South Carolina Sportscasters: The Best Of The Best

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South Carolina Sportscasters: The Best Of The Best
(Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)

In this article, I will show you the bios of some of the best South Carolina sportscasters and commentators. The sports commentators on here you may not have heard of, but they are known men in the South Carolina sports market.

Bob Fulton and Jim Phillips are the former prime time play-by-play voices of Gamecock and Tiger football. Bob and Jim have contributed a lot to their respective universities; South Carolina and Clemson. Also known is Pete Yanity; who still covers a wide range of topics as the Spartanburg News 7 sports anchor for over 20 years, and don't forget other former Gamecock sports radio play-by play men Charlie McAlexander (1995-2003) and Mike Morgan (2000-2009.)

And, every big sports fan in the Palmetto State knows recruiting whiz Phil Kornblut, who has been sports talking on South Carolina Sportstalk radio show for 25 long years, even since the show began. Here are the bios of each of the top six Palmetto State "Best of the Best" sportscasters:

Bob Fulton, Voice of the South Carolina Gamecocks 1952-1994 (Took 1965-66 at Georgia Tech)

Bob Fulton,the future "Voice of the Gamecocks," moved to Columbia, SC in 1952 after two jobs commentating baseball in Hornell, New York (1951) and Pueblo, Colo. (1950.) He was also the play-by-play man for Arkansas Razorbacks football and basketball games from 1940-1949, and a coach in the Little Rock School system during that period of time. In 1952, WNOK and the Columbia Reds semi-pro baseball team needed a commentator, and Bob was asked to do the task. The Ridley Park, Pa. native and Ozarks University graduate with a major in speech also was asked to do the play-by play commentating for the University of South Carolina Gamecocks football team in 1952. 

Bob Fulton, one of the most celebrated Gamecocks to never step foot on the field, would stay with the Gamecocks until 1994, despite working with Georgia Tech football commentating in 1965-1966. He also commentated the Columbia Reds baseball club every season until it stopped operations. He worked for the gamecocks over 43 years no matter if it was a statewide radio broadcast, regional TV telecast, or nationally televised spectacle. He worked Gamecock football, basketball, and even baseball beginning in 1974.

A year earlier, in 1973, the South Carolina Legislature started to stack with honoring with outstanding service to the state for sports commentating. Bob nationally informed listeners on radio in the then prestigious Bluebonnet, Gator, and Sun Bowls. He nationally commentated these bowls a total of six times. He is one of the only non- athletes in the USC Athletic hall of fame. 

In 1993, Bob was introduced into the South Carolina Hall of Fame. In 1995, Columbia Mayor Bob Coble established "Bob Fulton Day" in Columbia, on January 18th. Not to mention, Fulton was honored the  "Order of the Palmetto", the highest award a South Carolinian can get, from former South Carolina Governor Carroll Campbell. He was honored at the Gamecocks' Jan. 2, 1995 Carquest Bowl win over West Virginia in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Fulton is a nine-time recipient of the sportscaster of the year in South Carolina.

Bob Fulton has been honored at many other banquets. His book "My Career My Life" describes Bob's life as a USC commentator and a vivid account of Gamecock Baseball, Basketball, and football during his 43 plus year career as the "Voice of the Gamecocks." You can buy it for $14.95 on his website, bobfultonthevoice.com.

 

Jim Phillips, "Voice of the Clemson Tigers", (1968-2003)

People like Jim Phillips understand sports broadcasting. People like Jim Phillips, Bob Fulton, and Larry Munson. Clemson fans were shocked when Jim Phillips died in September 2003; days after he did the play-by play work for the Clemson-Furman football game. Jim was born on April 23, 1934 in Ohio.

Times were hard when Jim was a kid in the 1940's. That's when Jim started listening to dramas and athletic contests on the radio. Jim almost flunked Ashland College in Ohio, but he recovered. Jim was also in the medical corps in the army for two years.

At age 19, Jim got a radio job in a small town in Ohio. Over a decade later, he landed a sports radio job at Kent State University. In 1968, Clemson's well known athletic director and football coach, Frank Howard hired Jim to broadcast the Tigers' games. "I was really surprised when I got the job" later quoted Phillips. Jim was also hired to be the sports reporter on Greenville's local TV news Channel 4, where he was the sports anchor for 25 years.

Along with Tiger Football, Men's Basketball, Lady's Basketball and Baseball, Jim was the commentator for the local minor league baseball team, the Greenville Braves. He was the first ACC sports commentator to broadcast this many sports for a college. Jim only missed one basketball game in his 35 years commentating for the Clemson basketball team. 

Jim would last throughout 8 tiger coaches, 400 football games, and an astounding 2,000 athletic events. His favorite broadcasting moment is when he commentated Jerry Butler's amazing catch to defeat South Carolina and end Clemson's 17-year bowl skid. His only regret is missing a chance to broadcast Clemson's 1982 Orange Bowl national Championship vs. Nebraska. Jim was introduced into the Clemson Hall of Fame in 1992.

