Radio was King when I started my career in 1961 working at radio station WCTT in Corbin. We didn’t have satellite TV, as a matter of fact most of us only received a television signal from a large antenna on top of our houses. We got three channels, WLOS in Ashville and WBIR and WATE in Knoxville. As a disc jockey and sports broadcaster I had a big audience. No iPods or iPads, nothing but radio locally.
I started out working a night shift and at that period of time my biggest competitor was Dick Biondi of WLS in Chicago. At night that station had a good signal that reached here. It was at that time when I started broadcasting football and basketball games for the Corbin Redhounds.
It was much different then from now. When we had a game we had a full night of coverage. When I started Carl Oakley was Corbin’s head coach and Melvin Chandler was an assistant. Those two coaches would come to our studios every Thursday night to record a 30 minute show to be played before the Redhound game. But before that show opened, I did a “Redhound Rerun” show written by Allen Disney. It was a play-by-play of games from the 1930’s and 40’s. I still have tapes of those broadcasts. They were interesting.
What I am leading to is the great cooperation I received from coaches back then. They were all good to me but some really stood out. Coach Ledger Howard was one who came to the broadcast booth before and after every game as did others that followed him. In basketball I got great cooperation from all of the coaches. W,C.Sergeant, Bill Smith, Billy Hicks, Mike Deaton are just a few. And in college games I always looked forward to talking with Randy Vernon. But there was one coach that I was especially fond of, Archie Powers.
Nobody treated me better, was more cooperative or made me feel better about my job than Archie. Even after he retired from coaching he was still that way. Sadly, Archie passed away last week.
After winning the 1976 state championship game in Louisville, Archie gave me the best line that any coach ever said to me. While celebrating the victory the players put him on their shoulders but they dropped him and he fell to the turf. When Archie reached the press box for an after game interview he said, “We fumbled the ball all year and today we fumbled the old coach. It was a little wet out there.”
I have a recording of his voice with that on my iPhone. It was pure Archie having fun and making the tumble a humorous matter.
From day one as a young broadcaster I liked and admired Archie Powers.
When I worked at the Comprehensive Care Center Archie let me help with his advertising when he ran for County Judge. I was happy that I could be a part of his campaign. Although I didn’t get to see him much in recent years, when I did he was the same humble and friendly Archie.
His family, the many football players and fans and all his friends will miss the “Old coach.” There has never or will be a better one.