The South Dakota Sports Hall of Fame is dedicated to the preservation, documentation and display of South Dakota's sports history.
Navigation: Home > Contributors > Jim Thompson

Jim Thompson



A three-time South Dakota Sportscaster of the Year, the 1965 Sturgis High grad was well-known nationally for his pro rodeo announcing. Thompson has been selected to announce every major rodeo finals in the country: PRCA National Finals, Circuit Finals, Indian National Finals, College Nationals, High School National Finals and Senior Pro. He started announcing rodeos in 1976. He left radio management in 1988 to become a full-time rodeo announcer. He retired from rodeo announcing in 2000, though he continues to fill in occasionally for friends and he still announces Single Steer Ropings across the region. A knife accident led to Thompson's radio career. In 1966, at age 18, he injured his hand working in the butcher shop and couldn't play for Sturgis' Legion baseball team. The local radio announcer asked Jim if he'd be interested in calling the game, and the rest is history. He has done a daily syndicated radio rodeo program called "On the Road Again" for more than 30 years. It's on about 50 stations today. He has been doing a weekly rodeo newspaper column since 2004. It appears in about 50 newspaper and magazines across the country. He began his current daily talk show "Live with Jim Thompson" in 1999 on a four-state radio network. He was inducted into the Casey Tibbs Rodeo Hall of Fame in 1998. Thompson grew up on ranches in northwest South Dakota and Oregon. He moved to Sturgis in 1962. He attended Brown Institute of Broadcasting in Minneapolis in 1965-66. He got his first radio job in Valentine, Neb., in 1966 before going back to Sturgis in 1967. He did radio and TV in the Armed Forces Korea Network in the service, then worked briefly at KBHB in Sturgis before becoming an announcer and sportscaster at KCCR in Pierre in 1970. In 1976 he moved to Watertown to manage KWAT. He also managed KSDR in Watertown and KNEB in Scottsbluff, Neb. He was the first broadcaster from Pierre and Watertown to win the Sportscaster of the Year award, winning the award while at Pierre in 1975 and at Watertown in 1978 and '79. In 1980 he was a finalist to be the Minnesota Twins radio broadcaster alongside Herb Carneal.












« Back to Contributors