Jim Nantz (born May 17, 1959) is an American sportscaster who has worked on telecasts of the NFL (NFL), National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I men's basketball and the PGA Tour for CBS Sports since the 1990s. He has been the NFL announcer on CBS' top play-by-play team since 1998.
Early life Edit
Born in Charlotte, North Carolina, Nantz grew up in New Orleans, Louisiana and Colts Neck Township, New Jersey and Marlboro Township, New Jersey, where he attended Marlboro High School. In high school, he was co-captain of the basketball team and co-captain and number one player on the golf team. He was a member of Bamm Hollow Country Club.
Nantz then went to the University of Houston in Texas, where he majored in broadcasting and played on the Houston Cougars men's golf team, rooming with future professional golfers Fred Couples and Blaine McCallister. It was during this time that Nantz got his first experience in sports broadcasting with the CBS Radio Network, transmitting taped interviews to Win Elliot for the latter's Sports Central USA weekend reports.
Before CBS Sports Edit
Nantz started as an anchor and sportscaster for KHOU Houston in the early 80s and then became a weekend sports anchor on KSL-TV in Salt Lake City (1982-1985) where he called BYU football games along with Steve Young and Utah Jazz games along with Hot Rod Hundley.
At CBS Edit
Nantz joined CBS in 1985, initially working as a studio host for the network's college football and basketball coverage, and as an on-course reporter for PGA Tour golf, as well as calling NFL games on Westwood One (from 1988 to 1990, when he was moved to television, Nantz called Sunday Night Football games for what was then, CBS Radio Sports). Nantz has anchored CBS' coverage of the Masters tournament since 1989. He teamed with Billy Packer to call the NCAA Final Four men's basketball finals from 1991 until 2008. From 2008 to 2013, Clark Kellogg had been his analyst. From 2010 to 2013, Nantz and Kellogg have been joined during the Final Four by Steve Kerr of TNT Sports. From 2013 to 2014, Greg Anthony partnered with Nantz. Following Anthony's suspension, Bill Raftery was selected to replace him and is Nantz's new partner.
The NFL on CBS Edit
After hosting CBS' pre-game program The NFL Today from 1998 to 2003, he became The NFL on CBS' top play-by-play announcer in 1998. That move sent Greg Gumbel to the studio, and Nantz to the stadium booth with Phil Simms. In 1993, Nantz had previously filled-in for his predecessor, Greg Gumbel as NFL Today host while Gumbel was away covering the American League Championship Series for CBS. Verne Lundquist and Dan Fouts were the #2 team for much of the 1993 season. However, Nantz and Randy Cross would call the second round playoff game for CBS (Dallas vs. Green Bay) not called by Pat Summerall and John Madden. Meanwhile, Tim Ryan and Matt Millen were the #3 team for much of the 1993 season.
On February 4, 2007, Nantz called the play-by-play of Super Bowl XLI. He joins Curt Gowdy, Kevin Harlan, and Dick Enberg as the only play-by-play announcers to ever call both a Super Bowl and an NCAA Men's Basketball Championship Game.
Nantz is also one of two men to call a Super Bowl, announce an NCAA Men's Basketball Championship game, and host coverage of The Masters from Butler Cabin with Brent Musburger being the other. Musburger also accomplished all three feats with CBS.
In 2014, Nantz and broadcast partner Phil Simms called Thursday Night Football games in a deal with CBS and the NFL Network. Tracy Wolfson was the sideline reporter for the Thursday games along with the Sunday games on CBS.
Media appearances Edit
Nantz has appeared on episodes of The Price Is Right to present a Showcase prize that involves CBS Sports properties, one to attend the 2009 Final Four in Detroit and another in 2010 for Super Bowl XLIV (with Phil Simms), as part of changes to the long-time game show to use product placement models and CBS crossovers, including sports packages.
Nantz appeared as himself in the 1996 film Tin Cup, and has appeared in episodes of several television series including Arliss, Yes, Dear, Criminal Minds, and How I Met Your Mother (season 5, episode 14 + 15 and season 9, episode 24). He portrayed the announcer for the fictional baseball team in the short-lived series Clubhouse, and his voice can be heard in the 1998 film Scrapple.
Since 2009, Nantz has guest commentated on the final round of The Open Championship for the BBC.
