By: Malcolm Butler/Louisiana Tech Athletics
RUSTON — Dave Nitz, Voice of the Bulldogs for nearly half a century, announced that he has decided to broadcast only baseball games for Louisiana Tech starting with the upcoming 2021-22 athletics season.
Labeled “Freeway Dave” by Tech Hall of Famer Leon Barmore in the late 1970s because of his love of the road, Nitz recently completed his 47th Bulldog Football and Dunkin’ Dogs seasons. He has decided to concentrate on baseball only as he heads into his 48th season as the Voice of the Diamond Dogs.
“This is my 47th year doing all three sports, and I think it’s time for me to slow down a little bit,” said Nitz. “I have enjoyed the run and as most people know baseball is my favorite sport. I really enjoy calling it, and I am looking forward to doing baseball only. I am sure it will be a challenge come this fall when I’m not doing a football game on a Saturday. But at some point in time, it’s better to ease out than to stop completely. I am not going away. I’m just going in a different direction.”
No one has done college baseball play-by-play for one team longer than Nitz; his first Tech broadcast was in Spring 1974 at old Arlington Stadium as Pat “Gravy” Patterson and the Bulldogs baseball team came one game short of going to the College World Series.
“Dave Nitz joined Louisiana Tech when I was a sophomore in college, and he’s been the voice of Louisiana Tech Athletics for 48 years,” said University President Les Guice. “I cannot remember a time when his voice wasn’t on the radio, telling me the plays and scores for my Bulldogs and Lady Techsters. He is an expert broadcaster. We’ll miss his voice on football and basketball, but I’m glad Dave will still be with us and the Diamond Dogs.”
During a broadcasting career that has spanned nearly 60 years, Nitz has called more than 4,000 Tech games, which includes eight seasons of Lady Techsters basketball, beginning in the late-1970s. Besides serving as Voice of the Bulldogs, he spent 36 summers broadcasting professional baseball and also spent time as an assistant sports information director for Tech in the 1970s and 1980s.
A native of Milton, West Virginia, Nitz, 78, is a member of the LA Tech Athletics Hall of Fame Class of 2010 and the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame Class of 2019. He was named the 2009 Louisiana Sportscaster of the Year and been voted as the College Broadcaster of the Year in the state numerous times by the Louisiana Sports Writers Association.
“Dave Nitz has been the voice behind the mic for Louisiana Tech fans for almost five decades,” said Louisiana Tech VP and Director of Athletics Eric Wood. “His voice and his name are synonymous with so many of our athletic teams and resonate with our fans. We are so appreciative to him for his dedication and loyalty to our University and we fully support Dave’s decision to focus on baseball. I think our fans will appreciate the opportunity to still hear him in the springs as he calls the Diamond Dog games.”
Louisiana Tech Athletics will honor Nitz in the upcoming year through a number of avenues and at a number of home events.
Wood said the athletic department and LA Tech Sports Properties, who holds the radio rights for Tech athletics, would join forces to search for a play-by-play announcer for the upcoming football and men’s basketball seasons.