Radio play-by-play announcer Jim Hawthorne sings the national anthem before the LSU - Missouri baseball game Saturday night.

Hawthorne, LSU’s longtime sports play-by-play broadcaster, is retiring after next basketball season. The 71-year-old has spent 35 years calling LSU games. He’ll call his final season of baseball this year.

He’s been on the mic for nine national championship games – eight of them LSU wins – and 22 football bowl games.

Hawthorne is retiring to spend more time with his family. It’s something he says he’s been thinking about for more than a year. He wants to travel more with wife Carol, be around his five grandchildren and see more of his 91-year-old father, a World War II veteran who still drives to church every week.

LSU will conduct a national search for Hawthorne’s successor beginning this spring. He won’t be easy to replace.