Former Vanderbilt broadcaster Joe Fisher returning to Nashville radio on WNSR

·12 min read

Veteran Vanderbilt broadcaster Joe Fisher will make his return to local radio on Nashville Sports Radio (WNSR 560-AM/95.9-FM/107.9-FM).

Fisher will be the play-by-play announcer for the station’s Midstate Checkdown High School Football Game of the Week starting Aug. 19. Greg Pogue will handle the analysis. Games will be selected on a week-to-week basis.

“I want to thank WNSR Radio and station general manager Ted Johnson and operations manager Adam Johnson for this great opportunity to return to the broadcast booth,” Fisher said. “We have put together a great slate of games, and I look forward to working with Greg, whom I’ve known for years.”

Joe Fisher will return to the Nashville radio airwaves as play-by-play broadcaster for the WNSR 560-AM/95.9-FM/107.9-FM high school football game of the week.
Joe Fisher will return to the Nashville radio airwaves as play-by-play broadcaster for the WNSR 560-AM/95.9-FM/107.9-FM high school football game of the week.

The games will air on either Thursday or Friday each week for the 11-week regular season and playoffs on all three of WNSR's stations.

Fisher spent 23 years as the voice for Vanderbilt athletics including football, men’s basketball and baseball. He resigned in 2020 and checked into Cumberland Heights Addiction Treatment Center for alcoholism.

On July 6, 2021, Fisher, an Antioch and Middle Tennessee State graduate, was named news and communications director at Tennessee Tech and remained in that position until April.

Fisher called some basketball games for the TSSAA Radio Network during the state tournament in March, which was played at Tennessee Tech.

This won't be Fisher's first time on WNSR's airwaves since the station is the flagship for Vanderbilt baseball.

“Joe Fisher is a Nashville sports media icon,” Adam Johnson said. “We are excited to add Joe to the WNSR Radio team. Through our partnerships over the years with Vanderbilt, Joe has already been a part of the family on the station. I also want to thank Jonathan Shaffer for his work for five years as lead play-by-announcer during previous seasons.”

Pogue, co-host of "The Greg Pogue & Jon Burton Show" on WNSR, leaned on Fisher when starting his play-by-play career for Tennessee State football and basketball.

“When I began a decade or so ago doing play-by-play at TSU, Joe was one of the first play-by-announcers I approached for advice,” Pogue said. “He is such a true pro and wonderful person. It will be an honor to broadcast games with him.”

Fisher was a guest Friday on "The Greg Pogue & Jon Burton Show."

Earlier in his career Fisher was a sports anchor at WSMV Channel 4 and WKRN Channel 2.

Overton's John Ford II named FCS All-American

John Ford II
John Ford II

Former Overton linebacker John Ford II, now at UT Martin, is on the 2022 Stats Perform FCS Preseason All-America third team.

Ford, a graduate student, recorded 88 tackles last season.

After making the All-OVC first team in 2021 Ford, who also had four interceptions and forced a fumble, was named the 2022 OVC preseason defensive player of the year.

TSU’s Kaleb Mosley and Austin Peay’s Matt Rigney are on the pre-season watch list for the 2022 FCS punter of the year award.

Golfer Michael Shears leaves Vanderbilt for Georgia

Michael Shears
Michael Shears

Former Franklin and Vanderbilt golf standout Michael Shears, who won the 2017 Tennessean/Metro Parks Schooldays Tournament, has transferred to Georgia as a graduate student.

Shears represented the Commodores in 20 events, including the 2021 NCAA Championships. He was fourth in the Old Waverly Collegiate Championship, sixth in The Carmel Cup and seventh in the Tiger Invitational.

His grandfather Joel Darden played football at Georgia (1962-64) and his father Michael was a member of the Bulldogs' golf team in the 1980s.

Belmont's athletic realignment includes staff promotions

Scott Corley
Scott Corley

Athletics director Scott Corley realigned the Belmont athletic department, which included several staff promotions.

Renee Schultz was promoted to senior associate AD for student-athletic success/senior woman administrator; Josh Ward to senior associate AD for external engagement and James Woody to senior associate AD for administration.

Schultz, Ward and Woody also joined Corley on the athletic executive leadership team.

Kim Andersson was elevated to director of sports medicine, Luke Bolanos to director of athletic communications, Heather Copeland to associate AD for compliance, John Langdon to director of compliance and student-athlete development and Greg Sage to associate AD for broadcasting and media relations.

Belmont soccer gets new turf

New artificial turf was installed at Belmont's soccer complex at Rose Park.
New artificial turf was installed at Belmont's soccer complex at Rose Park.

Belmont installed artificial turf at its soccer complex at Rose Park.

LigaTurf by AstroTurf, which is a FIFA-certified synthetic turf, was put down. A new drainage system also was installed along with a shock pad underlay.

The men’s and women’s teams have already started training on the new surface.

The women kick off off the season with exhibition games at Lipscomb (Aug. 10) and UAB (Aug. 14) before hosting Union in the season opener on Aug. 18.

