ESPN veteran host and play-by-play caller, Rece Davis, has signed a multi-year agreement with ESPN through 2021 that includes taking over full-time hosting duties from Chris Fowler for the network’s popular College GameDay Built by The Home Depot in 2015. In addition, he will continue to host ESPN’s College GameDay Covered by State Farm basketball road show. Davis will relinquish his role in the Thursday night ESPN College Football Primetime booth but call select bowl games and retain his weekly play-by-play duties for college basketball.
John Wildhack, ESPN executive vice president, programming and production, said, “This agreement reflects our belief that Rece Davis is one of the very best in the industry. He’s established himself as a versatile and polished pro. Chris Fowler was instrumental in building College GameDay into an award-winning and iconic program that transcends sports with its excellence, relevance and influence on the public discourse. With Rece on board, we know College GameDay will remain the show of record for college football fans.”
Davis, who has been with ESPN since 1995, will increase his overall presence for the network’s College Football Playoff studio coverage again hosting the Tuesday night rankings show, the Sunday selection show and anchor coverage on-site at the College Football Playoff semifinals and national championship. Also, he will continue to serve as lead host of the network’s Men’s Final Four coverage.
He said, “I’m extremely pleased to continue to call ESPN my professional home. The past 20 years have been extraordinarily rewarding and this new chapter as the host of College GameDay is one I eagerly embrace. I’ve cared deeply about college football my entire life. As a result, I’m humbled and grateful to join the brilliant men and women who have built GameDay into the sport’s defining show.”
Davis added, “I congratulate Chris Fowler, a consummate professional, who has set a standard of excellence while hosting GameDay for 25 years. I wish him continued success in his play-by-play role for Saturday Night Football and the College Football Playoff. As the slogan says, “Get up. It’s GameDay.” I can’t wait to do that.”
Fowler, who has hosted GameDay since 1990, will focus on his ABC Saturday Night Football duties, calling games with analyst Kirk Herbstreit and reporter Heather Cox throughout the fall including a College Football Playoff National Semifinal and the College Football Playoff National Championship. He will continue to host the Heisman Trophy presentation as well as call the world’s biggest tennis events including Wimbledon, French Open, Australian Open and ESPN’s expanded coverage of the US Open beginning this summer.
Fowler said, “I am truly proud and gratified to have hosted College GameDay for the past 25 years, from the humble early days in the studio to its present place on the sports TV landscape. Traveling the country with Lee, Kirk, Desmond, and the whole GameDay family as we shared Saturday mornings with passionate football fans has been professionally and personally rewarding… and unforgettable fun.
In choosing to shift my focus to play-by-play for Saturday Night Football, the College Football Playoff, and the biggest tennis events year-round, it was important to me that GameDay be left in excellent hands. It certainly will be with someone as talented and dedicated as Rece Davis. I know viewers will welcome him and I am excited to watch GameDay‘s continuing evolution.”