Hyams, Jarnigan B’fast Series focus

Football season is in the horizon, so Farragut West Knox Chamber of Commerce is warming up the community with its upcoming Breakfast Speaker Series.

“Our 2019 Breakfast Speaker Series keeps coming with an event designed to entertain and get you excited for the 2019-20 sport season,” FWKCC president/CEO Julie Blaylock said. “We’re excited to be doing a breakfast on Tuesday, July 30, at Rothchild Catering & Conference Center, 8807 Kingston Pike, West Knoxville.

“It’s going to be a sports season preview,” adding it will feature Jimmy Hyams, Hall of Fame sports journalist and popular radio talk-show co-host, and Jeff Jarnigan, long-time Knoxville radio personality and public address “Voice of Neyland Stadium.”

Presented by the Town of Farragut and Knox County, the event begins at 7:30 a.m. with a buffet breakfast. The program will kick off promptly at 8 a.m.

The breakfast series is open to the public, and tickets are $30 for Chamber members, $40 for non-members, $15 for students with a student ID, and a table of 10 for $275. Tickets are available by calling 865-675-7057 from 8:30 to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, or visiting the FWKCC website at www.farragutchamber.com.

Other sponsors include Mike Baker Insurance Consulting, farragutpress, and Cumulus Media.

“We wanted to offer something that’s a little bit more on the fun and entertainment side,” Blaylock said. “Our Breakfast Speaker Series has tackled a lot of really tough topics over the last two years, which are all extremely important.

“We had a panel on the opioid epidemic,” she recalled. “We had one on cyber security issues, when the credit union hacks were announced, and we had one in February on active shooter scenarios,” Blaylock said. “All of those were really well-attended, extremely educational and informative; but we also like to mix it up with a different tone, and being it’s summertime and we’re looking ahead to the fall, we thought, ‘Why not talk about UT sports and what’s going to come this season?’ because there are a lot of exciting changes on the horizon.

“We thought this topic, this time of year, was 150 percent appropriate,” Blaylock said.

“(UT head Vols football) coach, (Jeremy) Pruitt has just finished his first season, so now that he’s got a year under his belt, I think a lot of us are really interested to see what fruit some of his initial work is going to bear,” she said. “Coach (Rick) Barnes from the (UT) men’s basketball took that team up into the Sweet 16,” she said. “We can’t wait to see what they do this year.”

“Of course, we’ve got a new Lady Vols head coach, Kellie Jolly Harper,” Blaylock said.

The breakfast features Knoxville radio co-host and sports director, Jimmy Hyams, and UT sports broadcaster Jeff Jarnigan.

“We’re thrilled to be able to bring together media legends to talk about their predictions and insights for football, basketball, and more,” she said, adding she expects them to talk about their predictions and insights for football, basketball and more.

“We’re just going to have it be a panel,” Blaylock said. “We’ll let Jimmy and Jeff give a broad stroke overview of the upcoming season. Of course, we are going to kick off with football here in the fall.”

Then, they are expected to talk about men’s and women’s basketball and other sports.

“The goal is really to turn this into a Q and A,” she said. “We always have a Q and A session at our Breakfast Speaker Series toward the end (of the presentations), but I think this event is going to be really appropriate for allowing more time for that.

“So, we really encourage anybody from the membership or the community who registers to attend to bring questions,” Blaylock added.

“Jimmy has been working in Knoxville, breaking sports stories, for quite a while — since 1985,” Blaylock said. “He’s been named the four-time Tennessee Sportswriter of the Year; he’s been the two-time Broadcaster of the Year; he is a registered Heisman voter.

And, if you hear Jeff talk on the radio, you will know his voice instantly because you will remember him from announcing the games and the plays,” she said. “He got first-hand experience watching the Vols play across several sports platforms every single season.”