Just as NBC confirmed the hiring of Mike Tirico, ESPN decided to make some news of its own. The network announced today that Sean McDonough will replace Tirico in the Monday Night Football booth, working with analyst and former NFL Head Coach Jon Gruden, and sideline reporter Lisa Salters.
He becomes the fifth person to occupy the play-by-play position in the 46-year history of MNF, joining Keith Jackson, Frank Gifford, Al Michaels and Mike Tirico, who called the past 10 seasons on ESPN.
“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 Executive Vice President, Programming and Production. “Monday Night Football has a rich history and a bright future ahead with our new booth team of Sean and Jon.”
“This is a dream come true,” said McDonough, who will make his MNF debut at the Pro Football Hall of Fame game in Canton, Ohio, on Aug. 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. I am humbled and deeply honored to have the opportunity to be a part of the most iconic franchise in the history of sports television.”
Added Gruden: “I have met Sean and I am excited about the opportunity to work with him. Like me, he comes from a family of three boys. Passion for sports has been a way of life for him and his brothers. He’s a seasoned pro, who’s called some of the biggest sporting events, including lots of football. I’m looking forward to getting started.”
McDonough moves to MNF after working as the top play-by-play voice for Saturday afternoon ABC college football, and ESPN’s Big Monday ACC basketball games. His resume includes calling the World Series, NCAA Final Four and the Olympic Games, plus NHL, tennis, golf, the College World Series, and other college sports.
Before joining ESPN, he was the Boston Red Sox television voice from 1988-2004. Additionally, he spent 10 years at CBS Sports serving as the network’s lead college football play-by-play announcer from 1997 to 1999.
In addition to MNF, McDonough will continue his ESPN college basketball assignments after the NFL season.