Brent Musburger, one of the most recognizable voices in sports television, will end his play-by-play career with ABC/ESPN at the end of January, according to an announcement released Wednesday. Musburger, 77, who entered the national spotlight in 1975, will call his final game January 31 on ESPN as the Kentucky Wildcats host Georgia at Rupp Arena.
In his statement, Musberger said, “What a wonderful journey I have traveled with CBS and the Disney company. 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.”
For ABC, ESPN, and the SEC Network, Musburger has hosted or called play-by-play for the NBA, college football, basketball, golf, NASCAR, and IRL races as well as the 2006 FIFA World Cup. He called the Little League World Series from 2000-11, hosted Super Bowl XXV’s pregame and halftime shows, as well as the 1991 Pan Am Games from Cuba.
While working with ESPN Radio, Musburger handled play-by-play duties for NBA games, including the NBA Finals. He also was the original host of its daily “ESPN SportsBeat” segments.
ESPN president John Skipper released a statement about Musberger’s retirement:
“Brent’s presence and delivery have come to symbolize big time sports for multiple generations of fans. When he opens with his signature ‘You are looking live,’ you sit up straight in your chair because you know something important is about to happen. Brent’s catalog of big events is unmatched, and he has skillfully guided us through some of the most dramatic and memorable moments in sports with his authentic and distinctive style. He is one of the best story-tellers to ever grace a sports booth. We and the fans will miss him.”