ESPN announced today that longtime ESPN commentator Holly Rowe will join the ABC Saturday Night Football team this fall. Rowe will take on the sideline reporter role for the franchise, joining play-by-play commentator Chris Fowler and analyst Kirk Herbstreit as she kicks off her 26th season covering college football for ESPN and ABC. She will begin her new duties in August as part of her existing multi-year contract, and this new assignment continues Rowe’s reporting presence from kickoff of the college football season through the conclusion of the College Football Playoff.
“For more than two decades, Holly has been a well-respected member of ESPN, establishing herself as one of college sports’ best ambassadors in the process,” said Lee Fitting, ESPN senior vice president of production. “Holly’s dedication to her work is indisputable, and the knowledge, passion and professionalism she brings to her craft every day shines through.”
Covering a wide variety of sports for ESPN, Rowe joined the network full time in August 1998 after appearing on select ESPN telecasts in 1997 and ABC Sports in 1995-96. In addition to her college football responsibilities, Rowe is one of the lead ESPN reporters on Big Monday men’s college basketball, the NCAA Women’s Final Four, the Women’s College World Series, NCAA indoor and beach volleyball national championships, collegiate gymnastics and the WNBA.
“When they told me, I just started crying because I’ve been obsessed with college football my entire life,” Rowe said. “It’s a dream come true and I’m thankful to my bosses for this opportunity. I’m starting my 26th season covering games on ABC and ESPN, and it’s been long years filled with hard work. I’m excited to join what’s been established as the best team in college football with Chris and Kirk, and I hope to be the world’s best teammate to them.
“Early in my career, I would cover the NCAA Division III National Championship every year and I met a legendary coach named Frosty Westering,” Rowe added. “His quote for life was ‘make the big time where you are’ so you’re not always chasing the big time. I’ve adopted that as my personal mantra and I’ve tried to make the ‘big time’ where I am, putting my heart and soul into every show and every game. It’s really special for that to finally pay off and I’m just grateful, honored and humbled.”
The full roster of ESPN college football commentators for the 2021 season will be announced in the coming weeks.