Kirk Herbstreit

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Kirk Herbstreit
Herbstreit in 2009
Born (1969-08-19) August 19, 1969 (age 52)
OccupationCollege football analyst
Spouse(s)Alison Butler
Children4 sons
College football career
Ohio State Buckeyes
MajorBusiness Administration
Career history
Bowl games
  • Florida Citrus Bowl (1993)
High schoolCenterville (Centerville, Ohio)

Kirk Edward Herbstreit (/ˈhɜːrbstrt/; born August 19, 1969)[1] is an American analyst for ESPN's College GameDay, a television program covering college football and a provider of color commentary on college football games on ESPN and ABC. For his TV work, Herbstreit has won five Sports Emmy Awards in various categories. He also appeared annually as a commentator in EA Sports' NCAA Football until the series was put on hiatus following NCAA Football 14. From 1989 to 1993, Herbstreit was a quarterback for the Ohio State football team. He played in several games his junior season and was the starting quarterback throughout his senior season.

Playing career and subsequent activities in Ohio[edit]

Herbstreit graduated from Centerville High School in Centerville, Ohio, a suburb of Dayton. As a quarterback for the Elks, he was the Ohio Gatorade Player of the Year as a senior. He also was a standout basketball and baseball player.

Herbstreit was the first player to commit to the Ohio State Buckeyes after the hiring of John Cooper as head coach in 1988. Herbstreit was a four-year letter winner as a quarterback at Ohio State University from 1989 to 1993. After waiting his turn as a Buckeye starter behind Greg Frey and Kent Graham, Herbstreit finally led the team as a senior in 1992. That year, he was a co-captain (along with linebacker Steve Tovar) and was voted team MVP. Herbstreit passed for 1,904 yards that season, including four 200-plus yard games, before losing to the Georgia Bulldogs in the Florida Citrus Bowl. Herbstreit set the Ohio State record for pass completions (28) in the rivalry game against Michigan, throwing for 271 yards in a 13–13 tie in 1992. The record stood until 2006, when it was broken by Heisman Trophy winner Troy Smith.[2]

Herbstreit's father, Jim Herbstreit, had been a co-captain (along with offensive tackle Jim Tyrer) of the 1960 Ohio State team, and was later an assistant coach at Ohio State under Woody Hayes. When Herbstreit was named co-captain in 1992, the two became only the second father-and-son duo to have each been Ohio State captains. (James and Jeff Davidson were the first in 1989; Pepper and Dionte Johnson became the third in 2007.) Herbstreit graduated from Ohio State in 1993 with a degree in Business Administration. He lives in Franklin, Tennessee, with his wife and four sons. He also is known for a 2009 case in which he sued the IRS for changing an implied policy of allowing deductions for house donations to the fire department for training purposes.[3]

Herbstreit is actively involved in multiple charities including the Buckeye Cruise for Cancer[4] and The Make A Wish Foundation Ultimate Sports Auction.[5]

Lee Corso and Herbstreit discuss college football on an evening update of ESPN College Gameday in 2007

He has lent his name to the Kirk Herbstreit National Kickoff Classic in Columbus, Ohio, and Arlington, Texas. According to the website, the Kickoff Classic "pits high school teams from the states of Ohio and Texas against prep football powerhouses from across the nation" over the Labor Day weekend. The games in Ohio are usually held at Ohio Stadium, while the games in Texas are held at AT&T Stadium.

Broadcasting career[edit]

In July 2007, Herbstreit served as a panelist for the series Who's Now alongside Keyshawn Johnson and Michael Wilbon.[6] He was nominated for a 1997 Sports Emmy Award as television's top studio analyst.[7] and wrote a weekly in-season column, "Inside The Game With Kirk Herbstreit," for The Sporting News.

A frequent contributor to and ESPN The Magazine,[7] Herbstreit has worked as a color commentator on Thursday Night Football.

Herbstreit joined ESPN in 1996, and has since gained roles as lead analyst on College GameDay with host Rece Davis, Desmond Howard, David Pollack, Lee Corso. He serves as the analyst for ABC’s Saturday college football primetime games alongside former GameDay host and longtime colleague Chris Fowler.

