ESPN is adding some seasoned coaching wisdom to its college football programming.
The network announced Wednesday that it has hired longtime coach Tommy Tuberville as a game analyst. Before resigning as head coach at Cincinnati in December, Tuberville had helmed one program of another for 21 of the past 22 years, racking up a 159-99 career record at Ole Miss, Auburn, Texas Tech and Cincy. He won an SEC title in 2004 and an AAC title in 2014.
Tuberville announced his new job at ESPN in a video from his beach-side home in Santa Rosa Beach, Florida.
Tuberville’s broadcast partners have yet to be announced.
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“Tommy has been a staple in college football for many years, having experienced nearly every situation as a head coach” said senior coordinating producer Lee Fitting. “We want him to bring that experience to our telecast, informing fans on the dynamics of a head coach’s thought process, not only in a given moment but leading up to and following that moment.”
Tuberville has been too busy coaching in recent decades to accrue much broadcasting experience, but he should bring that sage old-school coaching input that seems to be a requirement of all college football coverage. Maybe he can be the new Lou Holtz, only a little less Lou Holtzy.
Oddly, ESPN’s college football analyst lineup is fairly short on coaches. In addition to Tuberville, the network employs former Texas coach Mack Brown and long-ago Indiana and Louisville head man Lee Corso, but just about every other analyst made his name as a player. This contrasts pretty sharply with the roster of ESPN college basketball analysts, which includes Jim Calhoun, Seth Greenberg, Dan Dakich, Dino Gaudio, Bob Valvano and Dick Vitale.
ESPN has reportedly pursued former Les Miles for a while now, and the former LSU coach did some guest analysis for the network, but Miles apparently isn’t ready to dive into broadcasting full-time.