The men will host Memphis (Aug. 14), UAB (Aug. 17) and Trevecca (Aug. 20) in exhibitions before Southern Indiana visits for the season opener (Aug. 25).

Vradenburg scholarship created in Gallatin

Jerry Vradenburg
Jerry Vradenburg

A scholarship to honor former coach Jerry Vradenburg and his late wife Sylvia was created at Gallatin.

Jerry Vradenburg, a former East Nashville and Belmont star athlete, coached at White House and Gallatin.

Wayne Starks, Larry Brown and Tom White, who played for Vradenburg at White House (1962-66), inspired the scholarship foundation. Vradenburg's friends Richard Stephenson and Steve Sudbury helped collect donations from former players.

The Initial donation totaled $103,905.

Jerry and Sylvia Vradenburg each taught for 30 years in the public school system.

Jerry’s career basketball coaching record was 559-296. His 1973 Gallatin team won the state championship. He was inducted into the TSSAA Hall of Fame in 2006 and the Gallatin gymnasium was named after him in 2016.

The first scholarships from the foundation will be available for the 2023 fall school year.

Former Alabama slugger joins MTSU baseball coaching staff

Kevin Nichols
Kevin Nichols

Kevin Nichols, who played at Alabama and spent the last five seasons on the staff at College of Charleston, is MTSU’s new hitting coach at recruiting coordinator.

Nichols was the associate head coach, recruiting coordinator and oversaw hitting and base running at College of Charleston.

He led Alabama with 13 home runs and 43 RBIs in 1994. After being selected by the Philadelphia Phillies in the 28th round of the 1996 draft Nichols spent three seasons as an infielder in the organization.

Ryan Yurachek, son of Arkansas AD, is Austin Peay TE coach

Ryan Yurachek
Ryan Yurachek

Former Marshall standout Ryan Yurachek is Austin Peay’s new tight ends coach.

Yurachek was an All-Conference USA tight end as a senior in 2017. He is the son of Arkansas athletics director Hunter Yurachek and brother of Southern Methodist assistant AD Jake Yurachek.

Ryan Yurachek finished his Marshall career with 143 catches for 1,354 yards and 26 touchdowns. That is the third most receptions for a tight end in Marshall history and second most touchdowns.

Brewers send three top prospects to Sounds

Milwaukee Brewers prospect Sal Frelick speaks with reporters after picking up two hits and two RBI in an exhibition game against the San Francisco Giants on March 21, 2022, in Scottsdale, Arizona.
Milwaukee Brewers prospect Sal Frelick speaks with reporters after picking up two hits and two RBI in an exhibition game against the San Francisco Giants on March 21, 2022, in Scottsdale, Arizona.

The Milwaukee Brewers gave the Nashville Sounds a boost Tuesday by promoting outfielders Sal Frelick, Garrett Mitchell and Joey Wiemer to the Class AAA affiliate ahead of the trade deadline.

Frelick, 22, was a first-round draft selection out of Boston College in 2021 who quickly climbed the minor league ranks. The left-handed batter has been ranked as the Brewers’ No. 2 prospect by some behind 18-year-old Jackson Chourio.

Mitchell, 23, hit .373 over 14 games with Biloxi after recovering from an oblique injury.

Wiemer, 23, was the Brewers' minor league player of the year in 2021. He hit 42 home runs over the last two seasons.

Former Midstate basketball coach of the year Jerry Taylor dies at 74

Jerry Taylor, who coached basketball at Loretto and Lawrence County, died on Monday. He was 74.

Taylor compiled a 115-21 record and led the Loretto girls basketball team to the state tournament four times in the 1970s. He was The Tennessean Midstate coach of the year twice during that time.

Taylor also coached the Loretto baseball team and was an assistant football coach.

In 1978 Taylor accepted the boys basketball coaching position at Lawrence County and later returned to Loretto.

Woosley-Reed runner-up in Tennessee Amateur Championship

Cascade's Evan Woosley-Reed won his second straight TSSAA Small Class boys golf state championship.
Cascade's Evan Woosley-Reed won his second straight TSSAA Small Class boys golf state championship.

Tennessee golfer Lance Simpson held off fellow Vols golfer Evan Woosley-Reed in the Tennessee Amateur Championship Friday at Cherokee Country Club in Knoxville.

Simpson, who is from Knoxville, shot 19 under in the four-day tournament while Woosley-Reed, who is from Shelbyville, shot 14 under.

Woosley-Reed saved his best for last by posting a 6-under-par 64 Friday, which was the lowest in the field.

Brentwood Academy’s Blades Brown was third at 10 under while Tucker Jenkins from Nashville and Adam Condello from Brentwood tied for fourth at 9 under.

Belmont's Nick Muszynski signs pro hoops deal

Nick Muszynski, who led Belmont to the NCAA Tournament twice and the NIT once, signed a pro basketball contract Friday with Enea Astoria Bydgoszcz in Poland.

