Verne Lundquist

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Verne Lundquist
Verne Lundquist in 2009.jpg
Lundquist at the 2009 NCAA Tournament.
Merton Laverne Lundquist Jr.

(1940-07-17) July 17, 1940 (age 78)
Residence Steamboat Springs, Colorado
Sports commentary career
Genre(s) Play-by-play
Sports American football, basketball, golf

Merton Laverne "Verne" Lundquist Jr. (born July 17, 1940) is an American sportscaster.


Early life and career

Lundquist was born in Duluth, Minnesota.[1] He graduated from Austin High School in Austin, Texas,[2] before attending Texas Lutheran University (formerly Texas Lutheran College), where he was one of the founders of the Omega Tau Fraternity in 1958 before graduating in 1962.[3] He is now a member of the Board of Regents for his alma mater.[4]

Lundquist attended Augustana Seminary in Rock Island, Illinois in 1962. His father was a Lutheran pastor and President of the Nebraska Synod of the Augustana Lutheran Church.[5] Lundquist played basketball and baseball and was a disc jockey at WOC, Davenport, Iowa.[6] His 'Golden Voice' was the highlight of the seminary class on preaching.

He began his broadcasting career as sports anchor for WFAA in Dallas[7] and in Austin for KTBC,[8] as well as being the radio voice of the Dallas Cowboys. Lundquist joined the Cowboys Radio Network in 1967[9] and remained with the team until the 1984 season. He was paired with future (and now current) play-by-play man Brad Sham starting with the 1977 season, the year the Cowboys went 12–2 and captured their second NFL title in Super Bowl XII.[10] He was sportscaster at WFAA during their 6pm news, while his eventual successor Dale Hansen did the 10pm news.[11]

Before becoming a nationwide sports commentator, from 1970 to 1974, Lundquist was commentator for the sports show, Bowling for Dollars, in Dallas, Texas. It aired weekday evenings on the ABC station, WFAA-TV, from 6:30 to 7:00, in north central Texas.[12] During these four seasons, Lundquist started interviewing Cowboys players and their first head coach, Tom Landry, at their sidelines, during halftimes, practices, pre-season and pre-game warm-ups, in Dallas.[13]

Network assignments

Nationally, Lundquist worked for ABC Sports from 1974 to 1981, CBS from 1982 to 1995, and TNT cable from 1995 to 1997 before returning to CBS in 1998.[14] Lundquist's patented belly laugh and his contagious enthusiasm for the events he covers have made him one of the more prominent and recognizable on-air talents in network TV.[15]

He is among the key voices of NFL Films, and in past years had called regional NFL games for CBS, NBA games for CBS and TNT, and TNT's Sunday Night Football telecasts.[16] He called television play-by-play on Seattle Seahawks preseason games from 2006 to 2008.[17]

During the 1992, 1994, and 1998 Winter Olympics, whose rights were held by CBS and TNT, Lundquist and Scott Hamilton served as the announcers for figure skating events.[18] Their performances were parodied by Saturday Night Live cast members Phil Hartman and Darrell Hammond (as Lundquist) with Dana Carvey, David Spade, and Will Ferrell (both as Hamilton): in 1992 with Jason Priestley and 1994 with Nancy Kerrigan and Chris Farley. They did a spoof of the Olympics figure skating events, as both Hartman and Myers went "Oh!" when Priestly or Farley (in a pre-recorded performance) did an on-ice pratfall. Lundquist, after seeing the original footage in 1992, commented that Hartman "nailed it dead on."[19]

After his return to CBS, Lundquist served as the long-time lead play-by-play announcer for CBS Sports' coverage of college football on the SEC on CBS from 2000–2016.[20]

Lundquist retired from broadcasting college football games after calling the Army–Navy Game on December 10, 2016.[21] He planned to contribute to other CBS Sports programs, including its college basketball and golf coverage, for the foreseeable future.[22]

