College athletics: Malcolm Butler ‘new’ voice of Tech football, men’s basketball

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By Kane McGuire, Louisiana Tech Assistant Athletic Director/Athletic Communications 

RUSTON  — The new Voice of the Bulldogs has a familiar tone.

Beginning July 1, Malcolm Butler, for 22 years a member of the Louisiana Tech Athletics Department and the University’s associate athletic director in charge of athletic communications, will take on a hybrid role. One of his roles will be serving as the play-by-play voice for Bulldog Football and Men’s Basketball.

“Our goal was to find someone who would show the same loyalty and passion for Louisiana Tech athletics as Dave Nitz; a voice that would resonate with our fan base,” said Louisiana Tech VP and Director of Athletics Eric Wood. “As we began the process, the opportunity presented itself to make the move from within. Malcolm has spent more than two decades of his career providing passionate calls for so many of our programs, extensively with our women’s basketball and softball teams. And I am excited about his desire to transition to being the voice for Bulldog Football and Basketball.” 

Butler takes over Tech’s mic for Louisiana Sports and Louisiana Tech Hall of Famer Dave Nitz, who recently decided to call only Bulldog Baseball games after nearly half a century as the voice of Tech Athletics.

“Malcolm has served our University with true blue loyalty for two decades,” said Dr. Les Guice, President of Louisiana Tech. “His exceptional knowledge and passion for our Bulldogs and Lady Techsters has always shown in his work, and now all our Tech fans will have the chance to know him better through the LA Tech Athletics broadcasts.”

Butler’s new title is Associate AD for Communications and Broadcasting. He will continue to be a member of Wood’s executive team, maintain oversight of the athletic communications department, and sports supervision for softball as well as a variety of new responsibilities.

“I am excited about this opportunity, and I appreciate (Tech President) Dr. (Les) Guice and Dr. Wood for their confidence in me,” Butler said. “Dave is a legend, and I am fortunate to have worked alongside of him for more than two decades. This will provide a new challenge for me as I move into a bit of a hybrid role within the department. There are many moving parts to this transition, which will ultimately strengthen the overall communications department.”

Lady Techsters Basketball will also have a new voice, not yet determined; Butler has called those games for 21 years.

“I have loved calling the Lady Techster games, and I know I will miss that aspect of the job,” said Butler. “I cut my teeth on the radio when Coach (Leon) Barmore was roaming the sideline and (current Lady Techsters Head Coach) Brooke Stoehr was running the point. The program will always be special to me, and I will find ways to continue to directly support it within my new role.”

In his new role, Butler will continue to work closely with Learfield IMG College, the university’s athletics multimedia rightsholder which oversees the broadcast operations as part of the overall rights relationship.

Butler joined the department in July 1999 as the assistant athletic communications director before being elevated to the director’s position that same fall. He was promoted to his current position in 2008 and has served as a member of the athletic department’s senior staff over the past 13 years.

During the past 22 years, the department has won more than 100 awards at the annual Louisiana Sports Writers Association (LSWA) SID contest. During that same time, Butler has personally won 45 awards, including first-place awards for radio play-by-play.

As the radio play-by-play voice for the Lady Techster basketball team, the Ruston native has broadcast more than 600 women’s basketball games, including 15 NCAA Tournament games. He was named the Louisiana Sports Writers Association (LSWA) State College Radio Broadcaster of the Year in 2017 and has placed in the top three in the contest six of the last eight years.

He has broadcast in excess of 500 softball games in his career, including the 2008, 2017 and 2019 NCAA Regionals, and served as both the play-by-play voice and color commentator on various Bulldog football and basketball broadcasts. He served as the sideline reporter for the Bulldog football broadcasts from 2013-16.

A 1994 Tech journalism graduate, Butler served as the sports editor and editor of The Tech Talk, the University’s student newspaper.