With a passion for communication, sports and a strong work ethic, it is no surprise that Southwestern Illinois College Adjunct Communications Professor and Blue Storm Radio General Manager Tom Calhoun was recently awarded three honors by the St. Louis Sports Hall of Fame.
He was inducted into the hall of fame by being presented the President’s Choice Award and also received a commemorative 1500th-game plaque at the 4th Annual Illinois Enshrinement Dinner on February 10. Previous inductees into the St. Louis Sports Hall of Fame include Bob Costas, Jack Buck and Dan Kelly; which Calhoun has had the pleasure of working with.
Growing up, Calhoun had a love for sports. He played baseball while attending Belleville West High School and was especially fond of Stan Musial. He also played street hockey. As a child, Calhoun was a part of a church youth group. One day after delivering a sermon, a lady told him that he had a great speaking voice and that compliment would go on to pave the path for his future career.
Calhoun went on to pursue a career in mass communications. While in college, he worked at the college radio station. After graduation, he took a position at WIBV, 1260 AM in Belleville and went on to work at several other radio stations throughout the years. In 1987, Calhoun started as the public address announcer for the St. Louis Blues hockey team. During his 33 years announcing for the St. Louis Blues, he has never missed a game.
As of Feb. 24, he has announced over 1,514 games.
“One of my fondest memories of my career will always be announcing for the 2019 Stanley Cup Finals series, where the St. Louis Blues took home their first Stanley Cup,” said Calhoun. “I was also blessed with my health and a strong family growing up; which helped teach me and guide me in the right direction.”
In 2013, he began teaching at Lindenwood University in Belleville and in 2019, started teaching at SWIC and managing Blue Storm Radio. Calhoun enjoys seeing students light-up when they finally understand something. “It is gratifying,” he says. “I love to have the opportunity to connect with my students and help them achieve their future career goals.”
Calhoun suggests that anyone looking to enter any mass communications field should put in effort in their language arts classes, understand phonics, be able to diagram a sentence and understand the English language better than the average person. At SWIC, he has taught Introduction to Mass Communication and Radio Production.
Being inducted into St. Louis Sports Hall of Fame by receiving the President’s Choice Award and receiving a commemorative 1500th game plaque from the NHL off-ice officials meant a great deal to Calhoun..
“I am grateful that all my years of hard-work are being recognized and the effort I have put into my career is being highlighted,” said Calhoun. “That’s special stuff right there, it doesn’t get much better than that.”
In the future, Calhoun hopes to continue announcing for the St. Louis Blues and to raise awareness of SWIC’s Blue Storm Radio. He would like to make it a recognized entity within the community.
He earned his Associate in Arts degree from Belleville Area College; a Bachelor of Science from South Illinois University Edwardsville and a Master of Arts from Lindenwood University. In his free time, Calhoun and his wife train their seven chihuahuas and enter them into dog shows. He also enjoys woodworking.
Calhoun and his wife of 42 years, Barb, live in Millstadt, Illinois. They have two children, Ian, 39 who lives in Vail, Colorado and Stewart, 35 who lives in San Diego. Stay connected with him via his social media channels: Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
For more information about SWIC classes and programs visit swic.edu.