NATCHITOCHES — Retiring LSU sports broadcaster Jim Hawthorne and longtime Alexandria sportswriter Bob Tompkins are the recipients of the 2016 Distinguished Service Award in Sports Journalism from the Louisiana Sports Writers Association.
Hawthorne, known across the state as “The Voice of the Tigers,” is wrapping up his 36th and final year as the play-by-play and coaches’ show host for LSU athletics. He will retire after basketball season.
The Distinguished Service Award in Sports Journalism is the most prestigious honor offered to sports media in the state. Recipients are chosen by the 35-member Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame selection committee based on their professional accomplishments in local, state, regional and even national arenas, with leadership in the LSWA a contributing factor and three decades of work in the profession as a requirement.
Distinguished Service Award winners are enshrined in the Hall of Fame along with the 389 current athletes, sports journalists, coaches and administrators chosen since 1959. Only 56 leading figures in the state’s sports media have been honored with the Distinguished Service Award since its inception 34 years ago, in 1982.
Hawthorne and Tompkins will be among the 2016 Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame Induction Class on June 25 at the Natchitoches Events Center.
Hawthorne handled football, men’s basketball and baseball broadcasts and is LSU’s director of broadcasting. A native of Anacoco and a 1967 Northwestern State graduate, he was hired in 1984 to replace Hall of Fame member John Ferguson at LSU.
Tompkins, a 38-year veteran editor, writer and columnist for the Alexandria Town Talk, was voted the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association Sportswriter of the Year for Louisiana four times (1998, 2004, ’06, ’12). He was also the LSWA Sportswriter of the Year in 2006 and shared the award in 2007.