ESPN has found its new play-by-play guy for Monday Night Football: Sean McDonough will join color commentator Jon Gruden in the booth starting in the fall. The company veteran replaces Mike Tirico, who is leaving the Worldwide Leader to join NBC Sports.
McDonough, the son of Will McDonough, has been with ESPN since 2000 after an earlier stint from 1989-95. He has worked the World Series, NCAA Final Four and the Olympic Games along with such major properties including college football, college basketball and Major League Baseball in recent years. He has also called NFL games for ESPN Radio since 2013.
“This is a dream come true,” said McDonough, who will make his MNF debut with Pro Football Hall of Fame game, which kicks off the NFL preseason on August 7. “One of my favorite memories of my childhood was watching Monday Night Football with my dad, who I know is smiling down on me today.”
McDonough will be only the fifth person to hold the MNF play-by-play job in the 46-year history of the franchise after Keith Jackson, Frank Gifford, Al Michaels and Tirico.
“Sean is a premier play-by-play commentator who combines a signature voice with intelligence, passion and humor, and he always brings out the best in his partners,” said John Wildhack, ESPN EVP Programming and Production. “Monday Night Football has a rich history and a bright future ahead with our new booth team of Sean and Jon.”
Meanwhile, NBC introduced Tirico in a conference call with reporters today. He officially joins the network July 1, and NBC Sports Executive Producer Sam Flood said he will contribute to NBC’s “NFL, Olympics and golf coverage,” but specific duties were not announced, pending completion of his tenure at ESPN. Tirico also is expected to work on such sports as tennis and soccer, but as for sports NBC doesn’t cover that Tirico has been associated with, “I will miss the NBA and college basketball, but I’ll be a fan,” he said.
“I’ll continue to be an ESPN fan for life and continue to watch,” said Tirico, who joined that network in 1991.