Harrah's Broadcast Award

Chris Fowler, Kirk Herbstreit & Lee Corso; ESPN College Game Day

When it comes to broadcasting college football there is only one pre and post game show that is the must see for frenzied football fans and college alumni all over the country. That show is ESPN College GameDay and its hosts are Chris Fowler, Kirk Herbstreit and Lee Corso. The trio receives the 6th Annual Harrah’s Broadcast Award for Sports Broadcaster of the Year.

Since 1989, Chris Fowler has been ESPN's primary college football and men's college basketball studio host. He's anchored College GameDay since 1990. Fowler also serves as host of ESPN Classic’s SportsCentury, the network’s signature series.

Fowler has hosted ESPN’s Heisman Trophy Presentation since the network began its coverage of the event in 1994 and the ESPN’s Home Depot College Football Awards show since its inception in 1993, as well as ESPN's NCAA Final Four since 1992. He added horse racing to his resume in 1998, serving as an on-site host for ESPN & ESPN2’s extensive Triple Crown coverage (Kentucky Derby, Preakness, and Belmont Stakes).

Fowler joined ESPN in July 1986 as the host/reporter of Scholastic Sports America, a stint which lasted two years. In 1988, he began serving as a college football sideline reporter for two seasons. While on the college football beat, Fowler conducted an exclusive interview with former star Oklahoma quarterback Charles Thompson, who was in prison at the time on drug charges.

Kirk Herbstreit has been an ESPN college football studio analyst for GameDay since August 1996. Herbstreit, who joined ESPN in September 1995 as a college football sideline analyst for ESPN2, is also a game analyst for ESPN’s first-ever three-man college football commentator booth on Thursday nights with Corso (analyst) and Mike Tirico (play-by-play).

His talents were quickly noticed, as after just two seasons he was nominated for a 1997 Sports Emmy Award as television’s top studio analyst, along with veterans Cris Collinsworth (eventual winner), Howie Long, Terry Bradshaw and Steve Lyons.

His weekly "On Campus" segment on GameDay features insightful one-on-one interviews with college football’s impact players such as Virginia Tech’s Michael Vick and Alabama’s Freddie Milons.

Herbstreit is a 1993 Ohio State graduate with a degree in business administration where he was a four-year Buckeye letterman as a quarterback (1989-92). As the starter and team captain during his senior season of 1992, he passed for close to 2,000 yards in an option-oriented offense, guiding OSU to an 8-3-1 mark, second place in the Big Ten, a Florida Citrus Bowl appearance and a No. 18 final AP ranking. For his efforts, he was named team MVP and most motivational player. Known for his quickness and scrambling skills, he had TD runs of 32 yards (Wisconsin) and 72 yards (Minnesota) as a junior.

Lee Corso, one of college football’s most knowledgeable, opinionated and entertaining analysts, joined ESPN in 1987 after 28 years of football coaching experience at the college and professional levels, including 17 seasons as a head coach. In addition to his College GameDay duties, he serves as a game analyst for the Thursday night telecasts.

Corso was head coach at Louisville from 1969-72, where he compiled a 28-11-3 record, taking the Cardinals to their first bowl game ever, the Pasadena Bowl. He moved to Indiana in 1973, where in 10 seasons the Hoosiers went 41-68-2. His tenure was highlighted by the school's first bowl victory in 75 years, a 38-37 decision over previously unbeaten Brigham Young in the 1979 Holiday Bowl.

In 1993 the GameDay crew began travelling to the biggest game most Saturdays, and these visits have taken on the aura of a rock concert on college campuses, complete with huge, chanting crowds. Corso, with his unique combination of daring predictions, self-deprecating humor and penchant for wild hats (or the headpiece of a team mascot), has become a cult figure among students. His "Not so fast my friend," spoken as he begins to counter the prediction given by analyst partner Kirk Herbstreit, has become his trademark catchphrase.

Herbstreit’s experience as a player lends itself to providing insightful and entertaining yet no-nonsense analysis. In addition to his own shrewd perceptions, Fowler often mediates the action between the other two in order to provide a perfect blend of personalities for the show.