly don’t want our kids dragged into the issue or targeted for special treatment by any ... (click for more)

The Heart Of A Teacher Makes A Difference - And Response (2)

In less than four weeks, I expect to be one of 216 graduating seniors from East Hamilton School. One could say all possible variables help a student rise to the highest levels in school; but a student is more than his environment or genetic code. He is a mixture of his own propensity and dedication to academics, coupled with a systemic team of mentors who give their all as a student’s ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: The P.S. To A Sad Story

Back in the days when we were determined that the Chattanooga News-Free Press would have the best sports section in the country, I was traveling a whole lot. For example, back then I would be leaving today or tomorrow for Saturday’s Kentucky Derby, this after hardly recovering from a week spent at The Masters. And, as it happens with those who are constantly in search for tomorrow’s ... (click for more)