After 29 years of analyzing college football games nearly every fall Saturday, Bob Griese has decided to retire from the television game, ESPN announced Thursday afternoon.
Griese spent the past 24 years at ABC/ESPN, but began his broadcasting career at NBC in 1982 as an NFL analyst after spending 14 seasons as a Miami Dolphins quarterback. He was also a two-time All-American at Purdue and finished second to Steve Spurrier in the balloting for the 1966 Heisman.
““I’ve had a wonderful career and now it’s time to experience new things,” Griese said. “I’ve had many highlights along the way, from working the NFL’s Super Bowl and college football’s championship games to covering many of my son Brian’s games during his undefeated season in 1997. I want to thank ABC, ESPN and the fans for their support and all the men and women on our TV crews for their patience and support thru the years.”
Griese teamed with the iconic Keith Jackson for 12 years, forming one of the most respected and knowledgeable college football tandems of any generation. The legend applauded Griese as both a broadcaster and as a human being.
“Bob is a great analyst and an even better man,” Jackson said in a statement released by the network. “We liked each other, became very good friends and remain so to this day seeing each other throughout the year. I’m terribly fond of him. I like to think he learned to enjoy it and laugh a little more as time went on. We had the ability to play off each other which isn’t always the case with announcer teams. It worked for us.”
Griese had several memorable moments on-air, including calling his son Brian’s final collegiate game as Michigan’s starting QB in the 1998 Rose Bowl as well as teaming with his son — now an ESPN analyst and dead ringer voice-wise for his dad — to work a game this past season. Griese’s career was remarkable for its lack of controversy, with the rather dubious exception of his infamous “out having a taco” remark during the 2009 season. He was suspended for one game following that “incident”.
While Griese’s on-air performance may have slipped in recent years, he remains one of the best college football analysts of all-time and will be missed in the booth. Especially whenever Craig James litters a TV booth.