The Murray State Racers and its loyal fans have enjoyed Neal Bradley as the Voice of the Racers since 1991 on Racer Radio.
In the fall of 2023, Bradley will continue to call MSU football games, but is stepping down from men's basketball play by play after more than 1,000 games broadcasted over 32 seasons.
"Following the Missouri Valley Tournament, I informed Murray State Director of Athletics Nico Yantko of my decision to cut back on travel to spend more time with my family," Bradley said. "This means I am stepping away from play-by-play duties with men's basketball, but continuing with Racer football. Nico understands and is fully supportive of my decision. I thank him for allowing me to do this and remain a part of Racer Athletics through Racer Football. When I started with the Racers in 1991, I had no idea that I would be able to continue doing what I love for 32 years. My experiences with Racer basketball have been beyond my wildest dreams and I am thankful for the players, coaches, support staff, fans, Forever Communications, my color analysts, network sponsors, and my family who helped make it possible."
"Neal Bradley has been a staple of the Murray State Men's Basketball program for more than three decades and we cannot thank him enough for his service to the program," Director of Athletics Nico Yantko said. "While he will still be on air telling the stories of our Football program as we transition into the Missouri Valley Football Conference, his ability to bring fans into the action and to tell the stories of our basketball student-athletes and coaches on the radio will be dearly missed."
Bradley's impact on the notoriety of Murray State men's basketball cannot be overstated.
While a definitive number is hard to nail down as details fade from memory, Bradley called more than 1,000 Murray State men's basketball games and likely 700 victories. He was there for the clinching of 17 Ohio Valley Conference regular season championships, 13 OVC Tournament titles and NCAA Tournament trips, the opening of the CFSB Center in 1998 and all of its 25 seasons, the amazing 2011-12 season when the Racers were the final undefeated team in the nation at 23-0 and sold out the final eight games at The Bank, the careers of NBA players Isaiah Canaan, Cameron Payne and Ja Morant and every big game in between.
In 2022-23, Bradley was on the radio as the Racers joined the Missouri Valley Conference to navigate new opponents, venues and usher in a new era of Murray State Athletics. As Racer Basketball added to its legacy for the last three-plus decades, Bradley enhanced it, made it shine and gave it a professional sound and feel. He was the welcome voice that announced that this game on this day was important and explained why.
Racer Nation knew who Bradley was rooting for, but he always called it as he saw it.
From the standpoint of broadcasting games in the NCAA Tournament are concerned, Bradley was there on the headset microphone for all but five of the Racers' 18 appearances. MSU has won five NCAA games and Bradley called four of them. He was on the radio in 2010 when Danero Thomas' buzzer shot upset Vanderbilt, prompting Bradley to say "We're extending the stay in San Jose!" He was there in 2012 when the Racers were the No. 6 seed and ranked in the top-10 for the first time and defeated Colorado State. When Ja Morant was a rising star, Bradley called his NCAA triple-double game when MSU defeated Marquette in 2019 and Bradley recently called the Racers thrilling overtime win over San Francisco in 2022.
Bradley's first season was with Coach Scott Edgar's team in 1991-92, which was Popeye Jones' final season. Bradley called games for the last seven MSU head coaches, including current Racers' boss, Steve Prohm (twice). Matt McMahon, Billy Kennedy, Mick Cronin, Tevester Anderson, Mark Gottfried and Edgar.
A member of the Murray State Hall of Fame – Distinction wing, Bradley was inducted in 2018 in the same class as legends Isaiah Canaan and Coach Houston Nutt. The OVC honored Bradley in 2011 for its media award for career service to the league.
In MSU Racer Radio history, Bradley set the record for the longest tenure after Chuck Shufett began doing games on WNBS 1340 AM in the 1950s. Bob Swisher, Hal King, Jim Freeland, Lee Burdorf, Jerry Ferguson, Darryl Gibson and Randy Herndon proceeded Bradley. For basketball radio, Bradley's trusted sidekicks have included Mark Hart, Sam Rickman, Nathan Higdon, Paul Bubb and Kenny Roth.
In Bradley's 32 seasons, he was the voice that painted the picture of the big moments. Bradley's calls touched 11 MSU Hall of Famers including Popeye Jones, Paul King, Frank Allen, Marcus Brown, Vincent Rainey, De'Teri Mayes, Isaac Spencer, Isaiah Canaan and Cameron Payne and coaches Anderson and Kennedy. Bradley also called games for six men's basketball players that have their jerseys retired.
As Neal Bradley backs off his schedule and remains with Racers Football this fall, he wants everyone to know that he's first and foremost a Murray State fan and he always will be.
"I want to be a Racer basketball fan in the stands, and when it happens, I want to be there cheering when the next announcer calls the game sending the Racers to the Sweet 16…and beyond," Bradley said. "I am very excited to continue calling Racer Football games as they begin play in the Missouri Valley Football Conference. Thank you for allowing me to bring an historic three decades of Racer Basketball into your lives and please continue to support the next announcer who has the privilege of bringing you more Racer history in The Valley. As always, May The Horse Be With You!"