Herbstreit contributes to the 97.1 The Fan, an ESPN Radio affiliate out of Columbus, Ohio.

In 2018, Herbstreit was announced to replace Jon Gruden for night one of ESPN’s NFL Draft coverage, as Gruden left to return to the then-Oakland, now Las Vegas Raiders. When ABC picked up rights to air the first two nights of the Draft, Herbstreit moved to ABC’s coverage with his GameDay colleagues.

In 2020, Herbstreit announced the first game of the Monday Night Football Kickoff Week doubleheader alongside Chris Fowler.[8] A week later, Herbstreit and Rece Davis worked a special Monday Night Football MegaCast on ESPN2 for the Saints-Raiders game - the first ever NFL game to be played in Las Vegas, on the night in which Monday Night Football celebrates its 50th anniversary.

Personal life[edit]

Herbstreit met his wife Alison at Ohio State, where she was a cheerleader.[9] They were married in 1998 and have four sons.[10] The Herbstreits moved from Ohio to Nashville in 2011, but now split their time between there and Cincinnati where their youngest son, Chase, plays quarterback for St. Xavier High School.[11] [12][13] His twin sons, Jake and Tye, were athletes at Montgomery Bell Academy.[14] Tye now plays football as a walk-on at Clemson University.[15] Jake walked on at Clemson before transferring to Ohio State as a preferred walk-on.[11][16]

Awards and honors[edit]

  • Five-time Sports Emmy Award winner[17]
    • Three Outstanding Studio Analyst (2010, 2011, 2019)
    • Two Outstanding Event Analyst (2018, 2020)


  1. ^ "About Kirk Herbstreit". Retrieved October 15, 2012.
  2. ^ "Rushing Records" from the 2011 Ohio State Information Guide
  3. ^ Lynn, Kathy (July 23, 2009). "Herbstreit 'fire' puts focus on IRS dispute". Columbus Dispatch. Archived from the original on July 29, 2012. Retrieved September 7, 2010.
  4. ^ "Buckeye Cruise For Cancer Rises $1.5 Mllion". February 25, 2014. Retrieved October 7, 2021.
  5. ^
  6. ^ Jay Hart. "ESPN has reached new low with "Who's Now?'". The Morning Call. Retrieved July 6, 2021.
  7. ^ a b "Kirk Herbstreit - ESPN Press Room". Retrieved July 6, 2021.
  8. ^ Al-Khateeb, Zac (September 14, 2020). "Why are Kirk Herbstreit, Chris Fowler announcing 'Monday Night Football'?".
  9. ^ Travis, Clay (November 10, 2011). "Kirk Herbstreit: The Face of College Football". Retrieved September 8, 2018.
  10. ^ Cochran, Lee (August 30, 2009). "Word on the 'Streit". Retrieved September 8, 2018.
  11. ^ a b Springer, Scott (August 12, 2021). "Back in the Buckeye State: ESPN's Kirk Herbstreit living again in Ohio for youngest son's high school". The Columbus Dispatch. Retrieved August 21, 2021.
  12. ^ Schrotenboer, Brent (December 28, 2019). "Family feud at the Fiesta Bowl: ESPN's Kirk Herbstreit having 'surreal' week". USA TODAY.
  13. ^ Terranova, Justin (September 21, 2017). "Inside look at Kirk Herbstreit's insane college football Saturdays". New York Post. Retrieved September 8, 2018.
  14. ^ Murphy, Michael (December 1, 2017). "Twin sons of Kirk Herbstreit among 10 sets of brothers for Montgomery Bell Academy football". The Tennessean. Retrieved September 8, 2018.
  15. ^ "#86 Tye Herbstreit - Football - Clemson University Athletics". Clemson University Athletics. April 2, 2019. Retrieved September 14, 2021.
  16. ^ "ZAK HERBSTREIT". Ohio State Buckeyes. Ohio State University. June 25, 2021. Retrieved September 14, 2021.
  17. ^ ESPN wins eight Sports Emmy Awards to lead industry - ESPN Press

External links[edit]