Pat Ryan, “Big Orange Countdown” Debut on Vol Network Thursday

Thursday celebrates the start of a new era of Tennessee football and also marks a new era on the Vol Radio Network
Football broadcast team
Football broadcast team(Tennessee Athletics)
Published: Aug. 30, 2021 at 2:22 PM EDT
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - Thursday celebrates the start of a new era of Tennessee football and also marks a new era on the Vol Radio Network.

Former Vol and NFL quarterback Pat Ryan takes over the prestigious analyst role this season after legendary VFL Tim Priest retired earlier this summer. Ryan, only the fourth color analyst in the Vol Network’s 72-year history, teams with play-by-play announcer Bob Kesling who is starting his 23rd year calling Tennessee games.

Network host John Wilkerson, spotter and contributor Brent Hubbs and sideline reporter Kasey Funderburg round out the game broadcast crew. Jeff Muir serves as the network’s ace statistician.Thursday will also mark the debut of a new Vol Network pregame show tradition.

At 6:30 p.m. ET / 5:30 p.m. CT on Sept. 2, a new show “Big Orange Countdown” will introduce fans to a new season of Volunteer football with expert insight from a host of former Volunteers. “Big Orange Countdown” succeeds “The Kickoff Call-In Show” in a move that honors past program traditions while looking ahead to the future with a modern and engaging twist.

Kesling and Ryan will set the stage from Neyland Stadium before turning things over to Vol Network veterans John Wilkerson and Brent Hubbs. They will be joined by former Vol wide receiver and team captain Jayson Swain (2003-06) and a rotating VFL special guest each week featuring former captain Will Overstreet (DE, 1998-2001) or Chris Brown (TE, 2004-07).

For home games, Wilkerson, Hubbs, Swain and Overstreet or Brown will broadcast to a live audience at the familiar amphitheater at Gate 21 outside Neyland Stadium. Fans can ask questions on-site or submit a question via Twitter @VolNetwork #AskVolNetwork or e-mail via “Big Orange Countdown”, Bobby Rader takes over the duties this year for “Spotlight on the SEC” before handing things over to the game broadcast crew 15-minutes prior to kickoff.

The “Big Orange Scoreboard and the Josh Heupel Show” provide complete postgame coverage. Vol Network programming is then capped each game with “The Final Scoreboard” hosted by Wilkerson, Rader and returning VFL Troy Fleming (RB, 2000-03) who will be joined this season by former Vol standout quarterback Erik Ainge (2004-07).

The Vol Network can be heard on over 60 stations across the state of Tennessee and the southeast,, the Tennessee Athletics App, SiriusXM and the Varsity App.

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