Higgins, a 28-year veteran of the Memphis Commercial-Appeal, also is a frequent analyst on SEC sports for The Tim Brando Show on CBS, has written for the SEC’s official website and is a highly sought after guest on regional and national sports radio. A native of Baton Rouge and a graduate of LSU, Higgins will write commentary and special features about LSU sports for NOLA.com/The Times-Picayune, and will continue to appear on regional and national television and radio talking about the Tigers and SEC sports.
“Ron Higgins is that rare breed of entertaining yet incredibly gifted sports writers in the country,” said Brando of CBS. “He’s a wonderful storyteller with tremendous insight and perspective.”
Higgins rounds out an LSU coverage team that already includes veteran journalists Jim Kleinpeter and Randy Rosetta, giving NOLA.com/The Times-Picayune more than half a century of combined experience covering LSU and the SEC.
“Ron’s journalism is legendary among longtime fans of SEC sports, so the chance to bring him home to Baton Rouge is a rare privilege,” said James O’Byrne, director of state content for NOLA.com/The Times-Picayune. “It’s exciting to think about these three deeply experienced and talented journalists covering the Tigers.”
Higgins is steeped in LSU sports history. His father, Carl “Ace” Higgins, was the Sports Information Director at LSU for 16 years, and Ron spent his childhood in and around LSU sports. He said his fondest memories as a child include running around the hallowed field of Tiger Stadium with his brother just past sunrise on Sunday mornings, scoring imaginary game-winning touchdowns as his father cranked out news releases from his stadium office.
Higgins also vividly recalls attending “Pistol” Pete Maravich’s first home basketball game at the old Cow Palace on the LSU campus, after his dad told him “the coach’s son is pretty good.” That turned out to be one of the great understatements of sports history. In 1966, the freshman athlete who would eventually became the namesake of the LSU arena hung 50 points on Southeastern Louisiana College and began building a legend.
“It is an honor, a privilege and, as a South Louisiana native, a dream come true to be hired by one of the best news-gathering organizations in the South,” Higgins said. “I don’t know of any publication that is more passionately interwoven into the vibe and the fabric of its coverage area than The Times-Picayune and NOLA.com.
“It excites me that I not only get to work at the same place as Pete Finney, a role model for me as a journalist and person, but to also join an already stellar writing staff.”
During his career, Higgins has not only covered SEC sports, but also the NBA, Super Bowls, Final Fours, more than 50 bowl games and the Summer Olympics. He is the only active sportswriter to have covered every SEC football championship game. Higgins has won more than 150 national and regional journalism awards, 70 for first place. He is in the Tennessee Sportswriters Hall of Fame, and was voted the Tennessee Sports Writers Association’s Writer of the Year 10 times, including in eight of the past 10 years.
“We’re absolutely thrilled to add a writer of Ron’s caliber, experience and overall knowledge of LSU and the SEC to our team,” said Sports Manager Marcus Carmouche. “Jim Kleinpeter and Randy Rosetta already provide readers with the most compelling and comprehensive LSU coverage. Bringing in Ron affords us an opportunity to delve even deeper into one of the best college athletic programs in the preeminent sports conference in the nation.”
Higgins graduated from Baton Rouge High in 1974 and LSU in 1979. He began covering sports as a correspondent for The Baton Rouge Advocate at 14. He also worked for The Shreveport Times and Journal and Mobile Press-Register.
“To the readers, I can certainly understand your passion for LSU, the Saints, Pelicans — all Louisiana sports,” Higgins said. “Here’s my promise to you: I will write with that same passion. I want you to laugh, to cry, to get angry, to feel. But above all, we’re always going to have fun. I can’t wait to get started.”
Higgins’ first assignment for his new company will be coverage of the Auburn-LSU game on Sept. 21 in Tiger Stadium.