In March 2018, Lundquist announced he would not work the 2018 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament, as he was still recovering from back surgery he had in November 2017, and would retire from calling college basketball.[23]

Despite his retirement from calling college football and basketball, Lundquist remains active as an announcer, calling The Masters and the PGA Championship for CBS Sports in 2018.[24]

Currently, Lundquist resides in Steamboat Springs, Colorado.[25]

Memorable calls

Lundquist played himself commentating on golf tournaments in the 1996 motion picture Happy Gilmore.[26] Lundquist was a play-by-play announcer in the NBA Live 98 video game[27] and was also the play-by-play announcer in the College Hoops 2K8 video game.[28] A famous pet phrase Lundquist uses on occasion is "How do you DO!"; on a huge offensive or defensive play, a phrase he took from USC football broadcaster Pete Arbogast (who in turn took the phrase from venerable broadcaster Vin Scully).[29] Lundquist also often exclaims "Oh My Gosh!" or "Oh My Goodness!" Lundquist filled in for Ernie Johnson Jr. as host of TNT's coverage of the PGA Championship twice, in 2006 as Johnson was battling cancer, and in 2011 when Johnson left after the second round following the death of his father on that Friday night.[30]

  • February 25, 1994: While calling figure skating at the Winter Olympics, Lundquist called one of the most watched sports events in history. The ladies free skate portion of the 1994 Olympics drew Super Bowl type television ratings because of the hyped Tonya Harding and Nancy Kerrigan debacle. The drama unfolded that evening as Tonya Harding begin her free skate, then quit 45 seconds into her program, and went crying to the judges table of a broken skate lace. She was granted permission to fix her skate and start her free skate later in the evening. During the ordeal, he said:
  • September 16, 2000: In his first college football game called on CBS, a rivalry game between the #6-ranked Florida Gators and the #11-ranked Tennessee Volunteers at Neyland Stadium, Florida quarterback Jesse Palmer threw a pass to wide receiver Jabar Gaffney that was caught in the end zone on second-and-goal in the final seconds of the fourth quarter, only to have it stripped instantly by Tennessee cornerback Willie Miles. The line judge official signaled a touchdown, and the call was confirmed although replays showed that Gaffney did not gain complete possession of the football. The winning score gave the Gators a 27–23 win in Knoxville, Tennessee, and Lundquist described the play:
  • October 7, 2006: While calling a college football rivalry game on CBS between the #5-ranked Florida Gators and the #9-ranked LSU Tigers, Florida quarterback Tim Tebow completed a one-yard touchdown to Tate Casey on the "jump pass" in the final seconds of the first half to help give the Gators a 14–7 lead:
  • November 11, 2006: While calling a college football game on CBS between the #6-ranked Florida Gators and the unranked South Carolina Gamecocks, Florida defensive end Jarvis Moss blocked a game-winning 48-yard field goal attempt by South Carolina kicker Ryan Succop to keep the Gators' national championship hopes alive:
  • October 24, 2009: While calling a college football rivalry game on CBS between the #1-ranked Alabama Crimson Tide and the unranked Tennessee Volunteers, Alabama defensive tackle Terrence Cody blocked a game-winning 44-yard field goal attempt by Tennessee kicker Daniel Lincoln to keep the Tide's national championship hopes alive:
  • November 30, 2013: While calling a college football game on CBS between #1-ranked Alabama and #4-ranked Auburn, a fierce in-state rivalry known as "The Iron Bowl," Auburn cornerback Chris Davis returned a missed 57-yard field goal attempt by Alabama placekicker Adam Griffith with 0:01 remaining 100 yards for a game-winning touchdown on the game's final play. Known as the Kick Six, the play gave Auburn a 34–28 victory and a spot in the 2013 SEC Championship Game. Lundquist described the play, available on YouTube:
  • October 1, 2016: While calling a college football rivalry game on CBS between #11-ranked Tennessee and #25-ranked Georgia at Sanford Stadium, Tennessee quarterback Joshua Dobbs completed a Hail Mary pass to wide receiver Jauan Jennings with no time remaining in regulation play to give Tennessee a 34-31 victory, only 10 clock seconds after Georgia had scored a 47-yard touchdown to secure the lead and presumably the win:


