Merton Laverne "Verne" Lundquist, Jr. (born July 17, 1940) is an Americansportscaster, currently employed by CBS Sports. He is the lead play-by-play announcer for CBS Sports' coverage of college football and for that network's coverage of NCAA Basketball, including the NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Championship. He provides commentary for the Masters and the PGA Championship, among other PGA TOUR events.
Lundquist was born in Duluth, Minnesota. He graduated from Austin High School in Austin, Texas, before attending Texas Lutheran University (formerly Texas Lutheran College), where he was one of the founders of the Omega Tau Fraternity (ΩΤ) in 1958 before graduating in 1962. (He is now a Member of the Board of Regents for his alma mater.)
He began his broadcasting career as sports anchor for WFAA in Dallas and in Austin for KTBC, as well as being the radio voice of the Dallas Cowboys. Lundquist joined the Cowboys Radio Network in 1967 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 (winning the first 8 games of the season) and captured their second NFL title in Super Bowl XII.
Nationally, Lundquist worked for ABC Sports from 1974–81, then moved to CBS (1982–95) and TNT cable (1995–97) before returning to CBS in 1998. Lundquist was featured as himself commenting on the golf games in the movie Happy Gilmore.
Before becoming a nationwide sports commentator, from 1970–74, Lundquist was commentator for the sports show, Bowling for Dollars, in Dallas, Texas. It aired weekday evenings on the ABC station, WFAA-TV, from 6:30–7:00, in north central Texas. During these 4 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. Lundquist currently does play-by-play for CBS college football (teaming with Gary Danielson on the network's broadcast of Southeastern Conference games) and college basketball action, as well as The Masters and PGA Championship golf tournaments. He is also 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'sSunday Night Football telecasts. He called television play-by-play on Seattle Seahawks preseason games from 2006–08. 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.
Lundquist played himself commentating on tournaments in the 1996 motion pictureHappy Gilmore. Lundquist was a play-by-play announcer in the NBA Live '98 video game and was also the play-by-play announcer in the College Hoops 2K8 video game. 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). 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.
Fourth-and-18 … lets it GO … OH MY GOSH! OH MY GOSH! OH NO! Ricardo Louis! Talk about a Hail Mary.
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 that gave Auburn a 34-28 victory. Lundquist described the play:
On the way … No. Returned by Chris Davis. Davis goes left. Davis gets a block. Davis has another block. Chris Davis! No flags! Touchdown, Auburn! An answered prayer!