Hall of Fame basketball analyst and last month’s Sports Emmys Lifetime Achievement Award recipient Dick Vitale has signed a contract extension with ESPN through the 2021-22 season, adding to a recent extension.
“I’m so honored and proud to be a little spoke in the big wheel that ESPN is in the world of sports,” said Vitale. “ESPN is my second family, and all the beautiful people I’ve have the opportunity to work with over the years are so important to me.”
Vitale, who turned 80 earlier this month, will continue working as a game analyst on notable matchups through the regular season and conference championship play. In addition, his spirited contributions and analysis can be seen across ESPN platforms, including SportsCenter and ESPN.com.
“Dick’s passion for college basketball and commitment to the sport over the last four decades is unrivaled,” said Stephanie Druley, ESPN executive vice president of event and studio production. “We are thrilled to have such a great ambassador for the game on our air now and in the future.”
Vitale joined ESPN during the 1979-80 season — just after the network’s September 1979 launch — following a successful coaching career. He called ESPN’s first-ever major NCAA basketball game – Wisconsin at DePaul on Dec. 5, 1979 (a 90-77 DePaul win).
His storied career includes more than a thousand games and his “Vitale-isms” have become part of the sports lexicon, including “Awesome, Baby!,” “Get a TO, Baby!” and “PTP’er.”