Musburger, TCU Rose Bowl announcer, to retire at 77


FILE – This Feb. 12, 2009, file photo shows ESPN announcer Brent Musburger prior to a college basketball game in South Bend, Ind. Musburger has been selected to receive the Vin Scully Lifetime Achievement Award in Sports Broadcasting. (AP Photo/Joe Raymond, File)

By Dean Straka

For the final time, college sports fans across the country will hear the iconic phrase “you are looking live” from sports broadcaster Brent Musburger on Jan. 31.

Musburger, 77, announced Wednesday that he will be retiring from sportscasting, with ESPN’s broadcast of the Kentucky-Georgia NCAA basketball game slated to be his final call.

TCU fans likely remember Musburger as the man who had the call for TCU Football’s 21-19 victory over the Wisconsin Badgers in the 2011 Rose Bowl Game. Musburger was on the call alongside ESPN’s Kirk Herbstreit for the bowl-game annually from 2007-2014, in addition to the BCS National Championship Game during the same stretch.

The sports broadcaster’s retirement ends a legendary 42-year run, one that has seen him in the booth for some of the most memorable moments in sports history. He rose to prominence as the lead sportscaster for CBS in the 1980’s, a position that he held until he was let go by the network in 1990.

In 1990, Musburger joined ABC and called college football and basketball games for the network and ESPN, both of which are owned by parent-company Disney. Musburger was named the network’s lead play-by-play man for college football following the retirement of Keith Jackson in 2006, a position he held until 2014 when he moved over to call games for the SEC Network, also owned by Disney.

Career highlights for Musburger include his calls of former Boston College and NFL quarterback Doug Flutie’s “Hail Mary” against Miami in 1984, former Texas Tech receiver Michael Crabtree’s last-second game-winning touchdown over No. 1 Texas in 2008, and Villanova’s upset over Georgetown in the 1985 NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship.

It is to be determined who will fill Musburger’s slot for play-by-play with ESPN and the SEC Network following his retirement. But if you want to savor that instantly recognizable voice one more time, be sure to tune into ESPN at 8 p.m. next Tuesday for his final show.