The 6-foot-11 center scored 1,886 career points at Belmont and played in the 2022 NABC Reese's Division I College All-Star Game and the 2022 Portsmouth Invitational.

He was a four-time All-OVC selection.

Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway season winding down

Dylan Fetcho drives to a second-place finish in the pro late models race at Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway Saturday, Aug. 31, 2019.
Dylan Fetcho drives to a second-place finish in the pro late models race at Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway Saturday, Aug. 31, 2019.

The sixth of nine races this season is Aug. 13 at Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway. It will be the Bass Tire Family Night with eight classes competing.

Racing begins at 5 p.m. with the Bandoleros (15 laps) followed by street stocks (20), front runners (20), pure stocks (25), legends (20), limited late models (25), super trucks (50) and the featured pro late models (100).

Dylan Fetcho from Lebanon leads the pro late model class in points with 222, Hunter Wright from Gladeville is second (217) and Cole Williams from Sellersburg, Indiana, is third (209).

For tickets visit https://bit.ly/3zz4cOd.

Cumberland baseball getting artificial turf

The project to install artificial turf on Cumberland’s baseball field will begin in October. It is expected to be complete in time for the 2023 spring season.

The project on Ernest L. Stockton Field at Woody Hunt Stadium is part of a major overall being made to Cumberland’s athletic facilities.

Additional renovations include upgrades to home plate to improve the batter’s boxes and the mound will be converted to turf as well. The turf will extend to the wall behind the plate and run past both dugouts down the lines.

Shane Keely named Cumberland soccer coach

Shane Keely
Shane Keely

Shane Keely was promoted to coach of the Cumberland men's soccer team after Adam Grant resigned to become an assistant at California State University-Bakersfield.

Grant had been at Cumberland since 2012 when he started as a graduate assistant. In 2014 he was promoted to assistant coach of the women’s team before taking over as head coach in 2015.

After spending two years as the women’s coach, Grant became the men’s coach in 2017. He was the Mid-South Conference coach of the year in 2017 and 2018.

Keely a native of Dublin, Ireland, spent five years as an assistant. Before that he was on the staff at Christian Brothers. He played at Memphis.

DuPont and Belmont great James Ray Pugh dies at 87

James Ray Pugh, a starter on DuPont’s 1953 state championship basketball team who went on to play at Belmont, died Tuesday. He was 87.

Pugh had 23 points and 13 rebounds in the state championship game against Memphis Central. He was inducted into the DuPont Sports Hall of Fame in 2021.

Pugh was Belmont’s co-most valuable player along with Robert Barnes in 1956.

He set the Capital City Invitational single-game scoring record with 37 points and made the Volunteer State Athletic Conference all-tournament team in 1957.

Pugh also played baseball at DuPont and Belmont.

He later became a junior and high school coach and teacher.

AtoZ Sports expands into more markets

AtoZ Sports, a Nashville-based sports media network featuring hosts Austin Stanley and Zach Bingham, has expanded from eight markets to 13.

The new cities include Buffalo, Denver, Las Vegas, New Orleans and Philadelphia.

AtoZ also acquired the YouTube channel No Flags Films, which provides game analysis and sports talk shows.

Austin Peay athletic trainer retires after 30 years

Joni Johnson, who spent 30 years as an athletic trainer at Austin Peay, has retired.

The native of Advance, Indiana,  arrived at Austin Peay as a graduate assistant in 1991 and was elevated to a fulltime position the following year.

She was named interim head athletic trainer in December 2007 and had the interim tag removed in 2008.

Trevecca great Michael Pretorius dies at 29

Former Trevecca track and cross country star Michael Pretorius died on July 31 after battling cancer. He was 29.

A highlight of Pretorius’ career came in 2012-13 at the Vanderbilt Commodore Classic when he recorded a time of 29:08.71 in the 8K and then beat that with a career-best 26:31:74 in the Great Midwest Championships.

Pretorius' final season was 2014-15. In 2016, Trevecca athletic director Mark Elliott recognized Pretorius by establishing the Michael Pretorius Courage Award, which has been presented annually to a Trojan athlete who overcomes adversity.

Inclusion Flag Football League kicks off Aug. 20

The Inclusion Flag Football League, a Metro Parks' Disabilities program, begins Aug. 20.

A greeting and division into groups begins at 9 a.m. with practice from 9:15-9:45 a.m. at Elmington Park on West End Avenue.

After a water break co-ed games begin at 10 a.m. The season lasts six weeks.

Jerseys will be provided.

Extra optional practices are Monday-Thursday (10 a.m.) at Centennial Sportsplex.

For more information call 615-862-8489 or contact Dana Allen at dana.allen@nashville.gov or Glen Adkins at golden.adkins@nashville.gov.

If you have an item for Midstate Chatter contact Mike Organ at 615-259-8021 or on Twitter @MikeOrganWriter.

This article originally appeared on Nashville Tennessean: Vanderbilt broadcaster Joe Fisher returning to Nashville radio on WNSR