MSU broadcasting icon Jack Cristil dies at age 88

UNDATED (WLOX) - Mississippi State University's Office of Public Affairs announced today that legendary MSU broadcaster Jack Cristil died Sunday at the age of 88 due to complications from kidney disease and cancer after an extended illness.

Cristil, who helped describe MSU athletics from 1953-2011, was known as "the voice of the Bulldogs."

At the time of his retirement in 2011, his 58 years with Mississippi State was the second-longest tenured college radio play-by-play announcer in the country. He called about 60% of every football game played in the university's history. In total, Cristil delivered the action to Bulldogs fans for more than 1,500 collegiate games.

"As a lifelong Bulldog, my heart is heavy at learning of the passing of legendary MSU broadcaster Jack Cristil," MSU President Mark E. Keenum stated in a press 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."

In August of 1953, Mississippi State's Director of Athletics C.R. "Dudy" Noble hired Cristil after he received the broadcaster's audition tapes.

Cristil won the Mississippi Sportscaster of the Year Award 21 times, which is a record. He was also named the Southeastern Conference's Broadcaster of the year in 1988.

Cristil, who was born in Memphis, Tenn., in 1925, was a veteran of World War II. He served as an aircraft engine mechanic in the U.S. Army Air Corps.