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Mississippi State has returning playmakers on offense with Nick Fitzgerald and Aeris Williams. But what about the rest of the offense? Hugh Kellenberger and Will Sammon discuss the potential playmakers.
Hugh Kellenberger and Will Sammon

STARKVILLE — Mississippi State has a new voice for football and basketball.

Mississippi State announced Friday morning that Neil Price is the university’s new play-by-play person for football and men’s basketball as Jim Ellis’ replacement. Price was a member of the Kentucky Wildcats’ UK Sports Network broadcast team for 12 years and served as the voice for Kentucky baseball and women’s basketball.

Price’s first three years at Kentucky were John Cohen’s last three years, so the two had a preexisting relationship. At MSU, Price will also host the football and men’s basketball coaches’ shows and oversee various digital responsibilities, the school said. 

“I never had a bad experience in Starkville in 13 years of making trips,” Price said. “It reminds me a lot of where I grew up in East Tennessee. I love the atmosphere at Mississippi State football games and I told John this during the interview process, ‘I came down with Kentucky two years ago for football and it’s the only time I’ve been to a game in Starkville and I think it’s one of the neatest atmospheres I’ve ever been in.’ It’s always been a dream of mine to be in this league doing a job like the one these folks have hired me to do.”

Price will take over for Ellis, who announced his semi-retirement on March 2. Ellis stepped down from calling football and basketball games, but has continued to call MSU baseball games, a job he was hired for in 1979 and a position that makes him synonymous with the program.

Ellis, a native of West Point and a 1969 graduate of Mississippi State, assumed the play-by-play role for football and men’s basketball at the start of the 2011-12 athletic season following the retirement of legendary voice Jack Cristil.

“I’m not a big movie guy necessarily, but when Matthew McConaughey won the Oscars, I thought about the speech — you need someone to look up to, something to look forward to and something to chase,” Price said. “My something to chase is the example Jack and Jim have set for over 60 years now in that position.”

During his stint with Kentucky, Price served as play-by-play broadcaster for UK women’s basketball and baseball, producing more than 700 broadcasts since March 2005. He also served as host for the UK football pregame show, host for the basketball and baseball coaches’ shows and Kentucky Wildcat daily shows.

Before calling Wildcat games, Price spent two years with Middle Tennessee State University as the Blue Raiders’ play-by-play broadcaster for women’s basketball and baseball, as well as host for all pre- and post-game shows for football. MSU conducted a nationwide search with its media partner, Learfield to replace Ellis. 

Price said he strives to be conversational when asked about his style. 

“I hope I can make a connection with the listener,” Price said. “There is only one guy I know who has mastered that and his name is Vin Scully. I’m no Vin Scully. But you’ll hear me try to interact with you, if you’re a listener. I’ll have hypothetical questions. I’ll allude to things from earlier by saying, ‘Remember when we talked about this.’ It’s having a conversation. There is somebody on the other other end and you’re watching a game together. That’s how I try to approach it.”

 

This story will be updated.