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FSU, Learfield name Jeff Culhane as new play-by-play voice

Florida State athletics and Learfield Sports Properties announced the hire of Jeff Culhane as the new play-by-play voice for football and men’s basketball.

Culhane brings 20 years of multimedia experience to the Seminoles, including roles building radio affiliate networks in addition to broadcasting duties for Nebraska, West Virginia and North Dakota State. He has extensive experience growing radio networks through adding new affiliates and producing original content, including daily shows, weekly features and podcasts that highlight student-athletes and coaches in each program.

“Jeff Culhane is an exciting hire for our department and fans,” FSU Vice President and Director of Athletics Michael Alford said. “He is a talented, experienced play-by-play voice who has called many postseason games across multiple sports while also creating content for the programs he has worked with and their affiliate radio networks. This position attracted nationwide interest, and Jeff’s unique abilities continued to rise to the top. I look forward to how Jeff will help tell the stories of our student-athletes, coaches and department through this expanded role.”

Alford and Learfield began a nationwide search in March to replace Gene Deckerhoff, who has been broadcasting FSU basketball and football games since the 1970s. Among those who were under consideration were Tom Block, who has done sideline reporting for the network. Block announced on the Front Row Noles radio show last week that he was not a finalist.

Culhane will begin his new role on July 1. He has been the voice of North Dakota State football, men’s basketball and baseball for the last six years. In his role at NDSU, Culhane was the play-by-play announcer for four FCS National Championship Games, two men’s basketball NCAA Tournament appearances and one NCAA Baseball Regional appearance. He also coordinated affiliate relations for the Bison Radio Network while developing a sports radio station in Fargo and hosting a daily show on the network.

“It is truly an honor to be named play-by-play voice for the Florida State Seminoles,” Culhane said. “To follow in the footsteps of a legend like Gene Deckerhoff is an opportunity and a challenge I will look to live up to every single day. My family and I can’t wait to get to Tallahassee and immerse ourselves in all the traditions of Florida State. Go Noles!” 

Culhane handled play-by-play duties for West Virginia women’s basketball and baseball from 2013-16 while also hosting the Mountaineer Tailgate Show and 5th Quarter Show for football as well as the Mountaineer Insider Podcast, a weekly feature for WVU’s official athletics website. At Nebraska from 2007-13, he produced and served as the studio host for football, men’s basketball and baseball broadcasts. In addition, he hosted Sports Nightly and The Nebraska High School Scoreboard Show.

“We’re excited to welcome Jeff into the passionate Nole Family,” said Caleb Swann, general manager of Seminole Sports Properties, FSU Athletics’ multimedia rightsholder. “His extensive knowledge related to college radio networks coupled with his experience in the Big Ten, Big 12 and calling multiple Bison football championships, will be a valuable asset to Florida State.”