End Of An Era: Verne Lundquist Stepping Down From “SEC On CBS”

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Verne Lundquist, the undisputed greatest college football play-by-play announcer of the last century, is officially stepping down from his duties as CBS’ lead man for its SEC game of the week, per a release from CBS Sports.

Lundquist, an Austin native, has served as the lead man for ‘SEC on CBS’ since 2000. He has been a sports broadcaster for the last 53 years.

From CBS:

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.”

Brad Nessler is a very solid choice as a replacement — but nobody will live up to the standard set by good ol’ Verne. He is an institution in his own right.

Lundquist, who has manned a broadcasting booth since Jesus Christ was a teenager, will be sincerely missed by college football fans nationwide. His chortles and good-natured ribbing of broadcasting partner Gary Danielson was a staple in the Saturday afternoon college football lineup. Verne Lundquist made college football on CBS appointment television. In an industry where it is so easy to hate broadcasters (like the entire fucking team at FOX Sports), having guys like Verne meant hope was not lost.

Luckily, Lundquist isn’t retiring from all of his broadcasting duties. He will continue to call regular season college basketball and professional golf. He’s had some fantastic golf calls over the years, like Tiger’s miracle chip shot at the 2005 Masters.

Cheers to you, Verne. You will be missed every Saturday in the fall, bud.

[via CBS Sports]

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