Year Inducted: 
2015

Thomas T. HammondTom Hammond was born in Lexington in 1944 and grew up around the UK College of Agriculture, where his grandfather Thomas Poe Cooper served as dean and, at one point, acting president. He followed in his grandfather’s footsteps, receiving a degree in animal science with an emphasis in equine genetics from UK in 1967.

Recognized as one of the leading network sports broadcasters in the United States, Hammond's vast body of work includes covering thoroughbred horse racing and play-by-play of the NBA, the WNBA, college basketball, gymnastics, figure skating and the Orange Bowl. He was the play-by-play voice for Notre Dame football for 21 years.

Hammond is a fixture on NBC's Olympic Games coverage. At the Summer Games, he is the chief commentator for track and field, a position he has held since the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona. Tom also anchors other track and field events shown on NBC. At the Winter Olympics, he has been the main commentator for figure skating and ice dancing.

He joined NBC in 1984 for what was to have been a one-time appearance to call the Breeders’ Cup, but that one-time assignment led to a full-time position. Ever since, he has been synonymous with the network's thoroughbred racing coverage.

He has twice earned horse racing’s top honor, the Eclipse Award, in 1984 and 1996 and was awarded an Emmy for his coverage of the 1992 Breeders' Cup. He also won Emmys for coverage of men’s and women’s basketball in 1988, track and field and diving in 1992 and Olympic track and field in 1996.

He began his career with WVLK Radio, where he was news and sports director. In 1970 and for the next 10 years, he was sports director for WLEX-TV. In 1980, he was named a play-by-play announcer for Southeastern Conference basketball games.

Throughout the 1970s and 1980s, he also served as a sales announcer at the Keeneland Thoroughbred Sales and at Thoroughbred horse sales in 16 other states. He is recognized as a specialist and national expert on Thoroughbred pedigrees. During the 1980s, he also had controlling interest in Hammond Communications, which produced two weekly racing shows.

He was the first recipient of the annual Outstanding Kentuckian Award given by the A.B. Chandler Foundation, is a charter member of the Lafayette High School Hall of Fame and has been inducted into the Kentucky Journalism Hall of Fame. A member of the UK Hall of Distinguished Alumni, Hammond received its Hometown Hero Award. In 2012, he was named a UK Department of Animal and Food Sciences Distinguished Alumni. The Bluegrass Sports Commission gives an award annually in his honor: the Tom Hammond Lifetime Achievement Award is Sports Broadcasting.

Hammond lives in Lexington and often attends award ceremonies and events that recognize recipients of the many honors named for Dean Thomas Poe Cooper. For several years he served as master of ceremonies for UK’s State of the University Address. He also serves on the board of directors for Thursday’s Child, an organization that facilitates special needs adoptions. Hammond and his wife, Sheilagh, fund a Singletary Scholarship for a UK student.