Ron Pitts

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Ron Pitts
No. 27, 28
Position: Cornerback
Personal information
Born: (1962-10-14) October 14, 1962 (age 55)
Sterling Heights, Michigan
Height: 5 ft 10 in (1.78 m)
Weight: 175 lb (79 kg)
Career information
High school: Orchard Park (NY)
College: UCLA
NFL Draft: 1985 / Round: 7 / Pick: 169
Career history
Career NFL statistics as of 1990
Games played: 66
Games started: 6
Interceptions: 7
Player stats at NFL.com

Ronald Dwayne Pitts (born October 14, 1962) is a former professional American football player and current sportscaster. He played cornerback in the National Football League for the Buffalo Bills and Green Bay Packers, and played college football at UCLA.[1]

Pitts has worked as a sportscaster and entertainment reporter, and currently works for CBS Sports Network on its college football coverage as a fill-in play-by-play announcer, and as a co-host for the syndicated news magazine OK!TV.

Early life and education

Born in Sterling Heights and raised in Detroit, Pitts is the son of Elijah Pitts, a running back with Vince Lombardi's Green Bay Packers and later a longtime assistant coach in the NFL. The family lived in southern California in the mid-1970s and moved to the Buffalo area in 1978, where he played football at Orchard Park High School and graduated in 1981.

Pitts played college football back in southern California at UCLA under head coach Terry Donahue.[2] Following his senior season in 1984, he played in the Japan Bowl in January, where he intercepted a Mike Tomczak pass late in the game and returned it 99 yards for a touchdown to seal the win for the West team.[3][4]

Playing career

Pitts was selected in the seventh round of the 1985 NFL draft and had a brief playing career in which he played for the Buffalo Bills and the Green Bay Packers. Injured in his first mini-camp, he missed the 1985 season.[1] From 1986 to 1990, Pitts played 66 games at defensive back, starting six times. He had seven career interceptions. One of Pitts's interceptions came off of San Francisco 49ers hall of famer Jerry Rice. In December 1988, he returned a punt for a touchdown against the Phoenix Cardinals.[5]

Broadcasting career

After retiring as a player, Pitts pursued a career in broadcasting. Pitts first joined the newly-formed Fox Sports in 1994. Pitts served as an analyst alongside Kenny Albert (1994), Thom Brennaman (1995-1997) and Ray Bentley (1998-2000). Then, in 2001, Pitts was promoted to lead sideline reporter alongside with Pat Summerall and John Madden. In 2002, however, Pitts was placed back into the booth calling play-by-play of games working alongside Dwight Clark (2002), Marv Levy (2002), John Jurkovic (2002), Dave Krieg (2002), Tim Ryan (2003-2005), Terry Donahue (2006), J.C. Pearson (2006), Jesse Palmer (2006), Tony Boselii (2007-2008), John Lynch (2009-2010), Jim Mora (2011) & Mike Martz (2012). Following 19 years calling games as analyst, sideline reporter & play-by-play announcer, Pitts left Fox Sports following the 2012 NFL season and was later replaced by Kevin Burkhardt. [6] He also co-hosted Under the Helmet (a weekly E/I program full of NFL-related segments for younger viewers) and former Fox Sports Net programs Total Access (whose name was later adopted by NFL Network for its own newscast) and Hardcore Football.

Earlier in his broadcasting career, Pitts worked as a college football analyst for ABC Sports and a correspondent for Black Entertainment Television. In 2014, Pitts joined CBS Sports Network as a play-by-play announcer doing a limited number of games[7]

Acting career

Pitts also had a cameo as a sports commentator in the film Hot Shots! Part Deux. He also appears as an alternate version of himself during the "Eggheads" episode of the American TV series Sliders. He is also mentioned in the 1984 Michael Nesmith movie Repo Man, in a college football radio broadcast heard in the background as the robbers bungle their way out of a store and just before the main characters walk in.

Pitts' voice was featured as an announcer in Microsoft's NFL Fever, a football video game for the original Xbox.

In 2008, Pitts was hired to host a new show on the Discovery Channel named Destroyed In Seconds. The show features video clips of disasters, accidents, and other destructive events, both natural and man-made.

Personal life

His father, Elijah Pitts (1938–1998), was a running back for the Packers and was part of all five NFL championship teams under Lombardi, including the first two Super Bowls. Ron Pitts is mentioned briefly as one of several players' children who visited the Packers' locker room in Jerry Kramer's diary of the 1967 season, Instant Replay. He has two sons, Lee and Shea.

His sister, Kimberly R. Pitts, DO, is a former power lifter and a physician in Southeast Texas.

References

  1. ^ a b Sauerberg, George (September 16, 1988). "Elijah Pitts' son signs with Pack". Milwaukee Journal. p. 1, part 2. 
  2. ^ "UCLA 21, Arizona State 13". Toledo Blade. Ohio. October 28, 1984. p. D6. 
  3. ^ "Long interception return ices West's Japan Bowl triumph". Toledo Blade. Ohio. Associated Press. January 14, 1985. p. 24. 
  4. ^ "Pitts helps West win Japan Bowl". The Dispatch. Lexington, North Carolina. Associated Press. January 14, 1985. p. 14. 
  5. ^ "Pitts' punt return sets tone for win". Milwaukee Sentinel. December 19, 1988. p. 2, part 2. 
  6. ^ http://www.jsonline.com/blogs/sports/218407561.html
  7. ^ http://www.cbspressexpress.com/cbs-sports-network/releases/view?id=40475
  • The ESPN Pro Football Encyclopedia. New York: Sterling, 2006

External links

  • Career statistics and player information from NFL.com · Pro-Football-Reference · 
  • Ron Pitts on IMDb
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