STARKVILLE – For the first time in 58 years, a new voice will call the action of Mississippi State athletics this fall. Veteran broadcaster Jim Ellis will take over as the play-by-play voice of the Mississippi State football and basketball teams, while continuing his responsibility as the “Voice of the Diamond Dogs.” Ellis takes over the play-by-play duties from the legendary Jack Cristil, who called more than 2,000 Bulldog games. Cristil announced his retirement earlier this spring.
“I’m honored and humbled to assume the chair that Jack has occupied for so many years,” Ellis said. “It’s has been a great privilege to be a part of the Mississippi State broadcast and I look forward to continuing and building upon the legacy that Jack has created.”
Scott Stricklin, Mississippi State director of athletics, and Don Williams, general manager for Bulldog Sports Properties, a Learfield Sports property, announced the talent lineup on Tuesday. Former Bulldog quarterback Matt Wyatt will join Ellis as color analyst for football games, while Assistant Athletic Director Bart Gregory will be added to the baseball booth.
A native of West Point, Miss., and a 1969 graduate of Mississippi State, Ellis has been a part of the football broadcast for 32 seasons. He has hosted the post-game locker room interviews and scoreboard radio shows in addition to his duties as color analyst. Perhaps most widely recognized as the play-by-play voice of the baseball team on one of the nation’s largest college baseball radio networks, Ellis was named the “Outstanding Broadcaster in Mississippi” in 1999 and 2002.
“Jim is a tremendous, experienced broadcaster and has already established a recognizable presence on the airwaves with Mississippi State athletics,” Stricklin said.
Ellis will continue his role as weekly call-in show host for all three sports, and will add hosting duties of weekly coaches’ television shows.
“This was a no-brainer for Learfield Sports in terms of having somebody in place that is already instantly recognizable and well-liked by the fan base at Mississippi State,” Williams said. “Jim is a consummate professional and will do a great job in the play-by-play role for all three sports.”
While Wyatt will be a new addition to the football broadcast booth, he won’t be a completely new voice. A 1999 graduate of Mississippi State, he served as host of the pre- and post-game radio shows for the past two seasons. Wyatt was a four-year letterwinner at quarterback from 1996-1999, one of the most successful stretches in school history.
“What an awesome opportunity,” Wyatt said. “To be able to be a part of the broadcast team at my alma mater, and team with such an amazing broadcaster as Jim Ellis, it’s a dream come true.”
Ellis and Wyatt will be joined by John Correro on the sidelines. The Greenwood, Miss., native is a three-year football letterman (1959-61) at Mississippi State and has been a part of the radio broadcasts since 1979.
For the third consecutive season, Wyatt will continue to co-host the pre- and post-game shows with Bart Gregory. Gregory, an assistant athletic director for Annual Giving in the Bulldog Club, will continue to serve as the play-by-play voice of the Lady Bulldog basketball team. Gregory will also join Ellis in the baseball booth beginning next season.
“Matt and Bart are talented young voices and will bring a new energy to the radio booth,” Stricklin said. “We’re excited to have both of them in their new roles.”
Learfield and Mississippi State officials are still finalizing details regarding a basketball color analyst, and that position will be announced at a later date.
Ellis, Wyatt and Correro will have their broadcast debut at the Maroon-White Spring Game on April 9 at 5 p.m. A final affiliate list has not been confirmed, but will be available in the coming days at MStateAthletics.com.
Miss. State Media Relations