John Asher, Western Kentucky University Hall of Distinguished Alumni

Courtesy of Western Kentucky University.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- The late John Asher, the longtime face and voice of the Kentucky Derby, will be among three inductees of the Western Kentucky University Hall of Distinguished Alumni.

Asher, known as “Mr. Derby,” will join Dr. Jack Britt, a leader in agriculture and education, and Travis Hudson, coach of the Lady Topper Volleyball team, in the 29th class of distinguished alumni.

Asher served two decades as vice president of racing communications at Churchill Downs and became synonymous with the Kentucky Derby, WKU said in a news release.

“His booming baritone voice coupled with keen insight, quick wit and heartfelt words could captivate an audience,” WKU wrote. “The man who never met a stranger easily related to billionaire horse owners, workers in the stables and fans in the grandstands.

Asher obtained a bachelor’s in journalism at WKU. He joined Churchill Downs in 1997. He died Aug. 27, 2018.

Britt is a retired researcher in animal reproductive physiology, professor and university administrator. Hudson turned the WKU volleyball program into a “consistent conference champion and a player on the national state,” the university said.

The alumni will be inducted during WKY’s homecoming celebrations.

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