Joe Biddle, longtime Nashville Banner, Tennessean sports columnist, dies

Joe Biddle, a former Nashville Banner and Tennessean sports columnist whose second act made him a beloved sports talk radio personality, died Wednesday at Alive Hospice. He was 78 and had suffered from dementia.

Biddle, who was born on June 13, 1944 and grew up in Johnson City, was an East Tennessee State graduate and Air Force veteran of the Vietnam war and among the most decorated and popular sports writers to ever work in Nashville.

He was a four-time Tennessee Sports Writer of the Year by the National Sportscasters and Sports Writers Association. He was inducted into the Tennessee Sports Writers Association Hall of Fame in 2013, the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame in 2016 and the Alumni Hall of Fame by ETSU’s Communication Department in 2005.

Biddle spent many years as a voter on the Associated Press college football and basketball polls, was an original voter for the Harris Poll, which determined the two teams that would play in the BCS national championship, and served as the state director for Heisman Trophy voters through 2016.

Biddle began his journalism career at the Johnson City Press Chronicle in 1971 and moved to the Daytona Beach News-Journal after one year, covering college football and basketball along with the NFL expansion Tampa Bay Buccaneers until 1979.

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