To probably no one’s surprise, Matt Wyatt will be the new radio color analyst for Mississippi State football, the school announced today. Jim Ellis, who held that role for 32 years, will now be play-by-play announcer for football and basketball, replacing Jack Cristil, who recently retired after 58 years of calling MSU sports. Ellis will retain his baseball play-calling duties.
Wyatt played quarterback for Mississippi State from 1996-99 and is a former sports anchor for WTVA. He’s also done color work for television and hosts the First Call radio show five days a week.
“Obviously, with my career path since (playing) football, I’ve been interested in (this job),” Wyatt said. “It doesn’t take a great imagination for anybody to figure this out, this really is a dream come true.”
A basketball analyst has not yet been announced. Ellis, who’s worked solo all these years on baseball, will get a partner there in Bart Gregory, who works with the Bulldog Club and is the play-by-play man for Lady Bulldogs basketball.
For the third consecutive football season, Wyatt and Gregory will host the pregame and postgame shows.
Ellis will remain host of all three sports’ weekly call-in shows and now will add the duties of hosting the coaches’ weekly TV shows.
In a press release, Don Williams of Learfield Sports said of Ellis, “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. Jim is a consummate professional and will do a great job in the play-by-play role for all three sports.”
Wyatt, Ellis and sideline reporter John Correro will work together for MSU’s annual Maroon-White spring game on April 16.
“I just respect him so much as a broadcaster, No. 1, and No. 2, as an individual,” Wyatt said of Ellis. “Getting to know him over the years, it really is an unbelievable honor to get to sit up there with him. I can’t wait.”
Ellis will be available for comment later today.