College Play-by-Play Announcer
Jason Benetti joined ESPN as a play-by-play announcer for college basketball in 2011, and since then has also called college football, baseball and lacrosse games, high school football and Major League Baseball, as well as NFL, college football and MLB on ESPN Radio. Benetti is the play-by-play commentator for ESPN’s MLB Statcast AI coverage of the Wild Card and Home Run Derby.
His favorite event covered for ESPN is a tie between the 2018 Maui Invitational with Bill Walton and the 2018 NL Wild Card Statcast telecast.
“Bill Walton is an absolute gem of a human being whose curiosity deserves its own throne to sit on and crown to wear,” he said of his memories of the 2018 Maui Invitational. “Those six games in three days were simply glorious.”
“The Statcast show was the first game we ever did in that format and our crew was–and is–so fantastic to work with. I stayed up until 4 a.m. just because of the rush of teamwork that came upon me from doing that game with our group.”
In addition to his ESPN responsibilities he has had broadcasting jobs with the Fox Sports 1, Westwood One, the Syracuse Chiefs (Washington Nationals Triple-A affiliate), Time Warner Cable Sports, BIG EAST Conference, High Point University, IMG College, Salem Avalanche and DePaul University.
Benetti graduated from Syracuse University in 2005 with bachelor’s degrees in broadcast journalism, economics and psychology. He then went on to earn his J.D. at Wake Forest School of Law in 2011. Benetti has cerebral palsy, which impacts his balance and ability to walk, but not his on-air work.
Benetti’s high school radio station inspired him to pursue a career in sports.
“From the day I was on air there for the first time doing sportscasts, I felt safe, comfortable and free and hadn’t ever gotten that from anywhere else,” he said of the station and its team atmosphere.
The Illinois native gives back to his alma mater, as he is involved with the Burton Blatt Institute at Syracuse University’s Communication Hope through Assistive Technology camp. He has previously taught sports broadcasting as an adjunct professor at S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communication.
Benetti’s favorite childhood sports memory is watching the Jordan Bulls on a nightly basis. “Chicago kids like me who grew up in the 90’s were so lucky to rightfully expect wins every time the Bulls took the court.”