Odyssey Medal

Tommy Sanders

Tommy Sanders 2Tommy Sanders is a native of Magnolia, where he graduated high school in 1972.  He attended Hendrix from 1972 to 1976. He graduated with a degree in Theatre Arts. He then joined the staff of the Arkansas Educational Television, where he spent three years as a cameraman, technical director, editor, producer-director and on-air talent.

In 1980, he spent a year in New York City, where he attended classes at New York University and worked as an assistant editor and production assistant at Devlin Productions.

In 1981 he returned to Little Rock to work at the Smith and Jennings Advertising agency as a copywriter and broadcast producer. He worked at the agency until 1986 and was creative director when he left.  During that time he began doing freelance voice and television work and has in the years since done thousands of television and radio commercials, industrial and marketing films, public service spots and related projects.

In 1987, he, along with two other partners, opened an audio studio, The Works, in Little Rock and continued to do commercial work, acting and writing.

In 1989 he was selected to host the first ever outdoor block of programming for ESPN. The block, known as ESPN Outdoors, ran for 15 years. Sanders has remained on the air for ESPN on multiple programs for the past 22 years, hosting programs such as Great American Events, the ESPN Great Outdoor Games on ESPN and ABC television, the Iditarod Sled Dog race, the twice EMMY nominated Bassmaster Classic coverage and many others.

He continues his role as host of The Bassmasters and the Stihl Timbersports Series on ESPN, and in his work for Little Rock’s JM Associates, writing and performing for projects on networks such as National Geographic and the Outdoor Channel.  He also continues to serve as host for On the Same Page, a book show on Arkansas Educational Television.

In 2009, he was elected to the Arkansas Outdoor Hall of Fame.