Jeff Jacoby

Champion Within Award Recipient
Year Honored:


Courage Award

In November 2014, after several months of not feeling well with what doctors thought was stress, Jeff Jacoby received a life-changing, pancreatic cancer diagnosis. From the moment he was diagnosed, Jacoby never lost hope. He felt that he was chosen for a purpose and wanted to make a difference.

As a Knoxville sports announcer and radio personality with close to 5,000 Facebook followers, he had the platform to make a difference. Jacoby posted updates on Facebook several times a week, with pictures of himself receiving chemotherapy treatments, riding down the hospital hallway to surgery, or enjoying time with family and friends. Regardless of what he was doing, he was always sporting a big smile. Jacoby received hundreds of comments with each post, inspiring others to be courageous through their own battles.

Jacoby received 29 chemotherapy treatments, most of which required him to wear a chemo infusion pump for two days after several hours of treatment at the hospital. He also received 28 chemotherapy/radiation treatments. During his two years of treatments, Jacoby only missed a couple of mornings on the Knoxville airways. He would schedule his treatments around his 6 AM – 10 AM morning show. 

Jacoby never failed to put a positive spin on his illness and lived life to the fullest. His strength and grace was evident, even when he was sporting a chemotherapy fanny pack or a bile drain. He faced every day with tenacity and bravery, feeling that he was truly blessed.

Jacoby loved his family, sports, radio and photography. He never gave up and enjoyed the things that he loved until the end. Although his health was failing, Jacoby made many wonderful memories in his last several months of life, including a cruise with his family, the “Battle at Bristol,” and a trip with his grandsons to see the Tennessee Vols beat the Georgia Bulldogs between the hedges. 

Jacoby’s sports career included playing football, baseball and basketball at Finneytown High School in Cincinnati, Ohio and inside linebacker at Tennessee Technological University, where he helped the Goldern Eagles win the Ohio Valley Conference Championship in 1975.

After college, his love for sports of all kinds followed him into his professional life. He started his career in Cookeville, Tennessee at WMYU Radio. In 1983, he moved to Knoxville, where he became a fixture on the Knoxville airwaves for over 34 years.

The courage that Jeff Jacoby exhibited throughout his cancer journey will not be soon forgotten.

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