Former KU broadcaster and professor Tom Hedrick honored at state capitol
TOPEKA, Kan. – One of the best story tellers in broadcasting, Tom Hedrick had his story told Thursday morning at the state capitol in Topeka as he was recognized by the Kansas law makers for his outstanding contribution to the broadcasting and teaching professions.
Hedrick, along with his wife Lee and daughter Nancy, first received a resolution from the Kansas State Senate while being acknowledged on the senate floor. The group then moved to the House of Representatives in which he received a recognition certificate. The trios’ morning concluded with a visit with Kansas Governor Laura Kelly. In addition to his family, Kansas baseball coach Ritch Price and Voice of the Jayhawks, Brian Hanni, were present during the ceremonies along with members of Baker University’s administrative and athletics staffs.
On Feb. 28, 2019, Hedrick ended a 62-year span of broadcasting when he called his final Baker University men’s basketball game in Baldwin City, Kansas. Hedrick worked for Baker, his undergrad alma mater, as a broadcaster and professor for the past 30 years.
Fondly nicknamed “The Parrot,” Hedrick’s career included broadcasting for KU football and men’s basketball, the Kansas City Chiefs, the Cincinnati Reds, the Texas Rangers and the Dallas Cowboys. He also called KU baseball, off and on, for more than 30 seasons.
A six-time Kansas Sportscaster of the Year, Hedrick, who received his master’s degree from KU, was the sports director of the University of Kansas Sports Network in 1975. Additionally, he was an announcer for ABC’s Wide World of Sports from 1968-75 and did play-by-play for three Super Bowls, including the first one in 1967, and nine Cotton Bowls.
Hedrick called KU football and men’s basketball from 1961-67 and after a brief hiatus, he returned to calling Jayhawks hoops from 1975-83. For his career, Hedrick called more than 650 football games, 2,400 basketball games and 2,200 baseball games at the collegiate and high school levels.
Though his resume behind the microphone is long, Hedrick is most proud of his work in the classroom mentoring broadcasters while as a professor at KU and Baker. In 2000 he wrote a book called “The Art of Sportscasting; How to Build a Successful Career,” in which he interviewed more than 90 broadcasters. The book is still used by eight universities, including KU.
Tom Hedrick’s Broadcasting Career Highlights (per Baker University)
• Announcer for ABC’s Wide-World of Sports (1968-1975)
• Play-by-play announcer for three Super Bowls (1967, 1968, 1970)
• CBS play-by-play announcer for the Cotton Bowl (1970-1976)
• Voice of the University of Nebraska Cornhuskers (1967-1970)
• Voice of the Cincinnati Reds (1971-1972)
• Voice of the Kansas City Chiefs (1964-1971)
• Sports Director for KDFW (Dallas, Texas) (1973-1975)
• Director of the University of Kansas Sports Network (1975)
• Kansas Sportscaster of the Year (1960, 1961, 1963, 1964, 1965, 1966)
• Missouri Sportscaster of the Year (1970)
• Play-by-play announcer for the Texas Rangers and Dallas Cowboys