At the 2005 Sun Bowl, Lundquist was inducted into the Sun Bowl Hall of Fame along with former UCLA Bruins football coach Terry Donahue.[39]

From 1977–1983, the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association named Lundquist as Texas Sportscaster of the Year for his accomplishments from his time in Dallas. The organization later inducted him into its Hall of Fame in 2007.[40]

In broadcasting circles, Lundquist is affectionately known as "The Golden Throat".[41]

In May 2012, Lundquist delivered the commencement address at Hampden-Sydney College, an honor he calls "one of the true achievements of my lifetime."[42]

Lundquist is on the Board of Directors of the summer music festival, Strings Music Festival in Steamboat Springs, Colorado.[43]

On October 22, 2016, Lundquist was a Celebrity Guest Picker on College GameDay on ESPN.[44]

Broadcasting partners

Lundquist has had many broadcasting partners over his long career, including:


  1. ^ Nowacki, Jon. "Duluth-born Lundquist chose broadcasting over the ministry 50-plus..." Duluth News-Tribune. Retrieved 2017-11-11.
  2. ^ Strege, John. "Ben Crenshaw, old friend Verne Lundquist pay tribute to one another - Golf Digest". Golf Digest. Retrieved 2017-11-11.
  3. ^ "Verne Lundquist named Outstanding Contributor to College Football". Texas Lutheran University. Retrieved 2017-11-11.
  4. ^ "Verne Lundquist". National Football Foundation. Retrieved 2017-11-11.
  5. ^ "Special Awards Salute: Verne Lundquist (CBS Sports), Jake Wade Award Recipient". CoSIDA Conference. Retrieved 2017-11-11.
  6. ^ Blevins, Dean. "Dean's List: 1-on-1 With "Golden Throat" Verne Lundquist". Retrieved 2017-11-11.
  7. ^ "Storied career: Ex-Cowboys announcer and WFAA-TV sports anchor Verne Lundquist made SEC football his legacy". SportsDay. 2016-12-02. Retrieved 2017-11-11.
  8. ^ "Austin's Lundquist to call his 26th Masters for CBS". Statesman. Retrieved 2017-11-11.
  9. ^ Hot Seat: Verne Lundquist. The Dallas Morning News, January 31, 2009. Retrieved February 4, 2009.
  10. ^ "Brad Sham, Voice of the Cowboys: He says a lot because he's seen a lot". Star-Telegram. Retrieved 2017-11-11.
  11. ^ "The Spirit of Tension". D Magazine. Retrieved 2017-11-11.
  12. ^ Hall, Spencer. "An interview with Uncle Verne". Retrieved 2017-11-11.
  13. ^ "Verne Lundquist returns to his roots as Cowboys' radio voice". Star-Telegram. Retrieved 2017-11-11.
  14. ^ Deitsch, Richard. "Verne's Last Call: The voice of the SEC prepares to sign off". Retrieved 2017-11-11.
  15. ^ "Internet reacts to Verne Lundquist calling the final SEC game of his career". SEC Country. 2016-12-03. Retrieved 2017-11-11.
  16. ^ "CBS Sports TV Team". CBS Sports. Retrieved March 28, 2010.
  17. ^ "Lundquist has ties to Everett". 2004-08-19. Retrieved 2017-11-11.
  18. ^ "Longtime CBS Sportscaster Verne Lundquist Signs Off". Retrieved 2017-11-11.
  19. ^ "Jason Priestly/Teenage Fanclub". IMDB. 1992-02-15. Retrieved 2017-11-11.
  20. ^ "CBS Press Express". Retrieved 2017-11-11.
