Many IU fans can’t remember what a football or basketball radio show sounds like without the iconic voice of Joe Smith.
But that day is coming soon.
The longtime and staple Bloomington radio host announced Wednesday that the 2022 football campaign will be the 40th and final season of his distinguished career with Indiana.
Smith has handled pre-game, half-time and post-game duties for IU football and men’s basketball since 1983 alongside the legendary Don Fischer, who will celebrate his 50th birthday on the airwaves. Indiana in 2022.
“I wouldn’t miss Don’s 50th season for anything in the world,” Smith said in a statement from IU Athletics.
“Nothing has made me happier than being part of Indiana’s football and men’s basketball shows with the best player in the country. Don is a true friend and sharing the booth with him one last year, eh well, it doesn’t get any better than that.
“IU meant so much to me and my family, and I can’t wait to see Coach Allen BUILD the Hoosiers into a Top-25 program. I also want to thank Scott Dolson for his support and allowing me to close my IU career on that amazing note.
Smith’s voice will remain on the airwaves at a new title. He will become the host of the football post-match show and mentor a new broadcaster in the pre-match, half-time and post-match role.
Fischer has seen his longtime partner on the road do a bit of everything during his career on game shows.
“Joe Smith has been an integral and versatile member of the IU Radio Network broadcast team for nearly 40 years,” said Fischer.
“At one time or another, Joe has been a broadcast engineer, football observer, statistician and pre-game, half-time and post-game broadcaster over these four decades. He also replaced me as play-by-play voice for the Seawolf Classic in 1978 and took over late in a match when I developed laryngitis. His ability to step up and do whatever was asked made him invaluable to me and our staff. Joe’s transition into this new role is just another example of his multi-faceted abilities.
Smith is the athletic director of WGCL-AM 1370 in Bloomington and is in his 53rd overall year of broadcasting radio in Bloomington. He began his career in 1969 at WAIK Radio in Galesburg, Illinois. From 1973 to 1989, Smith worked on “RFD4 Agri-Business Show” on WTTV-4 with the late Bob Cook.
In 1998, Smith was named Indiana Sportscaster of the Year; in April 2003 he was inducted into the Indiana Sportswriters/Sportcasters Hall of Fame; and in August 2021, he was inducted into the Monroe County Sports Hall of Fame.
Smith managed IU TV warm-up shows from 1978 to 1982 and hosted several IU trainer shows from 1983 to 1996 and again from 2002 to 2004.
He was awarded the JW Bill Orwig Medal which goes to non-alumni for distinguished service to the university in June 2004. In March 2020, Smith was awarded the IU Bicentennial Medal by President Michael A. McRobbie, awarded to organizations and individuals who, through their personal, professional, artistic, or philanthropic efforts, have expanded the reach of Indiana University across the state, nation, and world.
Smith will direct John Herrick in the transition to his old role. Herrick is currently a news anchor at 93.1 WIBC and Network Indiana in Indianapolis.
A seasoned sports broadcaster and journalist, he has worked at Emmis Communications since 2017. Herrick broadcasts football, basketball, baseball, volleyball and softball games for the IHSAA Champions radio and television network, ISC Sports Network , ESPN+ and Ninestar TV. He also filled in as host of Indiana Sports Talk.
“Even though broadcasting took me to many places, it still brought me back to Indiana,” Herrick said.
“No matter where I’ve been, I’ve always been a Hoosier, so it’s only fitting that I join the IU broadcast team. Like many others, I grew up listening to Don Fischer and admiring his work in the Hall of Fame. Now I have the benefit of working alongside a legend and learning even more from Don throughout the football and basketball seasons. I look forward to bring Hoosier Nation a broadcast product it can be proud of.
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