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March Madness is here, which means that Greg Gumbel, Clark Kellogg, Seth Davis and a host of other talents will grace the CBS Studio desk for the next five weeks, bringing fans the best in NCAA Tournament coverage.
The man who helms the desk, Greg Gumbel, is a long-time fixture at the network and this year’s appearance marks his 25th year of hosting the network’s NCAA men’s basketball tournament studio show.
This week, Gumbel signed a contract extension with CBS, which means that he will continue as the host of the network’s college basketball coverage.
But the extension will also see Gumbel step down from his NFL play-by-play duties. That’s significant as Gumbel has covered the NFL for CBS for 30 years.
He began his career at CBS in October 1989 and stayed until May 1994 when he left for NBC to host the network’s NFL pregame show after CBS lost the rights to the league. He returned in 1998 as host and play-by-play announcer for college basketball and The NFL on CBS.
Gumbel also hosted CBS’ coverage of events such as the 1992 and 1994 Winter Olympics, the College World Series (1989-93 and 2000-02), Major League Baseball and college football.
The soft-spoken Gumbel is also a history-maker.
In 2001, he became the first African American play-by-play announcer to call a Super Bowl, a feat he repeated in 2004. That also made him the first network broadcaster to call play-by-play and host a Super Bowl.
Gumbel followed in the footsteps of another CBS trailblazer, Irv Cross, who passed away in February 2021 at the age of 81. Cross began his career with the network in 1971 and in 1975 he teamed with Brent Musburger, Phyllis George, and Jimmy “The Greek” Snyder on the groundbreaking show The NFL Today, making him the first Black anchor of a network sports show.
Now, after 30 years of NFL coverage, Greg Gumbel is sticking solely to college basketball.
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