Lee Corso hopes to fulfill three-year deal

ESPN analyst has battled back from a stroke in 2009.
by Mel Bracht Modified: August 17, 2010 at 10:21 pm •  Published: August 17, 2010

ESPN college football analyst Lee Corso is still battling effects of a stroke in May 2009 that nearly knocked him off the air for good. His speech is slower, more precise.

But Corso, who worked hard last summer through therapy to return to the ESPN "College GameDay" stage for the season opener, has a new goal this season.

Corso, who turned 75 on Aug. 7, told a crowd Tuesday night at the Gaylord-Pickens Oklahoma Heritage Museum that he hopes to fulfill all three years of a new contract he recently signed with ESPN.

"There is nobody older than me in television," Corso said. "ESPN has shown great faith. They signed me to a three-year contract. My goal is to make three more years."

After recently going from seven to 10 grandchildren with the birth of triplet grandsons, he said that also has given him incentive.

"If I can make those three years," he said, "I can get enough money to send those three boys to college."

In his first public speech since the stroke, Corso entertained the crowd attending St. Anthony Hospital's annual Stroke of Courage event with anecdotes about his 28 years in coaching and 23 years with ESPN. But he also spoke somberly about the stroke, which happened May 16, 2009, at his Central Florida home.

After retrieving his newspaper that morning, Corso said he couldn't talk or move his right arm.

"I was scared to death," he said. "My wife drove me to the hospital."

After three days in intensive care and another week in the hospital, Corso was released to begin occupational, physical and speech therapy. He said long walks with his wife, Betsy, proved therapeutic in helping to fight off depression.

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by Mel Bracht
Copy Editor, Sports Media
Mel Bracht is a copy editor on the presentation desk and also covers sports media. A 1978 graduate of Indiana University, Bracht has been a print journalist for 34 years. He started his career as sports editor of the Rensselaer (Ind.) Republican...
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