Mark Followill: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

mark followill

Fox Sports Mark Followill

Mark Followill will be one of Fox Sports’ play-by-play announcers for the 2018 Fifa World Cup. Followill, 47, will be working alongside Warren Barton, a who played soccer for the English National Team and Newcastle United, according to Fox Sports.

Followill said in a recent interview with FCDallas.com that he and Barton have been building chemistry will working MLS games for Fox, and he has put in several hours of research. “Every day I’m consuming information and working on it, but in terms of what it’s going to be like [to be calling the World Cup], the preparation has been pretty intense. I haven’t thought of it other than it being a massive assignment with a lot of work and responsibility. I think that’s where my head is about it right now. I haven’t had to the time to sit back and think about it. I don’t sit there and think about what my first line is going to be for my first game of the World Cup.”

He added, “It’s amazing to be a part of it. Not a day goes by where I don’t realize it, but my head is just focused on the work that needs to be done before then and I have other things to handle as well. I’m very proud of it and really looking forward to it. I can promise you that.”

Here’s what you need to know about Mark Followill:


1. Followill, Who Has Called International Soccer for Fox Sports Since 2014 & Also Did Play by Play for NBC Olympics, Is Making His World Cup Debut

mark followill warren barton

Mark Followill and Warren Barton.

Mark Followill was brought on as part of the Fox Sports soccer announcing team in 2014, according to his biography on the network’s website. Followill has had a lot of experience calling international soccer games for Fox, but this will be his first World Cup. Since joining Fox Sports, Followill has called games played by the U.S. Men’s and Women’s National Teams, along with CONCACAF Gold Cup, UEFA Europa League, Copa America, Bundesliga and FIFA U-20 and U-17 tournaments.

Followill also worked for NBC during 2016, calling men’s and women’s soccer games during the Olympics, according to Fox Sports. He told FCDallas.com he contacted Fox Sports about working on their soccer staff after they were awarded the 2018 World Cup.

“I reached out to someone and said I was a soccer guy, showed him my work and I actually got a call back pretty quickly,” he said in a recent interview. “They told me I knew what I was doing and wanted me to come out and have a tryout. It took some patience and persistence to stay with it.”

He added, “I got the chance to do a U.S. friendly against Puerto Rico before the tournament started and I got the chance to do some big games during the tournament that opened up a lot of eyes,” he said. “That was a tryout for this 2018 thing back then. If you did it well, you were going to likely go down and work with the team for 2018…That was a key moment for me and Fox to break through and earn their trust and be a part of a World Cup broadcast team.”

Followill was alongside Alexei Lalas in 2017 when the U.S. Men’s National Team as they struggled to qualify for the World Cup (they eventually failed to do so). Lalas went on a rant ripping the USMNT and its management apart.

“I was certainly aware he was going to talk about it,” he told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. “To be honest, I was just trying to stay out of the way as much as possible. It was about me setting him up; he ended up being right to some to degree because they didn’t qualify.”

Followill told the Star-Telegram he thinks viewers will still tune in to the games, even though the Americans won’t be playing. “I really don’t think there will be that big of an impact in how people consume it,” he told the newspaper. “Those who do recognize the best players in the world and the beauty and rarity of the event.”

Like the U.S. Men’s National Team, Followill won’t be making the trip to Russia. Instead, Followill and Warren Barton will call the game remotely from a studio in Los Angeles, part of a cost-saving effort by Fox Sports.


2. He Has Been the TV Voice of the Dallas Mavericks Since 2005 & FC Dallas Since 2012


Mark Followill "Oh Nooooooo"Mark wasn't feeling to good about the travel2013-12-31T04:28:16.000Z

Followill is a veteran broadcaster and his voice is one of the most well-known among sports personalities in Texas. He has been the TV voice of the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks since 2005, calling games on FOX Sports Southwest and TXA 21.

“Followill has won multiple regional Emmys for On-Camera Talent/Sports Play-by-Play and the Mavericks broadcast has been recognized with multiple regional Emmys for Live Sporting Event in that time,” according to Fox Sports.


