STARKVILLE- Learfield announced that Mississippi State alum and veteran broadcaster Jim Ellis would be retiring from calling football and men’s basketball after the 2017 basketball season.
He will continue as the “Voice of the Diamond Dogs.” Ellis has been a part of the Bulldog’s broadcast team for almost 40 years.
Originally from West Point, Miss. Ellis graduated from Mississippi State in 1969. He started doing the play-by-play for football and men’s basketball in 2011 after legendary Jack Cristil retired.
He also participated in weekly coaches’ television shows and was named “Outstanding Broadcaster in Mississippi” by the National Sports Media Association while representing the Bulldogs Sports Network and Learfield’s Bulldog Sports Properties.
“For over 30 years, our Bulldog faithful have listened to Jim’s familiar voice,” MSU Director of Athletics John Cohen said. “From his days as an analyst to current play-by-play broadcaster, he’s had a front row seat to tell the story of some of the greatest moments in Bulldog history. Jim has been a true professional behind the microphone and represented Mississippi State with class and dignity. We are thankful to his service, and we are glad he will continue to be the voice to many Diamond Dawg baseball memories in the future.”
Ellis has been a part of MSU’s basketball broadcast team since 1983. That includes the Bulldogs’ most memorable 1996 NCAA Final Four run. He became a radio analyst for MSU football in 1991 before taking over the play-by-play duties in 2011.
“I consider it a privilege to have served Mississippi State, a university I love, as a part of the radio sports broadcasts for over 30 years,” Ellis said. “Many thanks to the many coaches, players, and administrators who have made it a joy to bring the Maroon and White story to the Bulldog faithful. I also want to thank the many MSU fans who have followed their Bulldogs through the radio broadcasts through the years. Little did I know that when Ron Polk gave me the ringing endorsement in 1979 of ‘he’ll do’ after hearing a tape of high school games that I called that 39 years later I would still be here. A special thanks to former Athletic Director Larry Templeton, who expanded my role on the broadcasts, to Scott Stricklin, who allowed me to be the play-by-play voice of the Bulldogs for the past six years. Thank you to John Cohen, who will allow me to continue broadcasting MSU baseball. None of this would have been possible without Jack Cristil, who allowed a young broadcaster into his booth, befriended him, mentored him, and allowed him to work at his side for over 30 years. I look forward to continue broadcasting Bulldog baseball and being a huge fan of MSU sports teams.”
Learfield manages all broadcast operations for the Bulldogs and will immediately begin spearheading a national search for Ellis’ two-sport replacement.