Malcolm Butler is following Dave Nitz, not replacing him

After more than two decades of calling Lady Techster basketball games on the LA Tech Sports Network, Malcolm Butler will be moving over to the men’s side this fall as he will serve as the play-by-play voice for Bulldog football and men’s basketball.

Legendary Hall of Fame broadcaster Dave Nitz announced his semi-retirement a few months ago and will continue to serve as the Voice of Bulldog Baseball. The LPJ caught up to Butler to discuss his new role and trying to fill the shoes of a broadcasting legend.

Question: What is the biggest challenge moving from your old role to the new one?

Answer: The biggest challenge will be transitioning to more of a hybrid role within the administrative side of the Athletics Department. Although I will maintain oversight of the athletic strategic communications department, I won’t be handling the day-to-day SID aspects for any of our programs. It will be different for sure. It will allow me to spend more of my energy on the administrative side and on special projects.

Question: How difficult will it be to replace Dave Nitz in the radio booth?

Answer: It will be impossible. And to be very honest, I have no thoughts about trying to replace him. Dave is a member of the Louisiana Tech Athletics Hall of Fame and Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame for a reason. He is one of the best to ever do it. The consummate professional. If I tried to be Dave Nitz behind the mic, I would fail instantly. My plan is to be the best version of myself and to provide Tech fans a call that will be fair, accurate and passionate.

Question: What is the best advice Dave Nitz ever gave you when it comes to calling games?

Answer: When I first started calling Lady Techster games back in 2000, I remember Dave telling me that a good broadcaster can never give the time and score too many times. You never know when a listener just tuned into the broadcast, so you always want to make sure that you provide time and score frequently throughout the broadcast. And you never want to go into a commercial break or come out of a commercial break without providing both.

Question: Will Teddy Allen continue to help with football and Jack Thigpen continue to help with men’s basketball?

Answer: This is one of the most frequently asked questions since the announcement was made a few months ago. And the answer is yes. I have great relationships with both of them, and I am looking forward to having Teddy and Jack on the calls. It will be a team effort for sure. They both bring different dynamics to the broadcasts, and what they provide is invaluable to the listeners.

Question: Who will handle the call for the Lady Techster basketball games now that you are moving to the men’s side?

Answer: Gary Northen (GM of LA Tech Sports Properties) and I are working with Tom Bowman at Learfield IMG College to narrow down a list of who the next Voice of the Lady Techsters will be. Obviously, we will get plenty of input from (VP and Director of Athletics) Eric Wood and (Head Coach) Brooke Stoehr. We should have that decided a little later this summer.

PHOTO:  Malcolm Butler (middle), flanked by Dave Nitz (at left) and Teddy Allen (right).  Courtesy LA Tech Athletics.

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