Former Fighting Illini All-American O'Donnell to Join Radio Team
"Illinois football has been a central part of my life since I stepped on campus in August 2003," O'Donnell said. "I am thrilled to be a part of the Fighting Illini radio team and follow in the footsteps of Illini greats Kurt Kittner and Jim Grabowski. This is an incredibly exciting opportunity."
Kittner joined the radio crew in 2007, teaming with long-time "Voice-of-the-Illini" Brian Barnhart in calling Fighting Illini football for the 40-plus station Illini Sports Network. O'Donnell has filled in during games when Kittner had a conflict, and will debut as the full-time analyst April 18 during the Fighting Illini Spring Game.
"We are very excited for Martin and our crew with his addition to the network team," said Chris Andrews, General Manager of Fighting Illini Sports Properties. "We had several former Illini greats contact us with interest for this position, but we feel Martin was an outstanding choice to join Brian in the booth. He has a terrific ability to analyze the game in a way that all fans can follow and understand. Kurt Kittner did a great job over the last eight seasons, but I think everyone totally understands the commitment he wants to make to his young family. We wish Kurt nothing but the best, and I know we'll see him and his family around Memorial Stadium on Saturdays in the fall."
Longtime broadcaster Steve Kelly will return to the booth with Barnhart and O'Donnell, providing pregame, halftime and postgame host duties.