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Brent Musburger to retire from ESPN on Jan. 31

Brent Musburger

Photo Credit: Phil Ellsworth / ESPN Images via Associated Press

Longtime play-by-play announcer Brent Musburger will retire from ESPN at the end of the month, he announced Wednesday. He will call his final game – Kentucky vs. Georgia – on Jan. 31.

Musburger told The Associated Press he is leaving sports broadcasting to help his family start a sports handicapping business and to travel for fun.

Since 1990, Musburger has hosted and/or called play-by-play for the NBA, college football and basketball, golf, NASCAR and IndyCar races, and the 2006 FIFA World Cup. He also called the Little League World Series from 2000-2011 and hosted Super Bowl XXV’s pregame and halftime shows. Before that (all done for ABC, ESPN, and the SEC Network), he was the lead voice of CBS Sports.

“Brent’s presence and delivery have come to symbolize big time sports for multiple generations of fans,” ESPN president John Skipper said in a statement. “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.”

He’s had his controversial moments – comments about Oklahoma’s Joe Mixon punching a woman in 2014 – but Musburger is well respected and admired. A member of the National Sports Media Association Hall of Fame, he received the National Football Foundation and College Football Hall of Fame Outstanding Contributor to Amateur Football Award in 2011 and the Vin Scully Lifetime Achievement Award in Sports Broadcasting in November.

“Nothing in the world replaces the friendships I’ve made – with crews and people,” Musburger said. “And that includes the fans. I mean, I’m never alone. Wherever I go, someone’s gonna come up. Someone’s gonna come up and ask about a team. Or a game. Or an experience. I’ve got millions of friends out there, OK?”

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