NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — Verne Lundquist will step down from calling Southeastern Conference football for CBS after the coming season, with Brad Nessler replacing him.
“Now, it’s time to step back and take in the aroma of those tulips, those roses, and those daffodils that friends have been telling me about for years,” the 75-year-old Lundquist said in a release from CBS on Tuesday.
He will still announce college basketball and golf after 2016, including the NCAA Tournament and the Masters. Lundquist, who is in his 53rd year of working in television, started calling “SEC on CBS” broadcasts in 2000. As the conference went on its run of national championships, Lundquist was the voice of many of college football’s biggest games and moments season after season.
He called it “the most significant assignment I’ve been given in my more than five decades in this business.”
Nessler rejoins CBS after 24 years at ESPN. He had most recently been calling the Saturday night college football games on ESPN. Before joining Gary Danielson in the booth in 2017, Nessler will announce some SEC games this fall in weeks when CBS airs two of the conference’s matchups.
Nessler and Lundquist have known each other for more than three decades.
“I am truly honored to carry on where he leaves off and work to maintain the standard of excellence he has set,” Nessler said.
Lundquist said he had always admired Nessler’s “work ethic and his on-air presence.”
“He shares the same passion for college football that I do,” Lundquist added.
Added CBS Sports Chairman Sean McManus: “Verne has set the standard for college football broadcasting. 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.”
(TM and © Copyright 2016 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2016 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)