Mark Followill calls Ugo Ihemelu's Game WinnerCheck out the home call of Ugo Ihemelu's game winner by Mark Followill from the match against the New England Revolution.2012-04-10T19:50:32.000Z

In 2012, Followill also became the play-by-play guy for the FC Dallas soccer team, calling games for the MLS squad except when his work with the Mavericks interfered. The soccer games are broadcasted on Fox Sports Southwest.

“They knew I knew the game and they knew I was a good broadcaster,” Followill told FCDallas.com in an interview previewing his World Cup work. “They knew I would work really hard on it and was going to be very into it, not just form a broadcast standpoint, from the passion and enthusiasm for the sport standpoint.”

He said he spent a lot of time working to become a better soccer broadcaster. “Obviously I had a familiarity with broadcasting and TV, but to present soccer the way it needs to be done, there are certain aspects of it that I hadn’t done before. It was just a lot of studying and a lot of listening to myself and listening to other people. I was seeking feedback and making all of that work. That’s kind of the road that it was for me: be very, very self-critical, always go back and listen to your work and do a lot of practice,” he said.

“Believe me, there are a lot of times, to this day, that if there’s a team that I hadn’t done before, and I’m learning the players. There’s a lot of sitting in front of a laptop and doing some form of practice in play-by-play. You’ve got to do the work,” Followill added.

Followill has additionally worked on national college football broadcasts for Fox Sports Networks. According to his Dallas Mavericks bio, “Followill has also recently been a play-by-play announcer on college basketball telecasts on CBS Sports Network and The Longhorn Network, NFL and NCAA football broadcasts on Sports USA Radio Network and NBA and WNBA games on ESPN Radio.”


3. Followill, a Texas Native, Started His Career in Radio After Graduating From the University of North Texas in 1992

Mark Followill was born and raised in Justin, Texas, in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, and graduated from Northwest High School. Followill stayed close to home for college, graduating from the University of North Texas in 1992, according to FoxSports.com. While there he worked for the college’s radio station, KNTU.

Followill started his career in radio. “Followill had previously been the radio play-by-play voice for the Mavericks on 103.3 ESPN Radio from 2001 to 2005. Followill also spent two years prior on 570 KLIF as the studio host of Mavericks radio broadcasts and play-by-play announcer on select broadcasts,” Fox Sports says.

He also hosted a talk show on Sports Radio 1310 The Ticket, according to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

“Doing a talk (show) was never truly something I was passionate about,” Followill told the Star-Telegram’s Mac Engel. “They both take unique abilities and my abilities are far better suited to play-by-play than the latter. I’m not afraid to say that if I had tried to make a living as a talk show host, I would be doing something else entirely different by now. Not to mention, a great piece of advice I got once from (former Ticket boss) Bruce Gilbert was, ‘To reach your potential in this business, focus on the one thing your passion or interest is and pour your energies into that.'”


4. He Is an Avid Runner & Had a Serious Bike Accident in 2012 That Caused Him to Be Sidelined Briefly

According to Fox Sports, Followill is “an avid runner and has worked on events in conjunction with the BMW Dallas Marathon and their support of the Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children.” His Instagram profile shows many photos from his running adventures while on the road with the Mavericks and in road races.

Followill was briefly sidelined in 2012 when he suffered injuries during a serious bicycle accident in the Dallas area, according to ESPN. He missed two games after his bike’s tire hit an uneven part of pavement and sent him flying over the handlebars. His injuries caused him to miss two Mavericks games.

“The first thing that hit the pavement was my face,” Followill, who said he was fortunate to be wearing a helmet, told ESPN. He said he spent six hours in the emergency room and then more than two hours at the dentist.


5. Followill & His Wife, Jennifer Brown Followill, Live in Dallas With Their 2 Greyhounds & Are Supporters of The Greyhound Adoption League of Texas

Mark Followill’s wife, Jennifer Brown Followill, a Texas State graduate, works in marketing, according to her Linkedin profile. Followill and his wife were married on July 18, 2015, in Playa Mujeres, Mexico, and they live together in Dallas, according to Fox Sports.

They have two greyhounds and “are supporters and contributors to The Greyhound Adoption League of Texas,” Fox Sports says.

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