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ESPN officially announced on Monday, May 9 that veteran sports announcer Sean McDonough will become the new play-by-play voice for ESPN’s Monday Night Football. He becomes just the fifth person to occupy the play-by-play position in the 46-year history of MNF, joining broadcasting stalwarts Keith Jackson, Frank Gifford, Al Michaels and Mike Tirico, who called for the past ten seasons on ESPN. As reported last month, Tirico is headed to NBC.
McDonough, turning 54 years old on May 13, joins MNF from the college ranks where he has been a top play-by-play commentator on Saturday afternoon ABC college football and ESPN’s Big Monday ACC basketball games. McDonough recently called the NCAA Final Four for ESPN International, and he has also provided play-by-play for ESPN for Major League Baseball, NHL, tennis, golf, the College World Series and other college sports.
Prior to ESPN, McDonough was the television play-by-play announcer for the Boston Red Sox from 1988-2004. He also spent 10 years at CBS Sports when he was the network’s lead college football play-by-play announcer from 1997 to 1999.
As CBS’s lead Major League Baseball broadcast voice in 1992 and 1993, he called the All-Star Game, the National League Championship Series and the World Series.
McDonough’s other CBS assignments included a diverse array of sports – men’s and women’s college basketball, NFL, golf, U.S. Open Tennis and the Olympic Winter Games.
McDonough has been with ESPN since 2000 – his second stint with the company (previously 1989-95) – and recently signed a new extension.
“Sean is a premier play-by-play commentator who combines a signature voice with intelligence, passion and humor, and he always brings out the best in his partners,” said John Wildhack, ESPN Executive Vice President, Programming and Production. “Monday Night Football has a rich history and a bright future ahead with our new booth team of Sean and Jon [Gruden].”
“This is a dream come true,” said McDonough, who will make his MNF debut at the Pro Football Hall of Fame game in Canton, Ohio, on Aug. 7. “One of my favorite memories of my childhood was watching Monday Night Football with my Dad, who I know is smiling down on me today. I am humbled and deeply honored to have the opportunity to be a part of the most iconic franchise in the history of sports television.” (Sean’s father was Will McDonough, the longtime sportswriter from the Boston Globe).
In addition to MNF, McDonough will continue his ESPN college basketball assignments after the NFL season.