Sean Kelley
Graphic by Kevin Camps/UAA Communications. Courtesy of

Sean Kelley Hired as New “Voice of the Gators”

On Wednesday, Sean Kelley joined Steve Russell on SportScene to discuss his new position as the “voice of the Gators.” Kelley will replace the legendary Mick Hubert at the mic. Hubert announced his retirement in May after holding his seat in the booth for 33 years.

“I noticed just last week in my brief time in Gainesville, there’s a vibe around this program right now. There’s an energy…you can’t help but feel it right now,” Kelley shared.

Prior Experience

Kelley has been a national play-by-play voice for ESPN Radio since 2019 with ties to college athletics, the NBA, NFL, and MLB. The veteran broadcaster was also the former voice of the NBA’s New Orleans Pelicans.

Double Duty

Time with ESPN

Following this, Kelley made the move to ESPN Radio after being hired in 2019 as its lead play-by-play announcer for national college football. He also called college basketball and NBA games.
Interestingly enough, Kelley’s first official game working for ESPN was Florida’s win over Miami at Camping World Stadium which kicked off the 2019 college football season. Kelley is eager to reunite with voicing the orange & blue.

It’s Great to be a Florida Gator

One factor that largely influenced Kelley’s decision to join the Gators was the opportunity to be part of a team. He has expressed his excitement to work alongside football head coach Billy Napier and men’s basketball head coach Todd Golden. The three will begin their journey with Gator Nation together this season.

Kelley spoke about his enthusiasm to work alongside Golden and Napier.

Kelley added how Napier’s strengths lie in his ability to recruit the right people to build a program and then further develop them “beyond their wildest dreams”.

Additionally, Kelley will look forward to the opportunity to cover multiple sports at Florida. He shared how he enjoys the rhythm of the different seasons. He has yearned to get back to the variety of sports that college towns offer. Kelley also expressed how eager he is to experience college football Saturdays in the Swamp as a member of Gator Nation.

A Childhood Dream

Kelley accredits his interest in pursuing sports broadcasting to where he grew up. Kelley explains how growing up in St. Louis, he listened to many outstanding broadcasters in the area such as Jack Buck announcing for the Cardinals or Dan Kelly voicing the St. Louis Blues. He further adds how in all of the great sports markets in the nation, there are announcers who become a great part of the surrounding community.

Kelly shared a story about how he would practice his sports commentary as a kid.

“I finally gave into my heart and started chasing this dream that somehow culminates here today, this many years later,” Kelley said.

About Ellie Shreve

Ellie is a third-year sports and media journalism major at the University of Florida.

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