James Edward "Jim" Ingle, the longtime public address announcer for University of Kentucky athletics, died Friday at Baptist Health Lexington. He was 83.
Ingle first worked in UK's basketball program in 1962 as a statistician. His job was to keep Coach Adolph Rupp apprised of assists and what was known as "errors." He began a 20-year stint as public address announcer in 1968.
Ingle also served as public address announcer for UK football, women's basketball and volleyball, as well as Tates Creek High School football and numerous other events in the Lexington area.
His signature style was a deadpan delivery. A Mr. Spock of sports, he resolutely refused to use a more animated tone to energize a crowd.
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"He was very proud of that," his son, Jay Ingle, said. "That was very intentional. He wanted to make sure he was very neutral. He didn't want to be a cheerleader."
Unlike many of today's public address announcers, who sound like carnival barkers, Ingle believed a blatant attempt to excite the crowd was inappropriate.
"The play on the floor is what should get people excited," Jay Ingle said his father believed.
His just-the-facts style may have cost Ingle his job as UK athletics' public address announcer. For the 1988-89 basketball season, UK replaced him with a more adrenalized Doug Bruce.
"He was never expressly told that it was to bring in someone more animated," Jay Ingle said. "But most people, including dad, believed that was the reason."
Ingle continued to serve UK basketball in a support role.
A native of Marion, N.C., Ingle was the son of a Baptist minister who served churches in South Carolina, Tennessee and Kentucky. Ingle graduated from high school in Madisonville, Tenn., After a stint in the Army, he enrolled at UK, in part, to be close to his family, which then lived in Silver Grove, Ky. As a student teacher at the old University High, one of his students was Rupp's son, Herky.
Ingle worked several jobs at UK after graduation. One was as head of financial aid.
It was while keeping statistics for Rupp that Ingle was asked if he'd be interested in public address announcing. He was.
"In most towns, that would be of little import," Jay Ingle said of his father's role as announcer. "But, amazingly, in this crazy town people still recognize him to this day from doing the PA."
Ingle had been hospitalized most of this summer. He underwent surgery on June 22 after a blood vessel ruptured.
Besides his son Jay, Ingle is survived by his sister, Ann Strom of Mauldin, S.C., Jay's wife, Ann-Phillips Mayfield, granddaughter Murphy Ingle (7) and grandson Holman Ingle (4).
Funeral arrangements are pending.