More than 100 people have applied to be the new Voice of the Tigers when longtime radio play-by-play announcer Jim Hawthorne retires in March 2016, LSU Athletic Director Joe Alleva said Thursday on 104.5 /104.9 ESPN-Baton Rouge radio.

Alleva, appearing on the Culotta & the Prince morning radio show, said the goal is to narrow the field to five or six “top-quality candidates,” then sit and meet with them. He said the process will be thorough and could take a while.

“I would imagine sometime this summer we’ll be picking who the new voice will be,” he said.

Alleva said “the voice” is only part of the criteria when choosing the best candidate, which is why he wants to meet each candidate face-to-face.

“I want to get to know the guy,” he said. “I want to get to see him. I want to see what kind of enthusiasm he has. I want to be able to see his passion. I just want to get to know the person. I think the person is important in this job, as well as the voice.”

Alleva said he expects a special atmosphere this weekend at Alex Box Stadium as the LSU baseball team hosts Missouri for Hawthorne’s last regular-season call for an LSU baseball series. On Saturday, fans will be in for a special treat when Hawthorne , a longtime country and western singer, sings the national anthem before the game.

Hawthorne will broadcast the 2015-16 football and basketball seasons before stepping away from the microphone in March 2016. “He’s been such an asset for us,” Alleva said. “And we’re going to miss him.”