Collected wisdom: FOX's Gus Johnson talks about his meteoric rise

After 15 seasons on CBS in which he became widely known for his enthusiastic delivery in the NCAA basketball tournament, Gus Johnson jumped to FOX Sports last year to be the lead college football announcer.
by Mel Bracht Modified: September 15, 2012 at 4:48 pm •  Published: September 15, 2012
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photo - FOX College Football & NFL on FOX Play-by-Play Announcer: Gus Johnson. PHOTO PROVIDED
FOX College Football & NFL on FOX Play-by-Play Announcer: Gus Johnson. PHOTO PROVIDED

I just like doing the games. I delight in the excellence of the athletes that I get a chance to cover. That's pretty much it. I'm not an investigative reporter. This is happy time. It's great to celebrate how well these kids out there are playing ball and doing well in school.

My favorite NCAA Tournament game probably was my first big one when Princeton beat UCLA a lot of years ago (43-41 in 1996). UCLA was the defending national champions and here come these fresh cherubic faces out of the locker room from Princeton. Pete Carril would pull his hair on the sideline, and he won the big game.

I just go out there and kind of free flow, let the moment describe itself. If I hear a clever line in a song or movie, I'll note in my mind and I might use it sometime.

I studied all the sportscasters. Growing up as a kid, Dick Vitale was coaching at the University of Detroit. He was so excited and happy when he became a broadcaster. It makes you feel good when you watch his games. I guess if there was anybody who I admire in that way, it would be coach Vitale.

Of course, I've missed not doing the tournament. It was a very special time in my life to have a chance to work with the tournament for 15 seasons. I'm still a fan, and I will always root for those kids out on the floor. It's a special time in our country when they come to play.

People at FOX are just terrific people. They have given us a lot of resources. Working with Charles Davis, he's an awesome, awesome man and an incredible broadcaster. We're on the big FOX now, instead of FX. The schedule looks great. We're going to get a chance to cover the Big 12 and the Pac-12. It's going to be fun to see Oklahoma, Kansas State, West Virginia, Texas and Oklahoma State, hopefully, as well.

My boy, Che, is 9. He likes singing, dancing and acting and stuff like that. By the time he starts liking girls, he's going to want to play some ball.


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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