Gumbel in 2005.
May 3, 1946|
New Orleans, Louisiana, U.S.
|Alma mater||Loras College|
Greg Gumbel (born May 3, 1946) is an American television sportscaster. He is best known for his various assignments on the CBS network (most notably, the National Football League, NBA and NCAA basketball). The older brother of news and sportscaster Bryant Gumbel, he became the first African-American (and Creole) announcer to call play-by-play of a major sports championship in the United States when he announced Super Bowl XXXV for the CBS network in 2001. He is of Creole ancestry. Gumbel is currently a play-by-play broadcaster for the NFL on CBS alongside Trent Green as well as the studio host for CBS' men's college basketball coverage.
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Gumbel was born in New Orleans, Louisiana, the first child of parents Richard Gumbel, a judge, and Rhea Alice LeCesne. As a young man, Gumbel grew up on Chicago's South Side, where he attended and graduated from De La Salle Institute. Before becoming a broadcaster, Gumbel graduated with a B.A. degree in English from Loras College in Dubuque, Iowa where he also played on the baseball team. He also has two sisters, Renee Gumbel-Farrahi and Rhonda Gumbel-Thomas.
In 1973, Greg's brother Bryant Gumbel informed him that a Chicago TV station (WMAQ-TV) was auditioning for a sports announcer. At the time, Greg was selling hospital supplies in Detroit. He ultimately got the job and worked there for seven years. The sportscaster he replaced, Dennis Swanson, went on to become president of ABC Sports.
Prior to his rising to prominence at CBS, Gumbel worked for MSG, ESPN, and WFAN radio in New York City. At ESPN, he anchored the show SportsCenter and did "play-by-play" for early NBA games. On MSG, Gumbel served as a backup announcer for Marv Albert on New York Knicks broadcasts as well as providing coverage for college basketball. When MSG signed a huge contract to broadcast New York Yankees games in 1989, Gumbel served as host of the pregame and postgame shows. In addition to his MSG duties, he was the host of the first radio morning show on radio station WFAN.
First CBS stint
Gumbel's CBS career began with part-time work as an NFL announcer in 1988. Also in 1989, Gumbel began announcing college basketball as well. He became host of The NFL Today (alongside Terry Bradshaw) for the 1990 to 1993 seasons. He also anchored CBS' coverage of Major League Baseball, college football, and, in 1999, CBS' coverage for the Daytona 500.
Besides his hosting duties, Gumbel provided play-by-play for the NBA (alongside Quinn Buckner), Major League Baseball including the 1993 American League Championship Series (alongside Jim Kaat), and College World Series baseball.
Gumbel moved to NBC in 1994 following CBS' losses of the NFL and Major League Baseball broadcasting contracts (Gumbel's last on-air assignment for CBS was providing play-by-play for the College World Series). While at NBC, Gumbel hosted NBC's coverage of the 1994 Major League Baseball All-Star Game. He also did play-by-play for the 1995 Major League Baseball National League Division Series and National League Championship Series (on both occasions, teaming with Joe Morgan), did play-by-play for The NBA on NBC, hosted NBC's daytime coverage of the 1996 Summer Olympics from Atlanta, Georgia, hosted the 1995 World Championships of Figure Skating, and served as the studio host for The NFL on NBC.
Current CBS career
Gumbel left NBC after the network broadcast of Super Bowl XXXII to return to CBS. His first major assignment was to serve as studio host for the network's coverage of college basketball, including the NCAA men's basketball tournament, something he continues to do to this day.
As CBS had just acquired the rights to NBC's previous NFL package, Gumbel joined the broadcast team as the lead announcer with fellow NBC alumnus Phil Simms as his color man. Gumbel was the lead announcer for the NFL on CBS between 1998 and 2003, calling Super Bowls XXXV and XXXVIII. For the 2004 NFL season, Gumbel traded positions with Jim Nantz as host of The NFL Today with Nantz taking over as lead announcer. At the end of the 2005 NFL season, Gumbel was replaced as studio host of The NFL Today by James Brown. Gumbel returned to the broadcast booth as the #2 play-by-play man, replacing Dick Enberg, alongside color man Dan Dierdorf until Dierdorf retired after the 2013–14 NFL season. Gumbel also worked alongside Trent Green in the #3 team as of 2017.
In 1999, Gumbel refused to attend a NASCAR banquet honoring Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, on the basis that he disagreed with Thomas' positions on political issues. He has regularly appeared on Howard Stern's radio show. Along similar lines, Gumbel said of Rush Limbaugh, "I find him someone whose words and opinions I can do without."
Gumbel is the third man to serve as both host and play-by-play announcer for Super Bowls (the first two were Dick Enberg and Al Michaels respectively). He hosted Super Bowls XXVI, XXX, and XXXII before calling Super Bowls XXXV and XXXVIII. Jim Nantz became the fourth man to do so after he called Super Bowl XLI for CBS.
- 1979–1988: ESPN – Reporter, Anchor, Play-by-play
- 1989: MSG Network New York Yankees – Play-by-play
- 1989–1994: College Basketball on CBS – Play-by-play
- 1990–1993; 2004–2005: The NFL Today – Studio host
- 1991: Seattle Mariners Television – Play-by-play
- 1992–1993: Cleveland Cavaliers Television – Play-by-Play
- 1992: Winter Olympics – Weekend morning host
- 1994: Winter Olympics – Primetime host
- 1994: Major League Baseball All-Star Game – Host
- 1994–1995: MLB on NBC – #2 Play-by-play
- 1994–1998: NFL on NBC – Studio host
- 1994–1997: NBA on NBC – #2 Play-by-play
- 1995: World Figure Skating Championships – Host
- 1998–2004: NFL on CBS – Lead play-by-play
- 1998–present: College Basketball on CBS – Studio host
- 1990–1994; 2000–2002: College World Series on CBS – Play-by-play
- 2006–present: NFL on CBS – Play-by-play (2006–2013: #2)
- CBS Sports Team – CBS SportsLine.com
- Issue 44 – Television Sportscasters (African-American)
- Greg Gumbel on IMDb
- Nidetz, Steve (10 June 1994). "Greg Gumbel Finds Saying Farewell Can Be Painful". Chicago Tribune.
- El-Bashir, Tarik (February 15, 1999). "AUTO RACING: NOTEBOOK; Restrictor-Plate Races Are Still Martin's Bane". The New York Times.
- Pergament, Alan (February 19, 1994). "CBS GETTING HIGH MARKS FOR RATINGS, INTERPRETATION". Buffalo News.
- Shister, Gail (May 24, 2000). "Is football making a pass at Limbaugh or just fumbling?". The Philadelphia Inquirer.[permanent dead link]
| The NFL Today host
Tim McCarver and Paula Zahn
| American television prime time anchor, Winter Olympic Games
| Studio host, NFL on NBC
Bob Costas, Dick Enberg, Gayle Gardner and Hannah Storm
| American television daytime anchor, Summer Olympic Games
| Lead play-by-play announcer, NFL on CBS
| Studio Host, College Basketball on CBS
| #2 play-by-play announcer, NFL on CBS
| Super Bowl television play-by-play announcer (AFC package carrier)
Bob Costas (in 1989)
| #2 play-by-play announcer, Major League Baseball on NBC