Prince Marvin

Alum Marvin Prince gives color commentary on his role as a producer and Danette on top sports broadcast “The Dan Patrick Show.”

By Kenneth Best
Photos by Peter Morenus


The morning after UConn Magazine visited “The Dan Patrick Show” studio for a story about associate producer and board operator Marvin Prince, the zingers begin to fly on the air.

“Marvin wants to change his name. He would like to be known as Prince Marvin instead of Marvin Prince,” says Patrick, the award-winning sportscaster who helped make ESPN’s “SportsCenter” appointment viewing. He also hosted NBC’s “Football Night in America” and now helms this nationally syndicated sports talk show played on nearly 400 radio stations and streamed on NBC’s Peacock for three hours every weekday morning.“I said OK. If you want to be known as Prince Marvin, we can do that. I thought it was a little bold on your part.”

Seton O’Connor, director of operations — and, like Prince, one of Patrick’s four on-air sidekicks, dubbed “The Danettes” by Basketball Hall of Famer Reggie Miller — quickly chimes in: “Maybe the First Prince of Dan’s Air; like Fresh Prince of Bel Air. Just rolled that right off the top of my head.”

“It was really hard getting my head through the door this morning,” says Prince, a UConn alum and mega-fan who often wears Huskies apparel to the studio and keeps a UConn basketball jersey on the back of his chair, shown every time the camera sweeps through the studio during the televised simulcast.

Patrick snaps back: “I thought you’d come in with sunglasses on, maybe a limo.”

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Prince’s wasn’t quite a from-the-mailroom rise, but close.

While performing freelance technical work for televised events in New York City and Connecticut, Prince learned about the construction of Patrick’s new studio in Milford, not far from his home in Bridgeport, where he lives with his wife Jillian (DeMasi) Prince ’07 (CLAS) and their son, Lorenzo. Having gained production experience as an ESPN intern, he was hired in 2019 to help on the build and stayed on as sound engineer, one of several “back-room guys” working on the show known for its incisive, raucous interviews with A-list figures in sports, media, and pop culture — as well as the witty banter among the on-air talent and with listeners and interviewees.

Even as he made his first on-camera appearance in the show’s video spoof of the 2021 Sports Emmy Awards, wearing a white tuxedo jacket and holding a microphone for a mock celebrity red carpet interview of Patrick, Prince didn’t anticipate becoming a Danette.

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Marvin Prince, on the set ot The Dan Patrick Show in Milford on Nov. 15, 2023. (Peter Morenus/UConn Photo)
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In his role, Prince guides the pro­gram’s sound and selects music, a popular topic of on-air discussion. Friday show soundtrack themes have ranged from “yacht rock” to “pump-up tunes” to “songs by artists who died in the month of December.” Dan and the Danettes suggest songs to include, and the guys guess who submitted which one.

“He has gotten us all to be extra creative about what we’re thinking,” says Todd Fritz, the booking producer who often bursts into song mid-show. “I get so excited about it, as soon as he announces the theme on the air, I’m already sending links.”

“We’ve got the Hall of Famer, the boss, the man who hasn’t fired me yet — Mr. Dan Patrick. Man, you’re looking clean. Who are you wearing?” he said.

“Actually, this is when you know you’ve made it,” Patrick replied, opening his jacket, pointing to the inside pocket. “When they put your name inside the jacket.”

Eight months later, after traveling to Los Angeles with the cast to run the sound during the show’s coverage of the Super Bowl, Prince was asked to move to the on-air studio, where he spends two hours preparing audio clips from the previous day’s major sports events before the show airs. Initially reluctant to step up to the mic, Prince said he knew he could rely on advice from the other Danettes and on lessons learned as an undergrad.

“I learned critical thinking at UConn,” says Prince, who left the University just before completing his degree in 2007, when a family emergency required him to suspend his studies and go to work full-time. “You want to make a point and make sure you have some facts to go with it. You would be challenged to give your opinion.” Like he is in the sometimes-ruthless show conversations.

Marvin Prince, on the set ot The Dan Patrick Show in Milford on Nov. 15, 2023. (Peter Morenus/UConn Photo)
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He knew us and we knew him. We just didn’t know that version of him.”

– Dan Patrick

“I just try to make the best points possible and be clear and precise on what I want to say. I took a lot of that from being in Storrs, especially in my history and philosophy classes.”

“The more you’re around him, you understand that he’s knowledgeable,” Patrick says. Prior to Prince transitioning to his on-air role, “he knew us and we knew him. We just didn’t know that version of him.

“He blended in right away. He has that ability to compartmentalize when he needs to, but also has the bandwidth to listen to everything that’s going on. His NBA basketball knowledge is really good. Being able to play to each other’s strengths is important,” says Patrick. “The bottom line has always been, he brings a sense of humor to the show.”

He doesn’t have a suit jacket with his name in it — yet. For Prince, that “made-it” moment as a bona fide “Dan Patrick Show” personality looked a little different.

Executive producer Paul Pabst says Prince truly became a Danette — that is, he proved he can withstand the teasing that occurs in Patrick’s “man cave” — during a discussion of the 2022 NFL combine, where college players are tested for their athleticism and measured physically. When the Pittsburgh Steelers drafted quarterback Kenny Pickett, it was reported his hands were small compared to others playing that position. Patrick and the Danettes measured their hands and determined that Prince’s were the smallest, which quickly spurred frequent references to hand size among callers, guests, and online commenters. When the show crew did a listener meet-and-greet last year while in Arizona for the Super Bowl broadcast, fans approached Prince holding their hands up.

“I was ready to give them a high five,” Prince says, laughing. “They were like, No, I want to see how big your hands are.”

Comedy Buddy

screenshot of instagram post from Marvin Prince showing him and comedian Will Farrell hugging. It reads,"Our newest Danette Will and I became close since @danpatrickshow hired him"

Heir To The Throne

Tweet from Marvin Prince's account that reads: I'm about to watch UConn in the elite 8 in the hospital with my newborn.... let's see how it goes

PreGame Show

With news that UConn alum Marvin will be the subject of an article in UConn Magazine, the guys decided to brainstorm possible titles for Marvin's upcoming feature.

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  1. I’d never read UCONN Magazine before, but once I heard that Marvin was going to be featured in it, I had to! I’m glad that I did, because it was awesome, just like Marvin!! Well done!!

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