MSU mourns the loss of beloved sports broadcaster Jack Cristil - - Jackson, MS

MSU mourns the loss of beloved sports broadcaster Jack Cristil

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JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

Jack Cristil, the beloved former sports broadcaster of six decades for Mississippi State University Athletics, has died.

According to MSU, Cristil passed away at Sanctuary Hospice House in Tupelo of complications from kidney disease and cancer after an extended illness.

Known throughout the South as "the Voice of the Bulldogs", Cristil served MSU from 1953 to 2011.

Cristil was 88 years old.

MSU President Mark E. Keenum is quoted in a release sent out by the university saying, "As a lifelong Bulldog, my heart is heavy at learning of the passing of legendary MSU broadcaster Jack Cristil. Jack's deep love of this university was always evident in his words and in his deeds. 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."

According to MSU Public Affairs, Cristil had a 58-year association with MSU and was the second-longest tenured college radio play-by-play announcer in the nation at the time of his 2011 retirement due to health problems.

After his retirement, Cristil lent his time to the production of his biography called "Jack Cristil: Voice of the MSU Bulldogs." The book was written by MSU journalist in residence Sid Salter with a foreward by author and MSU alumnus John Grisham.

The book sold 10,500 copies and raised over $170,000 for the Jacob S. "Jack" Cristil Scholarship in Journalism at MSU.

According to the release, Cristil was a winner of numerous achievements throughout his broadcasting career: 

"Cristil was most recently presented the Lindsey Nelson Award, given annually to the nation's premier sports broadcaster. He was honored with the prestigious College Football Foundation Chris Schenkel Award in 1997 for excellence in college sports broadcasting. Nelson and Schenkel were longtime national award-winning broadcasters. In 1992, Cristil received the Ronald Reagan Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Association of Sportscasters and Sportswriters. That same year, he was also the first non-coach/non-athlete to ever be inducted into the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame. Cristil was inducted into the Mississippi State Sports Hall of Fame in 2003."

We are told that funeral arrangements are incomplete at this time, but that the Cristil family will communicate details through MSU's Office of Public Affairs. In lieu of flowers, the Cristil family requests donations to either of the Cristil Scholarships at MSU.

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