Brad Nessler: New Lead Play-By-Play Man For CBS College Football

Dick Vitale, Brad Nessler and Reis Nessler

Instagram @reisnessler

While the majority of college football fans will be miss “Uncle Verne,” or Verne Lundquist, next college football season on CBS, they and the station are getting a well-decorated replacement in Brad Nessler. It was announced earlier this year on May 31 that Nessler would takeover over for Lundquist, beginning with a handful of games in the 2016 season before full-time status in 2017 as the lead play-by-play man. It’s not the first rodeo between CBS and Nessler, as he previously worked for the network from 1990-91. With several stops between then and now, Nessler has extended experience in football and basketball at both of the higher levels.


Born: June 3, 1956 (60-years-old)
Place: St. Charles, Minnesota
Education: Minnesota State University
Spouse: Nancy Nessler
Children: Reis Nessler

Career History


Nessler comes from the ESPN where his duties included NCAA football and men’s basketball. He began at the network in 1992 doing primarily basketball play-by-play until his role expanded in 1997 with ABC Sports football duties. He worked in the shadows of legendary broadcaster Keith Jackson the first few seasons, but in 1999 Jackson scaled back exclusively to West Coast games carving out a larger role for Nessler. From 2006-08 he was the lead caller for the Saturday afternoon contests before taking over primetime duties in 2009 in the 7:45 P.M. EST slot. During this time he worked with some talented sportscasters including his future CBS colleague Gary Danielson. This also included color commentators Bob Griese and Todd Blackledge and sideline reporter Erin Andrews.

In 2011, Nessler was hired by the NFL Network to call Thursday Night Football with Mike Mayock and continued to through the 2013 season before the rights were sold to CBS in 2014.

He had a few cameos with ESPN’s Monday Night Football, specifically from 2009-11 during the annual NFL week 1 doubleheaders. In those years Nessler teamed with Trent Dilfer, Ron Jaworski and Suzy Kobler during those telecasts.

In his earliest years, Nessler had a six year run in Atlanta calling the NFL Falcons as the lead radio man from 1982-88 before assuming the same role for the Minnesota Vikings the following season.

Nessler enjoyed his time in Georgia so much, he has lived there the past 32 years in the Atlanta suburb of Duluth.


Beginning his broadcasting career in radio calling Georgia Tech hoops from 1980-85, Nessler would jumpstart his career with CBS doing men’s and women’s college basketball in 1990. Along with the expanded football duties in 1997 with ESPN, he appeared in more basketball games with the network, including the primetime Saturday afternoon contests. However SuperTuesday and Thursday Night Showcase with Dick Vitale and Sean Farnham has been his most reputable gig with ESPN since beginning the responsibility in 2006.

A cup of coffee from 2002-03 features Nessler’s only run with the NBA, but it did include a lead play-by-play role for the 2003 NBA Finals. However, Nessler was highly criticized for his lack of detail and the ability to bring out the best in his partners Bill Walton and Tom Tolbert.

CBS 2017

Nessler will bring a wealth of experience to the CBS booth starting next spring with NCAA March Madness, and he has publicly stated his anxiousness to do so earlier in June, per Gridiron Now.

“It’s a back-to-the-future kind of deal for me, and I can’t tell you how excited I am to be reunited with Gary. The SEC on CBS’ is the best college football show there is. I’m really looking forward to it.”

Like most, Nessler has had a few blunders in his career, including the Orange Bowl back in 2012:

Despite this mishap CBS and SEC fans will have a very proven play-by-play man for the next several years.

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