Kirk Herbstreit

Kirk Herbstreit

College Football Analyst

Kirk Herbstreit is college football’s preeminent analyst and one of the most respected football minds of his generation. A five-time Sports Emmy Award winner as Best Analyst, Herbstreit’s name is synonymous with the sport of college football having been a mainstay of ESPN’s coverage for nearly three decades. Herbstreit has served as an analyst on College GameDay Built by The Home Depot since August 1996, and he has been ESPN and ABC’s lead game analyst since 2006. 

Herbstreit has called an annual College Football Playoff Semifinal and every National Championship Game with longtime booth partner Chris Fowler since the CFP era debuted during the 2014 season. Herbstreit previously called seven BCS National Championships (2010-14 on ABC; 2008-09 on ESPN Radio) alongside legendary play-by-play announcer Brent Musburger. He also holds the honor of calling 15 Rose Bowl Games – more than any other analyst – and the national broadcast booth at the iconic Rose Bowl Stadium in Pasadena is dedicated in honor of his family. 

Herbstreit has been a lead analyst on ESPN’s eight-time Sports Emmy Award-winning College GameDay for 26 years, originally joining Fowler and legend Lee Corso on-set. In all, Herbstreit has earned three Sports Emmy Awards for Outstanding Studio Analyst (2010, 2011, 2019) with 10 overall nominations as a leading voice on college football’s premier pregame show.    

In addition to working the three-hour weekly GameDay pregame show, Herbstreit travels to the site of ESPN’s biggest game for ABC Saturday Night Football, which he began when ABC debuted broadcast television’s first weekly prime-time college football series in 2006. In 2018 and 2020, Herbstreit earned the Sports Emmy for Outstanding Event Analyst, and he has been nominated 19 times overall in the category. Herbstreit’s five individual Sports Emmy Award wins (Event and Studio) make him the most decorated on-air commentator in ESPN history. 

Beyond college football, Herbstreit called a pair of NFL games with Fowler for ESPN during the 2020 and 2021 seasons, and in 2022 he teamed with Al Michaels for the inaugural season of Amazon Prime Video’s Thursday Night Football games. Combining his college and NFL assignments during the 2022 football season, Herbstreit called an astounding 33 games and worked 16 GameDay shows in 36 cities over a four-month period. 

Widely respected for his detailed analysis and thoughtful perspective, Herbstreit is also a frequent contributor to SportsCenter, ESPN’s weekly CFP rankings show, ESPN and ABC’s annual NFL Draft presentation, and more. 

Herbstreit joined ESPN in September 1995 as a college football sideline analyst. A year later, he was on College GameDay, and he was a game analyst on the popular ESPN Thursday night college football series from 1999-2006. 

A native of Centerville, Ohio, Herbstreit earned a degree in business administration in 1993 from The Ohio State University, where he was a quarterback and four-year letterman with the Buckeyes (1989-92). As a senior, he was a starter and team captain who was recognized as the team MVP and most motivational player. 

Herbstreit’s father, Jim, was also a player and captain at Ohio State (1958-60). He would later serve as an assistant coach (1960-61 — National Champions in 1961) under legendary head coach Woody Hayes and also coached with Bo Schembechler at Miami (Ohio). Jim and Kirk are one of only two father-son tandems to each serve as captain of their Ohio State teams in the history of the storied program. Three of Herbstreit’s sons – Tye and Jake (Clemson) and Zak (Ohio State) – have played college football and his youngest son, Chase, is a highly-touted high school quarterback who aspires to do the same.  

In 2021, Herbstreit published his memoir, “Out of the Pocket: Football, Fatherhood, and College GameDay Saturdays,” with friend and fellow College GameDay personality Gene Wojciechowski. 


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