Lundquist TO CONTINUE Calling College Basketball, NCAA Tournament and Golf FOR CBS SPORTS
VETERAN ANNOUNCER BRAD NESSLER TO SUCCEED LUNDQUIST AS LEAD “SEC ON CBS” PLAY-BY-PLAY ANNOUNCER BEGINNING IN 2017
Verne Lundquist, the voice of the SEC ON CBS since 2000, has decided to step down from his lead college football role at CBS Sports following the 2016 season. Lundquist, who is celebrating his 53rd year in television, will continue calling regular-season college basketball, the NCAA Tournament and golf, including the Masters® and the PGA Championship for the Network.
Brad Nessler will succeed Lundquist as the lead play-by-play announcer for the SEC ON CBS, joining lead analyst Gary Danielson and reporter Allie LaForce beginning with the 2017 season. Additionally, Nessler will begin calling select SEC games this season in the weeks that CBS Sports broadcasts two SEC football games, as well as the 2016 Hyundai Sun Bowl and select college basketball games. The announcements were made today by Sean McManus, Chairman, CBS Sports.
“Verne has set the standard for college football broadcasting,” said McManus. “Together with Gary Danielson he has played a key role in making the SEC ON CBS the highest-rated college football package in America. After an incredible 17 years, he will be handing the reigns off to Brad, who in his own right is highly acclaimed and respected as one of the premier play-by-play broadcasters in the business. I am very pleased that Verne will still have a prominent role in our college basketball and major championship golf coverage. We are fortunate to have one more football season to appreciate Verne’s one-of-a-kind storytelling as we pave the way for a seamless and smooth transition to Brad.”
“Being a part of the SEC ON CBS since 2000 has been the most significant assignment I’ve been given in my more than five decades in this business,” said Lundquist. “Now, it’s time to step back and take in the aroma of those tulips, those roses, and those daffodils that friends have been telling me about for years. In 2017, I’ll happily step aside from college football and welcome Brad to the booth. I’ve known Brad for more than 30 years and have always admired his work ethic and his on-air presence. He shares the same passion for college football that I do. The SEC ON CBS is in great hands. Brad and Gary will form a great partnership in the years ahead.”
“Verne has been a friend for over 30 years and someone I've always looked up to in this business,” said Nessler. “I'm not replacing him as it would be impossible to replace Verne. I am truly honored to carry on where he leaves off and work to maintain the standard of excellence he has set calling the SEC ON CBS. I am excited to rejoin the CBS Sports team this season and look forward to working alongside Gary again in 2017.”
“Verne is a legend in this business,” said Danielson. “I am extremely thankful to have had the opportunity to sit next to him for the past decade calling SEC games and so grateful that Verne gets to finish his football career calling the last play the way he wanted. I am thrilled with the news that my former partner will join us in 2017. I look forward to picking up right where we left off.”
Lundquist has broadcast more than 20 different sports for CBS Sports during his legendary career. He was named lead play-by-play announcer for the SEC ON CBS in 2000. He has served as play-by-play announcer for CBS Sports’ coverage of NCAA basketball, including the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship for 31 years. Lundquist was the lead play-by-play announcer for figure skating at the 1992, 1994 and 1998 Olympic Winter Games, called NFL games for 13 years and also had extensive involvement in CBS Sports’ previous coverage of the NBA.
The over 20 different sports he has broadcast for CBS include track and field, swimming and diving, boxing, volleyball, gymnastics, soccer, weightlifting, freestyle skiing, archery, horse racing and horse jumping, and was a regular member of the Network's golf team (1983-95). In May, Lundquist was honored with the Sports Emmy Award for Lifetime Achievement. In 2007, Lundquist was inducted into the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association Hall of Fame.
Nessler returns to CBS Sports after previously working for the Network beginning in 1990 on college football and men’s and women’s basketball, including the NCAA Division I Women’s Championship game, and NFL games. He also was the network’s host for speed skating coverage at the 1992 Olympic Winter Games in Albertville, France.
Nessler joins CBS after a 24-year career at ESPN. He began with ESPN in1992, and added ABC assignments in 1997 while continuing to handle college football and basketball games for both ABC and ESPN. Nessler most recently called the ESPN College Football Primetime game on Saturday nights and the College Football Playoff semifinals. From 1992-97, Nessler called college basketball games, and also Big Ten and Thursday night football for ESPN. In 1997, he began calling college football for ABC; including the Bowl Championship Series title game, as well as college basketball. He also served as play-by-play announcer for the NFL’s Thursday Night Football package on NFL Network from 2011-13.