CANTON, OH – Jim Nantz, lead play-by-play announcer for The NFL on CBS, is the 2011 recipient of the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s Pete Rozelle Radio-Television Award, it was announced today. The award, given annually by the Pro Football Hall of Fame recognizes “long-time exceptional contributions to radio and television in professional football.” He is the youngest recipient ever of this award.
Nantz will receive the award on Friday, August 5 during the Enshrinees Dinner. That event is where the Hall of Fame Class of 2011: Richard Dent, Marshall Faulk, Chris Hanburger, Les Richter, Ed Sabol, Deion Sanders, and Shannon Sharpe – will receive their gold Pro Football Hall of Fame jackets.
The Class of 2011 Enshrinement Ceremony takes place the following day at 7:00 PM, ET. On Sunday, August 7, at 8:00 PM, ET, the Chicago Bears and the St. Louis Rams will play in the annual Pro Football Hall of Fame Game.
“It’s one of the greatest honors you could ever receive in our industry,” says Nantz. “I’m grateful to the Pro Football Hall of Fame for this recognition and thrilled to be in the company of the past recipients of the Pete Rozelle Award.”
Nantz also was honored by the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame as its youngest recipient of the Curt Gowdy Media Award in 2002. With the Pete Rozelle Radio-Television Award honor, Nantz joins Dick Enberg and Curt Gowdy as the only broadcasters to be recognized by both the Pro Football Hall of Fame and the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.
Nantz is a two-time Emmy Award-winner for Outstanding Sports Personality – Play-By-Play (2009, 2010) and a five-time National Sportscaster of the Year as voted by the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association (2010, 2008, 2007, 2005 and 1998).
Nantz has covered virtually every sport for the CBS Television Network since joining it in 1985 at the age of 26. He has been the lead play-by-play voice for THE NFL ON CBS since 2004, teaming up with Phil Simms on the Network’s number one NFL and Super Bowl announce team. For six years (1998-2003) he anchored the Network’s NFL pre-game studio show, THE NFL TODAY, and hosted its coverage of the Super Bowl. In addition, Nantz is the anchor of CBS’s golf coverage, including the Mastersâ and the PGA Championship, and lead play-by-play announcer for college basketball, including the NCAA Men’s Division I Basketball Championship and Final Four.
In 2007 Nantz became the first commentator in history to complete the rare broadcasting three-feat – calling Super Bowl XLI (Indianapolis Colts vs. Chicago Bears), the NCAA Men’s Division I Basketball Final Four and the Masters all in a span of 63 days. In 2010 Nantz repeated the rare broadcasting triple beginning with his call of the most-watched program in television history (at the time of its airing), Super Bowl XLIV (New Orleans Saints vs. Indianapolis Colts), followed by the NCAA Men’s Division I Basketball Final Four and the Masters®.
Nantz began his tenure at CBS Sports as the host of the Network’s college football studio show (1985-88). He was lead play-by-play announcer for CBS’s coverage of college football (1989-90) and went on to cover the NFL in 1991. By 1993, he was calling play-by-play for the Network’s second-team coverage of THE NFL ON CBS regular-season and post-season broadcasts. He returned as the lead voice of college football in 1996, calling the National Championship Games for the 1996 and 1997 seasons (Fiesta Bowl; Nebraska vs. Florida, and Orange Bowl; Tennessee vs. Nebraska, respectively). In 1997, he returned to the studio to anchor COLLEGE FOOTBALL TODAY.
In 2008 Nantz co-authored with Eli Spielman the instant New York Times bestseller, Always By My Side. The book climbed to No. 3 on the New York Times list making it the highest ranking achieved that year by a sports category book. Nantz told his personal stories from football, basketball and golf and how he met people along the way who reminded him of the virtues his father instilled in him. The foreword to the book was written by one of his father figures and dear friend, former President George H.W. Bush.
In January 2011 Nantz returned to his adopted hometown of Houston to team with The Methodist Hospital in Houston to create the Nantz National Alzheimer Center (NNAC) in honor of his father. It is an all-inclusive center committed to cutting-edge Alzheimer’s research and treatment in hopes of one day finding a cure. The NNAC (www.nantzfriends.org) also focuses on the connection between concussions and other traumatic brain injuries in athletes and their effects on dementing illnesses.
For Super Bowl XXXVIII in Houston in 2004, Nantz was the Host and Chairman of the first-ever Super Bowl Opening Ceremony and concert spectacular: Super Bowl XXXVIII: A Houston Salute. Nantz created and organized the event with former President George Bush, the chairman of the event.
Nantz was graduated in 1981 with a degree in radio/television from the University of Houston, where he was recruited as a member of the golf team. He received an honorary doctorate of humane letters from his alma mater in May 2001 in recognition of his contributions to his profession and to the university.
He was born May 17, 1959, in Charlotte, N.C. and has one child, Caroline.
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Past recipients of the Pete Rozelle Radio-Television Award include: Bill MacPhail, 1989; Lindsey Nelson, 1990; Ed Sabol, 1991; Chris Schenkel, 1992; Curt Gowdy, 1993; Pat Summerall, 1994; Frank Gifford, 1995; Jack Buck, 1996; Charlie Jones, 1997; Val Pinchbeck, 1998; Dick Enberg, 1999; Ray Scott, 2000; Roone Arledge, 2001; John Madden, 2002; Don Criqui, 2003; Van Miller, 2004, Myron Cope, 2005; Lesley Visser, 2006, Don Meredith, 2007, Dan Dierdorf, 2008, Irv Cross 2009, and Chris Berman 2010