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FOX Sports College Football, Basketball Broadcaster, Radio Host to Speak at MC Athletics Dinner

Sportscaster Tim Brando, a Lindsey Nelson Award-winner, will share colorful stories from years of network sports coverage at the MC Athletics Banquet.
Sportscaster Tim Brando, a Lindsey Nelson Award-winner, will share colorful stories from years of network sports coverage at the MC Athletics Banquet.

Few sportscasters have enjoyed a range of athletics coverage as extensive as Tim Brando’s.

Whether sitting courtside for men’s basketball contests with legendary announcer Dick Vitale, joining analyst Spencer Tillman in a broadcast booth high above a college gridiron, describing in hushed tones a chip shot at the famed Augusta National, or serving as studio host for national pregame, halftime, and postgame productions, the Shreveport, Louisiana native has become a familiar presence among sports fans for more than four decades.

The FOX Sports personality will share an inspiring message related to his impressive career behind the microphone during the annual Mississippi College Dr. Don Phillips Athletics Dinner, scheduled for 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 27, in Anderson Hall in the B.C. Rogers Student Center.

Kenny Bizot, MC athletic director, said those who follow any of the Choctaws’ 18 varsity athletic teams that compete in the Gulf South Conference will easily relate to Brando, one of the most knowledgeable commentators in all of collegiate sports.

“If you are really into sports, then you’ve come across Tim Brando,” Bizot said. “He’s a broadcasting legend and his voice is easily recognized. He is well-versed in athletics – not just one specific sport – and he brings colorful stories from his years of experience and the connections that he’s made in this incredible world we call athletics.

“To have somebody on campus who can tell stories from all the sports that he’s covered and paint a picture of the different sports we offer through our athletics department is exciting.”

The banquet is named in memory of Dr. Don Phillips, a 1954 graduate of MC and a dedicated trustee and board chair who played a leading role in launching the event. Through the years, it has grown into the largest fundraiser for Choctaw Athletics – 100 percent of proceeds are used to support men and women student-athletes at Mississippi College as they compete in the GSC and on a national level.

“The Athletics Department at MC relies on the Athletics Dinner for financial support, especially when we have needs that must be met quickly,” Bizot said. “We’ve been very fortunate that the event has drawn extremely well during the last couple of years.

“Most importantly, the dinner provides an opportunity for MC Athletics to sell its brand and keep our fans engaged in what our student-athletes are working toward each and every day. It’s an incredible opportunity to celebrate our department and say ‘Thank you’ to those who have supported us through the years.”

A pair of MC student-athletes will extend their gratitude in person at the event. Madeleine Brignac, a defensive midfielder on the women’s soccer team, and Christian Balcer, a cross country distance runner in track and field, are scheduled to share their faith and discuss how MC Athletics has touched their lives and helped position them for successful careers.

“I am blessed and grateful to have the opportunity to share my journey with MC Athletics,” said Brignac, a junior medical sciences major from Lafayette, Louisiana. “My goal is to convey how being a part of MC Athletics has changed my life. It has given me a community of believers that is strong and supportive – something I could never have dreamt for myself.

“MC Athletics has been a dream come true and a place any athlete seeking to participate in college sports would be lucky to attend.”

Balcer, a junior physical education major from Hurley, said having a speaker the caliber of Tim Brando attend the Athletics Banquet speaks volumes about Mississippi College’s program.

“It is very encouraging to know that we can have someone high up in the sports media world to come share their knowledge with us,” Balcer said. “It’s an inspiration to our student-athletes.”

Bizot said MC student-athletes understand what this dinner can mean for their respective programs. Several MC football players act as servers at the event, and last year’s speaker, a Super Bowl-winning quarterback, shared special insight with the Choctaws.

“I was driving Joe Theismann around campus when the football team was finishing spring practice,” Bizot said. “He asked to go speak with the players. It was an unbelievable moment for that team, getting to hear from a world champion.”

In addition to the student-athletes’ talk, attendees will have an opportunity to participate in a silent auction of various sports-related items, including a set of Pink golf irons, a New Orleans gameday package including an overnight stay and four tickets to a Saints game, a Lake Caroline golf package, a clay target shoot at Providence Hill, and a one-week stay at Royal Island Resort in Cancun, among other attractions. The audience will also be treated to a slide show and live jazz band music.

The main attraction will be Brando’s speech. A graduate of Northeast Louisiana University, he called play-by-play for more than 25 sports during an eight-year stint at ESPN and served as studio host of SportsCenter. From 1994-96 he covered the NBA for TNT, including playoffs as a play-by=play announcer and studio host. He has called Atlanta Braves and Atlanta Hawks games for SportSouth and was the preseason voice of the Carolina Panthers and New Orleans Saints.

Brando spent 18 years with CBS Sports as studio host of College Football Today and At the Half. He also handled play-by-play duties for CBS’s coverage of SEC college football and for the NFL on CBS. He served as one of the network’s voices of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament from 1996-2013 and was lead play-by-play broadcaster for Raycom’s coverage of SEC and ACC basketball. He hosted Raycom’s Emmy Award-winning nationally syndicated show “Football Saturdays.”

He joined FOX Sports in 2014 as a play-by-play announcer for the network’s college football and college basketball coverage and remains on the call for college football on FOX and FS1 and college basketball for FOX. Host of the immensely popular radio program, “The Tim Bando Show,” from 2001-2015, he hosted digital coverage for CBS’s presentation of the Masters and served as the lead television announcer for the Liberty Mutual Legends of Golf Champions Tour.

Winner of the coveted Jake Wade Award, given annually by the College Sports Information Directors Association of America to a national media member for outstanding promotion of intercollegiate athletics, and the prestigious Lindsey Nelson Award, a national honor given to an outstanding college football broadcaster, Brando received the Richard M. Uray-Alpha Epsilon Rho Award for Lifetime Achievement from the National Broadcasting Society-Alpha Epsilon Rho.

Bizot said Brando has developed some familiarity with Mississippi College.

“This is an area he knows well,” Bizot said. “He’s right up the road, so he’s driven by our campus hundreds of times. He’s somebody who has experienced some major athletic events and can tell a great story.

“Dinner attendees – especially those who have not been on our campus in a long time – will be impressed with what we have to offer here at Mississippi College. For a Division II program, we have some outstanding facilities, we’ve had some great success, and we put on a first-class event that they will be pleased to attend.”

Tickets to the 2024 Mississippi College Dr. Don Phillips Athletics Dinner cost $150 each, and table sponsorships are still available. Sponsorship levels range from Blue (a $1,500 sponsorship that includes eight complimentary tickets) and Silver (a $2,500 sponsorship that includes eight complimentary tickets with preferred seating) to Gold (a $5,000 sponsorship that includes a private, pre-dinner visit with Brando, eight complimentary tickets with preferred seating, and three reserved parking passes) and Platinum (a $10,000 sponsorship that includes a private pre-dinner visit, 12 complimentary tickets with preferred seating, and four reserved parking passes).

For more information or to purchase tickets or sponsorships, click here.