Longtime Mississippi State radio broadcaster Jack Cristil passed away Sunday at the age of 88 at Sanctuary Hospice House in Tupelo of complications from kidney disease and cancer after an extended illness the school announced late Sunday night.
Cristil served as the ‘Voice of the Bulldogs’ from 1953 to 2011.
“As a lifelong Bulldog, my heart is heavy at learning of the passing of legendary MSU broadcaster Jack Cristil,” MSU President Mark E. Keenum said in a school release. “Jack’s deep love of this university was always evident in his words and in his deeds. He was a tireless ambassador for Mississippi State and he brought great honor and distinction to our university as one of the most revered radio announcers in American history. I join every member of the Bulldog family in extending our sincere respects and deepest sympathies to his daughters, Kay and Rebecca, and to his grandchildren, Jake and Lindsey. Surely, Jack’s remarkable life and work is now forever wrapped in Maroon and White.”
During his 58 years with MSU, Cristil called 636 football games, roughly 60 percent of every football game played by MSU. His final game came in a 70-69 basketball win against Tennessee on the road on Feb. 26, 2011.
A winner of the Mississippi Sportscaster of the Year Award a record 21 times, Cristil was named the Southeastern Conference’s Broadcaster of the Year in 1988.
During his early years working at Mississippi State, Cristil served in advertising sales at WELO Radio and later WTVA-TV in Tupelo, Miss., where he has resided since 1955.
Cristil was a veteran of World War II, serving as an aircraft engine mechanic in the U.S. Army Air Corps.
“Jack Cristil connected with generations of Bulldog fans and remains an icon for all who love the Maroon and White,” MSU Director of Athletics Scott Stricklin said in a school release. “No school’s broadcaster was as synonymous with their institution as Jack Cristil was with Mississippi State. Jack’s passing leaves a large void, but I think all Mississippians appreciated his dedication and talent, and Jack will always be the Voice of the Bulldogs.”