If you’ve listened to an Arkansas press conference at any point over the last 40ish years, you’ve heard Bob Holt.
If you’ve watched local sports TV at any point over last 45ish years, you’ve seen Mike Irwin.
Holt, a Razorbacks reporter for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, and Irwin, an analyst for Pig Trail Nation, were among four elected to the Arkansas Sportswriters and Sportscasters Hall of Fame on Wednesday. They were joined by former Arkansas play-by-play man Mike Nail and Chris Mortensen, the long-time ESPN football reporter who is based in Northwest Arkansas.
Holt has spent his entire career covering the state of Arkansas. He began his sports career in 1981 and is known for his affable demeanor and interaction with players and coaches in post-game press conferences. He’s a godfather of sorts during SEC Media Week, when coaches from across the conference will interact with the long-time reporter.
Irwin’s career covering Arkansas began 46 years ago. He worked at KFSM until 2012 when he retired but then quickly re-joined the TV side to work at KNWA.
Nail was the play-by-play voice for Arkansas basketball during the Eddie Sutton and Nolan Richardson years. He spent 29 seasons calling the Hogs and, well, calling the Hogs.
Mortensen moved to Northwest Arkansas in the mid-2000s when his son, Alex, joined the Razorbacks football team. He has since made the area his home.
The group was enshrined during a Hawgs Illustrated luncheon at Mermaid’s restaurant in Fayetteville.
“Without you guys – the readers, the viewers – none of us could do what we do,” Holt said.