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After a career in the broadcasting industry spanning nearly 50 years, Brent Musburger will retire from play-by-play announcing duties on Tuesday, Jan. 31 when he calls the men’s basketball game of the Georgia Bulldogs at the Kentucky Wildcats on ESPN.
“What a wonderful journey I have traveled with CBS and the Disney company,” Musburger stated in an ESPN press release. “A love of sports allows me to live a life of endless pleasure. And make no mistake, I will miss the arenas and stadiums dearly. Most of all, I will miss the folks I have met along the trail. But the next rodeo for me is in Las Vegas. Stop by and we’ll share a cold one and some good stories. I may even buy!”
Born in Portland, Ore., and raised in Montana, Musburger attended Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism before joining the Chicago American. His broadcast career began in 1968 as sports director at WBBM-TV in Chicago. He then moved to Los Angeles as sports anchor and later, co-anchor of the nightly news at KNXT-TV.
Musburger first gained national notoriety with his time on CBS television from 1975 to 1990 as host of “The NFL Today” as well as lead play-by-play announcer for the NCAA Final Four and the NBA on CBS.
He landed at ABC and ESPN in 1990 and there, has since hosted and/or called play-by-play for college football (including seven BCS Championship Games) and basketball, golf, NBA, NASCAR and IRL races and the 2006 FIFA World Cup. He called the Little League World Series from 2000-11. He also hosted Super Bowl XXV’s pre-game and half-time shows as well as the 1991 Pan Am Games from Cuba. He has also been part of ESPN Radio since 1992 and ESPN’s SEC Network since 2014.
Musburger is well known for coining the phrase, as he stated emphatically and enthusiastically to begin an event, “You are looking live…”
Throughout his illustrious career, Musburger has been a part of many of sports’ biggest events with play-by-play or hosting responsibilities (TV or radio) for Super Bowl, College Football Championship, Final Four, Masters, Rose Bowl, Little League World Series, FIFA World Cup, Indianapolis 500, NBA Finals, MLB Playoffs, U.S. Open tennis, Belmont Stakes and much more.
Musburger called the 1985 NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship when Villanova pulled off its historic upset over Georgetown. Fittingly, that game was played at Rupp Arena in Kentucky, site of Musburger’s final scheduled play-by-play telecast January 31, a game he will call with analyst Jay Bilas and reporter Kaylee Hartung.
In November 2016, Musburger was presented with the Vin Scully Lifetime Achievement Award in Sports Broadcasting, presented by Fordham University’s WFUV radio station.
The Associated Press reports that Musburger, who is 77 years old, plans to move to Las Vegas and help his family start a sports handicapping business.