Catching up with Randy Harris

 

For sports lovers in the Tampa Bay area, the voice of Randy Harris is likely a familiar one.

The host of three radio shows – Talking Sports with Randy Harris, the Players Show and Knockout Radio – he’s easily one of the longest running sports radio personalities in the Tampa Bay area.

Born in Philadelphia, he was raised in St. Petersburg. After graduating from Northeast High School, he joined the Navy.

“Then I came back home to Pinellas Park and I’ve been here,” he said.

Growing up, he’d always been a sports fan, and he ran track and cross country in high school.

But he never planned to make sports or radio his life.

He met radio show host Paul Allen at the Jack Russell Memorial Stadium, the Philadelphia Phillies’ former training complex in Clearwater.

“He gave me the opportunity to give radio a try,” Harris said. “I learned the ropes from him.”

In 1984, he created Talking Sports with Randy Harris on WTAN. He’s hosted the show, which airs

Fridays from 1 to 2 p.m. on 106.1, for all but one year ever since.

He took on a different format for the Players Show, which can be heard at knockoutradio.com and TanTalk1340.com and is recorded live at the Press Box in Tampa.

This show airs during the football season and features a different local professional player each week. Because the show is recorded in front of a live audience, this brings another aspect to the show – the fans.

“It’s kind of cool. Football fans get to meet players and talk to players,” he said.

The first show this season will be recorded Monday, Sept. 11, 7 to 8 p.m., and will feature offensive lineman Caleb Benenoch and defensive lineman Noah Spence.

Knockout Radio came next, about seven years ago, Harris said. The show focuses on combat sports – Mixed Martial Arts, boxing and wrestling. He’s covered more than 200 MMA events.

“It’s amazing to see how far MMA has come since I first started covering it,” he said.

Harris also hosts Talking Sports during a second show each week on WUJM 99.1 on Wednesdays from 10 a.m. to noon. This show is rebroadcast by the station from 6 to 8 p.m. that same night and also can be heard at knockoutradio.com that day from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m.

He’s traveled the world to cover sports events – World Series, Super Bowls, MMA events.

“You name it, I’ve been there,” he said. “I’ve got to experience a lot of cool things, which has been fun. It’s been an interesting ride and I wouldn’t change a thing.”

For more information about Harris and his sports shows, visit www.knockoutradio.com.