Here’s the link to my USA Today piece on Verne Lundquist. The great CBS announcer recently celebrated his 50th year in the business.
However, after he graduated college, he almost went into another business.
From the story:
If Verne Lundquist had felt the calling, he might be beginning his 50th year as a minister.
After graduating from Texas Lutheran College in 1962 with a degree in sociology, he had planned to follow in the footsteps of his father. However, after six weeks at the Lutheran School of Theology in Rock Island, Ill., Lundquist realized he didn’t have the dedication or the calling.
“I have six (credit hours) in Greek, which hasn’t come in particularly handy,” Lundquist said.
While preparing for what figures to be a huge season opener for CBS — Alabama at Texas A&M on Sept. 14 — Lundquist, 73, reflected on his milestone anniversary.
“I know it is a cliché, but I can’t believe I’ve done 50 years,” Lundquist said. “I was thinking, ‘How could this have happened?'”
Lundquist inherited his father’s voice skills. He soon put them to use, landing a job at a radio station in his hometown of Austin. Aug. 31, 1963, Lundquist launched a career that has made him among the most popular and enduring broadcasters in the business.
He eventually became a sports anchor in Dallas. In the days before ESPN, he recalled, he was a one-man operation, shooting and editing his own film.
It was his Lundquist’s radio work on Dallas Cowboys games that attracted the attention of the networks. He started at ABC in 1974 and joined CBS in 1982. He is the network’s lead voice on college football and is a fixture on its NCAA basketball tournament coverage.
Lundquist has been part of the familiar soundtrack for both sports. His play-by-play features an easy and engaging style that adds a distinctive texture to the telecasts.
“My role model was Jim McKay,” Lundquist said. “He was the greatest storyteller we’ve ever had. I try to do the same thing.”
There’s more in USA Today. Coming next week, I will have the complete interview with Lundquist.