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UT mourns loss of former football player, broadcaster Bill Anderson

Bill Anderson, co-captain of Tennessee’s 1957 football team, who later played for the Green Bay Packers in Super Bowl I and was the longtime football color analyst with John Ward on Vol Radio Network broadcasts for three decades, passed away Tuesday. Anderson, who lived in Knoxville, was 80-years-old. (Image: UTSports.com)

Bill Anderson, co-captain of Tennessee’s 1957 football team, who later played for the Green Bay Packers in Super Bowl I and was the longtime football color analyst with John Ward on Vol Radio Network broadcasts for three decades, passed away Tuesday. Anderson, who lived in Knoxville, was 80-years-old.

“It is indeed a sad day for the University of Tennessee and the Vol Network with the passing of Bill Anderson,” UTAD Director of Broadcasting Bob Kesling said. “For three decades, Bill and John Ward painted the picture on the radio for many of the greatest moments in Tennessee football history. Bill’s great knowledge and understanding of the game and his passion for Tennessee football added so much to each broadcast.

“While in college at Tennessee, I got the great opportunity to work on the Vol Network. For 15 seasons I spotted for John Ward during the broadcasts. Sitting in the booth each Saturday I got to hear Bill talk about his playing days at Tennessee with Johnny Majors and Buddy Cruze. He told stories of his days in the NFL with the Washington Redskins, trying to block former Tennessee great and NFL Hall of Famer Doug Atkins and playing in the first Super Bowl game with the Green Bay Packers for coach Vince Lombardi.

“Bill enjoyed life, loved his family and took great pride in the fact he got to wear the orange shirt at Tennessee. It is a tremendous loss.”

Anderson was born in Hendersonville, North Carolina, and came to UT from Manatee High School in Bradenton, Florida. He played wingback/end at Tennessee under coach Bowden Wyatt from 1955-57 and was a member of Tennessee’s 1956 SEC Championship team that finished the season ranked No. 2 in the country. Tennessee amassed a record of 24-7-1 during his playing career and played in the Sugar and Gator bowls. As a standout end for the Vols, Anderson was selected to play in the 1958 Senior Bowl. He was selected in the third round of the 1958 NFL Draft by the Washington Redskins and played in the nation's capital from 1958-63, earning All-Pro honors in 1959 and 1960. Anderson was the team’s Rookie of the Year in 1958 and its Player of the Year in 1959.

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