  21. ^ "Verne Lundquist tears up as he says goodbye to college football after Army-Navy game". For The Win. 2016-12-10. Retrieved 2017-11-11.
  22. ^ Pergament, Alan (March 15, 2016). "CBS' Verne Lundquist, 'The Golden Throat,' still very much in the game". The Buffalo News. Retrieved March 15, 2016.
  23. ^ "Verne Lundquist steps away from CBS' college hoops booth". March 5, 2018.
  24. ^
  25. ^ Stensland, Matt. "Steamboat's Verne Lundquist to appear on CBS Morning Show". Steamboat Today. Retrieved 2017-11-11.
  26. ^ "Verne Lundquist didn't know what 'Happy Gilmore' was about until he saw it". Retrieved 2017-11-11.
  27. ^ NBA LIVE '98.
  28. ^ Plummer, Robert. "Review: College Hoops 2k8 (Xbox 360)". The Escapist. Retrieved 2017-11-11.
  29. ^ Ourand, John. "Verne Lundquist: "How DO you do?"". Retrieved 2017-11-11.
  30. ^ Weinraub, Jake. "Longtime Braves announcer Ernie Johnson Sr. dies at 87". Reuters. Retrieved 2017-11-11.
  31. ^ Lechner, Matt (February 21, 2012). "The 5 Worst Drops in NFL History". Bleacher Report. Retrieved November 27, 2013.
  32. ^ "Yes Sir! Jack Nicklaus and the '86 Masters – Trailer". June 10, 2013. Retrieved November 27, 2013.
  33. ^ "Christian Laettner The Shot 1992 Duke vs. Kentucky Basketball". January 29, 2013. Retrieved November 27, 2013.
  34. ^ "Golf-Tiger Woods Chip at the 2005 Masters". May 14, 2011. Retrieved November 27, 2013.
  35. ^ "2006: No. 11 George Mason over No. 1 UConn 86–84 (OT)". February 1, 2013. Retrieved November 27, 2013.
  36. ^ "Miracle Catch! Auburn Game Winning TD vs Georgia". November 16, 2013. Retrieved November 24, 2013.
  37. ^ "2013 Iron Bowl ending HIGH DEFINITION Auburn beats Alabama". November 30, 2013. Retrieved December 1, 2013.
  38. ^ "Tennessee Hail Mary vs. Georgia". 2016-10-01. Retrieved 2017-11-11.
  39. ^ "Verne Lundquist". Sun Bowl. Retrieved 2017-11-11.
  40. ^ "'Oh, my!' Verne Lundquist to step down as famed SEC on CBS college football announcer". The Advocate. Retrieved 2017-11-11.
  41. ^ Blevins, Dean. "Dean's List: 1-on-1 With "Golden Throat" Verne Lundquist". Retrieved 2017-11-11.
  42. ^ Deitsch, Richard. "One-on-One with ... Verne Lundquist CBS ANNOUNCER". Retrieved 2017-11-11.
  43. ^ "Board of Directors - Strings Music Festival". Strings Music Festival. Retrieved 2017-11-11.
  44. ^ "Verne Lundquist will be 'College GameDay' guest picker for Texas A&M at Alabama". Retrieved 2017-11-10.
  45. ^ Sandomir, Richard (2010-02-01). "Like Second Nature, Obama Turns Basketball Commentator". The New York Times. Retrieved 2017-11-11.
  46. ^ Bracht, Mel (2015-03-25). "CBS announcer Verne Lundquist gives Michigan State an edge in the Syracuse Regional". Retrieved 2017-11-12.
  47. ^ Dooley, Pat. "Q&A with Verne Lundquist". Retrieved 2017-11-12.
  48. ^ Gray, David. "Verne Lundquist, Gary Danielson revel in their unique partnership leading to another LSU-Alabama matchup". Retrieved 2017-11-12.
  49. ^ Walker, Dave. "CBS' Verne Lundquist, Gary Danielson and Tracy Wolfson prepare for LSU-Florida game". Retrieved 2017-11-12.
