CLEMSON -- Pete Yanity, sports director at WSPA Television in Spartanburg since 1990 and a member of the Clemson football radio network broadcast team the last three years, will assume the play-by-play duties on Clemson broadcasts for the remainder of the 2003 football season. The announcement was made Tuesday by the Clemson Athletic Department and Clemson Tiger Sports Properties, a joint venture of Learfield Communications and ISP Sports.
Yanity will handle the duties on an interim basis for the remainder of the season. Clemson will conduct a national search for its play-by-play position. His first game in this capacity will be Saturday when Clemson plays at Georgia Tech.
Jim Phillips, the legendary Voice of the Tigers for the past 36 years, passed away on Tuesday, September 9, the result of an aneurysm of the aorta. The 69-year-old had broadcast the Clemson vs. Furman game just two days earlier, the 401st broadcast of his career. Phillips was a member of the Clemson Hall of Fame and broadcast over 2000 Tiger sporting events in his career that dated to 1968.
"These are certainly not the circumstances under which anyone would want to be presented with this opportunity," said Yanity, a personal friend of Phillips for 13 years. "However, I plan to do everything I can to give the fans the very best broadcast we can provide. I am following in some incredible steps and I only hope the effort I give will pay the proper respect to Jim.
"A family has lost a loved one and a lot of people lost a close friend. I will certainly always have Jim in my thoughts and I truly hope that everyone also keeps him in mind. . . It is truly an honor to be given the chance to call Clemson games.
Clemson sports information director Tim Bourret, who served as Phillips color commentator on Clemson basketball the last 23 years, provided the play-by-play of Saturday's game with Middle Tennessee at the request of the Phillips family. He will continue to do the pregame interview segment on the network with Coach Tommy Bowden, but his responsibilities as sports information director prohibit him from continuing on the game broadcast on a weekly basis.
Yanity has been the sports director at WSPA TV in Spartanburg the last 13 years. He has also been a sideline analyst for eight years on Carolina Panther preseason football games and has considerable play-by-play experience for Comcast Sports Southeast covering various college events, including Clemson football and baseball.
Since 2001 he has been the sideline reporter and host of the pregame, halftime and postgame programming on the Clemson football radio network. A 1985 graduate of Ohio University, Yanity served as the host of Clemson's coach's television shows in early 1990s and will join Tommy Bowden as the host of his television show for the remainder of the season.
Will Merritt will remain as the primary color commentator in the booth with Yanity during Clemson football broadcasts. He is the host of "The Opening Drive" sports talk show on WCCP FM in Clemson. He was an all-conference offensive lineman at Clemson from 1998-01 and played in three bowl games.
A sideline reporter will be added to the broadcast team later in the week. Decisions on the play-by-play positions for men's basketball, women's basketball and baseball will be made at a later date.
Don Munson will handle host duties on the Tommy Bowden Thursday evening Call-in program. Munson is the host of the Tiger Tailgate Show each Saturday and has also served as the host of the Fifth Quarter show during his broadcasting career. Earlier in his career he was the voice of Appalachian State athletics.