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UGA to name radio booth after Munson

The "Larry Munson Broadcast Suite" will be officially recognized during pregame activities at the Georgia-Tennessee game.

The "Larry Munson Broadcast Suite" will be officially recognized during pregame activities at the Georgia-Tennessee game.

Bulldogs’ backup RB Harton out three weeks after surgery

ATHENS — Georgia backup tailback Brandon Harton had surgery on his left thumb Thursday and is expected to miss three weeks.

Harton, a sophomore, hurt his thumb in practice this week.

Harton has seven carries for 15 yards this season for No. 5 Georgia, which plays Tennessee on Saturday. He had 247 yards rushing and one touchdown in 2011.

Georgia’s top rushers this year are freshmen Todd Gurley and Keith Marshall. Harton also is behind sophomore Ken Malcome on the depth chart.

Harton has seven carries for 15 yards in three games this season. In 2011, he played in five games recording 247 yards and one touchdown on 53 carries.

LOOKING AHEAD:

WHO: Tennessee (3-1) at Georgia (4-0)

WHEN: 3:30 p.m. Saturday.

WHERE: Athens.

TV: CBS

RADIO: Albany -- 1450 AM or 103.5 FM. Americus -- 98.7 FM or 1390 AM. Donalsonville -- 106.3 FM. Moultrie -- 93.9 FM or 1300 AM.

LINE: Bulldogs by 13 1/2 points.

ATHENS — The University of Georgia home radio booth at Sanford Stadium will be named Saturday for the late Larry Munson, legendary voice of the Bulldogs for 42 years, the school announced Thursday.

The “Larry Munson Broadcast Suite” will be officially recognized during pregame activities at the Georgia-Tennessee game which kicks off at 3:30 p.m.

A plaque will be placed outside the Larry Munson Broadcast Suite that reads:

“Dedicated to legendary Bulldog play-by-play announcer Larry Munson, who served as the voice of the Bulldog Nation from 1966-2008. His dedication, loyalty, passion and extraordinary delivery over 42 years endeared him to Georgia fans in every city, state, and nation around the world, always urging the teams, and fans, to ‘Hunker down you guys.’ ”

A collage of photos during Munson’s career will also be displayed in the broadcast suite.

Munson, who died last November, wrapped up a lifetime of sports broadcasting in the fall of 2008, most of which was spent with the Georgia Bulldogs from1966 to 2008. His dramatic delivery, along with an unabashed partisanship for the Bulldogs, endeared him to generations of UGA fans.

The Georgia job, which Munson landed in 1966, was the latest and longest lasting in a career that spanned more than 60 years. He has been duly honored by several organizations for his outstanding contributions to broadcasting.

Born Sept. 28, 1922, in Minneapolis, Munson is an alumnus of Moorehead State Teachers College in Moorehead, Minn. After World War II, he used his military discharge pay to enroll in broadcaster's school back home in Minneapolis. After 10 weeks of training, he landed an assignment to work at a small radio station in Devil's Lake, N.D.

This job started a series of short-term gigs for Munson behind the microphone, the last of which took him to Cheyenne, Wyo. He earned the job by recording an audition tape of a football game between Ohio State and Minnesota, complete with canned crowd noise and special effects.

During his time in Cheyenne, Munson befriended another young broadcaster who later gained national fame: Curt Gowdy, who was calling University of Wyoming football and basketball games at the time. When Gowdy left Cheyenne for a Double-A baseball job in Oklahoma City, he recommended that Munson replace him.It was the break that Munson sought.

In 1949, when Gowdy joined Mel Allen on the New York Yankees radio crew, he again recommended Munson for the job in Oklahoma City. Munson eventually spent three years broadcasting baseball there before making his next move.

He left Oklahoma City for Nashville, Tenn., in 1952, taking a job calling games for the Nashville Vols, a minor-league affiliate of several teams, including the New York Giants, Cincinnati and Minnesota. It was a career move that led him into other broadcasting directions. He served a stint as a Nashville disc jockey and also started what was believed to have been the first-ever TV show on fishing — The Rod & Gun Club. Munson continued to host the fishing show long after he left Nashville for Georgia in the mid-1960s.

While in Nashville, Munson also made his second venture into collegiate athletics. He called Vanderbilt University football and basketball games.

But in 1966, Munson got his big break into major-league baseball when he landed a job calling Atlanta Braves baseball in their inaugural season. As the Braves' first spring training began, he read a newspaper story about the departure of Georgia football announcer Ed Thilenius. He then made an inquiry to UGA athletics director Joel Eaves, whom he had known during his days at Vanderbilt. Eaves offered him the Georgia football job during that first phone call.

During his career as the Bulldogs’ play-by-play man, Munson has held a variety of auxiliary jobs. He called games for the Georgia basketball program from 1987-96 and for the Atlanta Falcons from 1989-92. He has also hosted various sports talk shows on radio and TV.

In 1983, Munson was recognized by the Georgia General Assembly for his role in the Georgia championship football program. Fourteen years later, the same legislative body, led by then-Governor Zell Miller, honored him with a proclamation celebrating his 50 years in broadcasting.

In 1994, Munson was inducted into the Georgia Association of Broadcasters Hall of Fame, and in 2005 he won a similar induction into the State of Georgia Sports Hall of Fame. He was inducted into the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association Hall of Fame on May 2, 2009.

Munson was also the 2003 recipient of the Chris Schenkel Award, given annually by the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame. The award recognizes broadcasters with long and distinguished careers in broadcasting college football and contributions to community service.