 

Pete Yanity, Spartanburg News 7 Sports Anchor for over 20 years

Pete Yanity has been covering sports for over 20 years. He is the sports anchor for Spartanburg's WSPA Channel 7 news. He also writes a weekly column on wspa.com and the Greer Citizen Newspaper, called " Pete's Extra Point." He includes a special feature in his broadcasting and writing when the Masters, World Series, and Daytona 500 come around the corner.

Every fall Friday night, he hosts the popular "High School Friday Night" show in Spartanburg. The Ridgefield, Conn native joined the WSPA News 7 channel in October 1990. He also worked for WSPA's sister station in Florence, South Carolina during two different stints. Pete also directed sports operations in Clarksburg, WV for WBOY-TV. Besides working 40 hours a week for WSPA, Pete also has involvements with many other sports around the region.

Since 2003, he has commanded Clemson Tiger football and men's basketball play- calling, along with the football and basketball coaches' shows. You can also recognize him as the sideline reporter during the Carolina Panthers Preseason games. He served 12 years on the Wofford College coaches show and was introduced to the Terriers athletic hall of fame in 2002. Pete was named the NSSA South Carolina Sportscaster of the year in 2004.

He was also a recipient of the James "Slick" Moore Award for Community Athletic Involvement in 1998. Pete's most important thing in his life is family. Pete has contributed a lot to the South Carolina sports market.

Charlie McAlexander, "Voice of the Gamecocks" 1995-2003

Charlie McAlexander, nicknamed "Charlie Mac," was a former Gamecock football and basketball commentator for the University of South Carolina from 1995-2003. He is the only person in the SEC to go to four different SEC schools in four different states (Ole Miss, Tennessee, Kentucky, and South Carolina) and win at least one NSSA state broadcaster of the year title. (He won the NSSA state broadcaster of the year a total of nine times).

Before coming to Columbia in 1995, Charlie hosted syndicated SEC shows and did play-by play commentating for Kentucky Wildcat Football and basketball from 1992-1994. 

On April 23, 1993, Charlie Mac was selected to the NSSA (National Sportswriters and Sportscasters) board of directors. In 1995, the year he came to Carolina, he became the president of the NSSA. In 1994 and 1995, his list of accomplishments includes calling the SEC Basketball Championship, hosting the NCAA Today Show on ESPN, and calling NCAA Regional Basketball Games on CBS Radio and College Sports USA.

 

 

He handled play-by-play duties for Gamecocks football and men’s basketball until 2003, and hosted coaches shows for former football coach Lou Holtz, former men’s basketball coach Dave Odom, former Ladies Basketball coach Susan Walvius and baseball coach Ray Tanner. He won the NSSA sportscaster of the year in South Carolina in 1996, 1999 and 2002.

 

Mike Morgan, Gamecock Sports Radio, 2000-2009

 

On July 11, 2003, the University of South Carolina was happy to name Mike Morgan as the play-by-play announcer for the men’s basketball team. In previous years, Mike had worked as the play-by-play voice of the women’s basketball team. He had also called the Gamecock Baseball team since 2000, which he got a rare opportunity to call the Gamecocks’ College World Series Championship in 2002. When he accepted the men’s basketball play-by-play job, these were his words- “Just like baseball, people will have no doubt who I'm calling the games for," "It's hard for me not to get excited when Carolina is doing well. By the same token, they will get an honest, knowledgeable and credible account of what is going on."

 

Prior to accepting his job he worked his own sportstalk show in Columbus, GA, and for the Columbus Red Stikk, a team in the Cleveland Indians farm system. Also, he broadcasted high school football in the region. Mike Morgan worked on the Gamecocks’ radio broadcasts until he was resigned under pressure in April 2009. The 2009 season was one of the most exciting basketball seasons in a long time for Carolina basketball.

 

Here is Mike Morgan’s call vs. Florida in the final 3.3 seconds.  “Parsons to the free throw line, a 1 and 1.” “It’s on the way, missed it!” “Rebound Holmes, ahead to Fredrick, Fredrick LAYS IT IN”!!!!

 

“That’s unbelievable!!” “I do not believe it!” “Carolina wins it 70-69!!” “I can’t believe it, what a play”! “Some students are storming the court, who cares?!” “Carolina wins, an improbable finish!”

 

You just have to see this one yourself. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i8kt8HqIiC0&feature=related.

Basketball and baseball broadcasts will never be the same without Mike Morgan. In April 2009, the Carolina Gamecocks lost the heart and the soul of its radio crew. Mike won three NSSA Sportscaster of the year awards in the state of South Carolina. Mike will now handle Carolina Panthers pre-season TV broadcasts.

 

Phil Kornblut, South Carolina Sportstalk (1984- present)

 

Phil Kornblut is known for his recruiting knowledge by college coaches around South Carolina and the southeast. Phil can be heard on Sportstalk statewide from 6-8 on weeknights. In Columbia, he can be heard on 560 AM. Phil has been behind the mic since South Carolina Sportstalk originated 25 years ago. Kornblut also has won the NSSA South Carolina Sportscaster of the year five times. Phil is a highly regarded basketball and football recruiting man and has a weekly column in The State newspaper (Columbia, SC) on State recruiting.

 

 

 

 

 

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