  50. ^ Steinberg, Dan (2013-03-29). "Verne Lundquist, Bill Raftery and staying young". Washington Post. Retrieved 2017-11-12.
  51. ^ Stewart, Larry (1995-08-11). "Lundquist Revisits Past Experiences". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2017-11-12.
  52. ^ "RLR - Verne Lundquist Biography". Retrieved 2017-11-12.
  53. ^ "CBS Sports drops Billy Packer as lead college basketball analyst". Retrieved 2017-11-12.
  54. ^ Sandomir, Richard; OMIR. "BACKTALK; Holy Cow! It's 1994 and Fox Rules. Whoa, Nellie!". The New York Times. Retrieved 2017-11-12.
  55. ^ Kent, Milton. "CBS mood positively 'electric' after reconnecting with NFL Intercepting AFC games caps network's comeback from rights turnover in '94". Baltimore Sun. Retrieved 2017-11-12.
  56. ^ Mushnick, Phil (2017-03-19). "One TV hoops analyst stands out by delivering informed calls". New York Post. Retrieved 2017-11-12.
  57. ^ Brinson, Will. "CBS Sports' Dan Dierdorf to retire after 2013 NFL season". Retrieved 2017-11-12.
  58. ^ Stewart, Larry (2000-09-29). "It's Not Whole New Game for Lundquist". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2017-11-12.
  59. ^ Culpepper, Chuck (2014-11-28). "Lundquist has done well by letting the action do most of the talking". Washington Post. Retrieved 2017-11-12.
  60. ^ Rodriguez, Richard. "Brad Sham, Voice of the Cowboys: He says a lot because he's seen a lot". star-telegram. Retrieved 2017-11-12.
  61. ^ Solomon, Jon. "CBS' Verne Lundquist reflects on 50 years and his future: 'I don't want to stay too long'". Retrieved 2017-11-12.
  62. ^ "Purple and gold out for Florida". Retrieved 2017-11-12.
  63. ^ Sprung, Shlomo (2016-03-26). "Despite five decades between them, Verne Lundquist and Allie LaForce are just as close off the air as on". Awful Announcing. Retrieved 2017-11-12.
  64. ^ Sandomir, Richard (2014-03-11). "Turner Gives the Final Four a Local Flavor". The New York Times. Retrieved 2017-11-12.
  65. ^ Jennings, Diane. "Lundquist Ready When Cbs Called". tribunedigital-chicagotribune. Retrieved 2017-11-12.
  66. ^ Tannenwald, Jonathan. "CBS' Verne Lundquist spins tales of his favorite NCAA tournament moments". Retrieved 2017-11-12.
  67. ^ Horn, Barry (2015-07-17). "Hot Air: Brad Sham won't call Cowboys' opener, so KRLD turns to a familiar voice". SportsDay. Retrieved 2017-11-12.
  68. ^ Curtis, Bryan. "Yes, Verne!". The Ringer. Retrieved 2017-11-12.
  69. ^ "CBS ANNOUNCERS AT THE MASTERS® (1956 – 2013)". CBS Express.
  70. ^ Dodd, Dennis. "Full of stories and emotion, college football bids farewell to Verne Lundquist". Retrieved 2017-11-12.
  71. ^ Kaufmann, Martin (2017-08-12). "2017 PGA Championship TV blog: Slow starts have become norm". Golfweek. Retrieved 2017-11-12.
  72. ^ "David Feherty joins Verne Lundquist for Front Row on April 4 in San Antonio". Retrieved 2017-11-12.
  73. ^ Bierly, Mandy. "Scott Hamilton: The 5 most memorable Olympic figure skating falls". Retrieved 2017-11-12.
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