Desmond Purnell

Desmond Purnell

Desmond Purnell

A passion for sports started the journey for this Mississippi State University alumnus who now shares his love of sports on a national platform working as a reporter/host for Fox Sports Southwest in Dallas, Texas.

Desmond Purnell, who was also a student athlete playing football, completed his bachelor’s degree in communication with an emphasis in broadcasting in 2002. He started his first job in broadcasting while still attending MSU, working at WCBI-TV in Columbus, Mississippi. The native of Grenada, Mississippi, quickly became recognized for his outstanding work and other doors would open for this budding sports journalist.

Purnell went on to cover sports in Rapid City, South Dakota, becoming the first African American television broadcaster in that television market. From there, he went to work in Monroe, Louisiana, and then returned to his home state to take a position at WABG-TV in Greenwood, Mississippi.  It was while working at WABG-TV he was recognized by the Associated Press for his work receiving the distinction of “Best Sports Feature”. Purnell also has won multiple Emmy awards that recognize excellence in the television industry. That recognition catapulted his career and soon Purnell was working as a correspondent for the NFL Network.

With all these accomplishments, Purnell gives credit to MSU for that success. He says, “I enjoyed my time at MSU because it equipped me with the tools needed to have a successful career in broadcasting. It also gave me an opportunity to interact with a very diverse student body. Those experiences aid me to this day during daily interactions.”

Purnell said that his favorite class was Communication Theory and his favorite teacher in the Department of Communication was Karyn Brown. “She cared for her students and went out of her way to help anyway she could,” said Purnell. His fondest memory of MSU was in 2000 when MSU beat the University of Florida and his favorite MSU tradition is ringing a cowbell during games.

Purnell’s advice to students is to experience college with an open mind and open heart. “Talk and learn from people from different backgrounds. Find a mentor. Lean on trusted professors. I learned so much about how the world works through spirited and thoughtful conversations with a wide variety of people at MSU.”

Desmond Purnell has a place for MSU in his heart and will carry the memories of his undergraduate experience with him forever.

 

 


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