A POPULAR sports anchor and radio host has died aged 65 – leaving behind legions of fans.
NewsChannel5 Nashville broadcaster Mark Howard, who started at the network in 1986, was found unresponsive at his home on Sunday morning.
“His booming voice and wry sense of humor caught the attention of viewers but it was his vast sports knowledge that captivated his audience and impressed his colleagues,” the network said.
“My heart’s broken,” retired NewsChannel 5 sports director Hope Hines told The Tennessean.
“I’ve lost one of my best and dearest friends. “
“He was more like a son to me and he felt the same way, I was a father-like figure in many ways to him. “
“I’m heartbroken for Jack his son, and Debra. He was a great, great talent.”
Throughout his career, he covered “the Braves and Twins in the 1991 World Series, the Tennessee Lady Vols national championship run in the late 1990s, Dale Earnhardt’s incredible Daytona 500 victory, and the Titans playoff run in 2001 culminating with Super Bowl XXXIV in Atlanta,” according to the station.
He was a host for Nashville Predators’ pregame and post-game shows, and was a graduate of Ithaca University.
After his stint at NewsChannel5, he was at 104.5 hosting “The Wake Up Zone” alongside along with Kevin Ingram and former Tennessee Titan Frank Wycheck.
They left the show, which was number one in Nashville last year.
“I loved working with Mark, but the thing about Mark was that he was a great friend,” Ingram said to The Tennessean.
“There weren’t many people who were more supportive of me or my career than Mark. “
“He was always very encouraging and gave good advice. “
“There aren’t too many people you’ll find who were more knowledgeable about sports than Mark. It was almost scary how much he knew, especially about baseball.”
Paul Kuharsky, a Titan writer, posted a lengthy tribute to Howard on Social Media.
Kusharky said he would frequently appear on Howard’s radio show.
“Those were some of the most fun working mornings of my life,”he said.
“Mark Howard was a good man who gave a lot to Nashville and gave a lot to me.”
“I’m thankful for it all.”
He is survived by his wife and two sons.