Jim Nantz, a three-time Emmy Award winner and five-time National Sportscaster of the Year, has covered virtually every sport for the CBS Television Network since joining it in 1985.
This year marks Nantz’s 33rd covering the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship and Final Four. Nantz has called play-by-play on more network broadcasts of the Final Four and Championship game than any other announcer in the tournament's history. He took over as lead play-by-play announcer for college basketball in 1990 where he was teamed with Billy Packer until 2008. In 2009, Clark Kellogg joined Nantz midcourt to call the action of the regular-season and NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship games, and Greg Anthony in 2013. And in 2015, Nantz teamed with Bill Raftery and Grant Hill to call regular-season and NCAA Tournament basketball games. From 1986 to 1990, he served as host of CBS's coverage of the NCAA Tournament and Final Four.
Nantz joined the CBS Sports golf team in 1986. He became the anchor of the Network's golf coverage in April 1994 and was partnered with Ken Venturi until June 2002, and Lanny Wadkins until 2006, before Sir Nick Faldo assumed the lead analyst role in 2007. Nantz has hosted broadcasts of the Masters since 1988 and the PGA Championship since 1991, and served as anchor of the biennial Presidents Cup in 1994 and 1996.
In 2005 Nantz established his own production company, Jim Nantz Productions. As executive producer, Nantz’s company annually produces a Masters Sunday special – JIM NANTZ REMEMBERS AUGUSTA – and to date, the following specials have aired: THE 1986 MASTERS (2006); THE 1960 MASTERS (2007); THE 1978 MASTERS (2008); SEVE AT THE MASTERS (2009); THE 1977 MASTERS (2010); THE 1975 MASTERS (2011); THE 1987 MASTERS (2012); BEN CRENSHAW AT THE MASTERS (2013); NICK FALDO AT THE MASTERS (2014), RAYMOND FLOYD AT THE MASTERS (2015); JACK NICKLAUS AT THE MASTERS (2016) and JIM NANTZ REMEMBERS AUGUSTA: ARNOLD PALMER – HIS LAST VISIT TO THE MASTERS (2017). THE 1960 MASTERS special made television history by showcasing a sporting event that originally aired live in black and white and was re-broadcast in color. This special was nominated for a 2007 George Wensel Technical Achievement Sports Emmy Award.
Nantz has been the lead play-by-play voice for THE NFL ON CBS since 2004, teaming up with Phil Simms on the Network’s number one NFL and Super Bowl announce team until 2017. On February 7, 2016 he and Simms called Super Bowl 50. In addition, he and Simms called the Network’s NFL Thursday Night Football games (2014-17). In 2017, Nantz teamed with Tony Romo, and Tracy Wolfson, as the lead NFL announce team. For six years (1998-2003) he anchored the Network's NFL pre-game studio show, THE NFL TODAY, and hosted its coverage of the Super Bowl.
In August 2011 Nantz became the youngest recipient of the Pro Football Hall of Fame Pete Rozelle Radio-Television Award. Nantz also was honored in 2002 by the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame as its youngest recipient of the Curt Gowdy Media Award. Nantz joins Dick Enberg and Curt Gowdy as the only broadcasters to receive both Pro Football and Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame honors. In June 2013 he received the Court of Honor Award from the National Association of Basketball Coaches Foundation for distinguishing himself in his profession and exhibiting the highest standards of leadership. In November 2013 Nantz received the Metropolitan Golf Association’s Distinguished Service Award and in September 2016 he was recognized with the Golf Course Association of America Lifetime Achievement Award. In March 2018, Nantz was recognized by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) as the Jake Wade Award winner in recognition of his collegiate and professional achievements and work with CoSIDA. In November 2013 Nantz received the Metropolitan Golf Association's Distinguished Service Award and in September 2016 he was recognized with the Golf Course Association of America Lifetime Achievement Award. Most recently, Nantz was the 2018 recipient of the Ambassador of Golf Award, Presented Annually by Northern Ohio Golf Charities and PGA Tour.
In 2007 Nantz became the first commentator in history to complete the rare broadcasting three-feat – calling the Super Bowl, the NCAA Men’s Final Four and the Masters all in a span of 63 days. In 2010 Nantz repeated the rare broadcasting triple beginning with his call of the most-watched program in television history (at the time of its airing), the Super Bowl between the New Orleans Saints and Indianapolis Colts, followed by the Final Four and the Masters®. Nantz once again repeated this trifecta in 2013 and in 2016.
In 2009 and 2010, Nantz won consecutive Emmy Awards for Outstanding Sports Personality – Play-By-Play. He also won an Emmy Award for his role in the Army-Navy documentary, “Game of Honor" in 2012. In addition, Nantz was honored by the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association as National Sportscaster of the Year for the fifth time (2010, 2008, 2007, 2005 and 1998). Nantz has won this prestigious award more times than any other CBS Sports commentator in history.
Nantz began his tenure at CBS Sports as the host of the Network's college football studio show (1985-88). He was lead play-by-play announcer for CBS's coverage of college football (1989-90) and went on to cover the NFL in 1991. By 1993, he was calling play-by-play for the Network's second-team coverage of THE NFL ON CBS regular-season and post-season broadcasts. He returned as the lead voice of college football in 1996, calling the National Championship Games for the 1996 and 1997 seasons (Fiesta Bowl: Nebraska vs. Florida and Orange Bowl: Tennessee vs. Nebraska, respectively). In 1997, he returned to the studio to anchor COLLEGE FOOTBALL TODAY.
Nantz's myriad assignments for CBS Sports include play-by-play at the U.S. Open Tennis Championships for nine years overall, primetime host of CBS Sports' coverage of the 1998 Olympic Winter Games, co-hosting the weekend daytime coverage of the 1992 and 1994 Olympic Winter Games and coverage of NCAA track and field, skiing, speed skating, baseball, swimming and diving, gymnastics, the U.S. Olympic Festival and Pan American Games. He also served as host of the Network's coverage of the annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in 1994, 1995, 2000 and 2001. In addition, he had a prominent role in Kevin Costner's 1996 hit movie, Tin Cup.
On January 19, 2011, Nantz returned to his adopted hometown of Houston to team with Houston Methodist Hospital to create the Nantz National Alzheimer Center (NNAC). The NNAC is dedicated to funding innovative diagnostic discoveries for early and accurate detection of Alzheimer’s disease and other dementing illnesses in hopes of one day finding a cure (www.nantzfriends.org). The NNAC also focuses on the possible connection between concussions and other traumatic brain injuries in athletes and the progression of Alzheimer’s disease. Nantz’s father, Jim Nantz Jr., himself a former college football player and lifelong inspiration to his broadcaster son, suffered from the ravages of Alzheimer’s disease for 13 years. Nantz chronicled his father’s story in the instant New York Times bestseller, Always By My Side. Co-authored with Eli Spielman, the book climbed to No.3 on the New York Times list, making it the highest ranking achieved by a sports book in 2008 and the inspiration for Nantz to open the NNAC. The foreword to the book was written by one of his father figures and dear friend, former President George H.W. Bush.
Nantz, along with wine industry veteran Peter Deutsch, CEO of Deutsch Family Wine & Spirits, formed the Deutsch Nantz Alliance (DNA) to create an artisanal Sonoma fine wine brand named The Calling (www.thecallingwine.com). Released in June 2012, The Calling wines are handcrafted from Sonoma’s finest vineyards with Chardonnay and Pinot Noir cultivated in the Russian River Valley and Cabernet Sauvignon in Alexander Valley. All three varietals recently received 90+ point scores from Wine Enthusiast.
Nantz was graduated in 1981 with a degree in radio/television from the University of Houston, where he was recruited as a member of the golf team. He received an honorary doctorate of humane letters from his alma mater in May 2001 in recognition of his contributions to his profession and to the university. While a student at Houston, he held a variety of broadcasting jobs, which led to positions at the city's CBS stations KHOU-TV and KTRH Radio. Before joining CBS Sports, Nantz was an anchor at KSL-TV in Salt Lake City, then a CBS affiliate. While at KSL, he also broadcast Utah Jazz basketball games and did play-by-play with former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Steve Young for BYU football games, including the 1984 National Championship year.
He was born May 17, 1959, in Charlotte, N.C. He lives in Pebble Beach, Calif. with his wife, Courtney. He has two daughters, Caroline and Finley, and a son, Jameson.
* * * * *