Nantz teamed with Gary McCord to provide extensive commentary in the 1990s PC golf game Jack Nicklaus 6 - Golden Bear Challenge, and his commentary is featured in the Golden Tee golf arcade game series.
From 2012 until 2016 (when they were replaced with Brandon Gaudin and Charles Davis), Nantz, along with Phil Simms, provided commentary for the Madden NFL series. In 2013, Nantz appeared in a Papa John's Pizza ad with Peyton Manning quarterback of the Denver Broncos and founder John Schnatter. During Super Bowl XLVII, Joe Flacco unknowingly hit Nantz with the Vince Lombardi Trophy during the presentation, but Nantz simply brushed it off.
Career timeline Edit
- 1985–1988; 1997: NCAA Football on CBS – studio host
- 1986–present: PGA Tour on CBS (since 1994 as host)
- 1986–1990: College Basketball on CBS – studio host
- 1986–1989: NBA on CBS – play-by-play
- 1987–1990: NFL on CBS Radio – play-by-play
- 1987–1995: US Open (tennis) – play-by-play
- 1989–present: The Masters host
- 1989–1991; 1996–1997: NCAA Football on CBS – lead play-by-play
- 1990–present: College Basketball on CBS – lead play-by-play
- 1988–present: NFL on CBS – play-by-play (1993 as #2/2004–present as lead)
- 1992 and 1994: Winter Olympics – weekend daytime co-host
- 1994–1995; 2000–2001: Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade host (under the title "The Thanksgiving Day Parade on CBS")
- 1998–2003: The NFL Today host
- 1998: Olympic Winter Games – primetime host
- 2004–present: NFL on CBS– lead play-by-play
- 2014–present: Thursday Night Football – lead play-by-play (shared with Al Michaels 2016–present)
Nantz won the Emmy Award for Outstanding Sports Personality, Play-by-Play in both 2008 and 2009.
Nantz has been honored with the NSSA's National Sportscaster of the Year award five times (1998, 2005, 2007, 2008, 2009). In 2011, Nantz was named as a recipient of the Pete Rozelle Radio-Television Award from the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Nantz received an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters from the University of Houston in 2001. He also is one of the youngest recipients of the Basketball Hall of Fame's Curt Gowdy award for broadcasting.
Nantz was awarded the Ambassador Award of Excellence by the LA Sports & Entertainment Commission in 2012 for his involvement in the community.
Broadcasting partners Edit
- Phil Simms
- Nick Faldo
- Clark Kellogg
- Steve Kerr
- Billy Packer
- Peter Kostis
- Greg Anthony
- Ken Venturi
- Bill Raftery
- Grant Hill
- Scott Goodyear
- Rusty Wallace
Nantz's first book, Always By My Side – A Father’s Grace and a Sports Journey Unlike Any Other, was released in May 2008. Nantz tells personal stories from football, basketball, and golf, and how he has met people along the way who remind him of the virtues his father instilled in him. The foreword to the book was written by one of his father figures, friend and frequent golf partner, former PresidentGeorge H.W. Bush. Nantz’s father, Jim Nantz Jr., died in 2008 after being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease; he was treated at The Methodist Hospital in Houston, Texas. In January 2011, Jim Nantz and The Methodist Hospital in Houston, Texas launched the Nantz National Alzheimer Center. The mission of the Center is to improve care and treatment for patients with Alzheimer’s disease through the advancement of research and the investigation of its causes, including the role of concussions and other past neurological trauma.
Nantz was married to Ann-Lorraine "Lorrie" Carlsen Nantz for 26 years before divorcing in 2009. The couple lived in Westport, Connecticut and had one child, daughter Caroline.
In November 2009, Jim Nantz was ordered to pay his ex-wife $916,000 a year in child support and alimony. Nantz acknowledged dating a 29-year-old woman before the divorce was final, although the judge concluded the marriage deteriorated years earlier and "this remote event in no way contributed to the breakdown of the marriage." Nantz earns $7 million a year.
On June 9, 2012, Nantz married Courtney Richards in a ceremony at the Pebble Beach Golf Links in Pebble Beach, California. On March 14, 2014 Nantz and his wife welcomed a baby girl. The couple welcomed their second child, a boy, named Jameson, on February 1, 2016. 
In 2009, Nantz partnered with wine producer Peter Deutsch to launch a private wine label The Calling with its first vintage released in 2012. The wine's name is in reference to Nantz's calling of the Masters Tournament.
Political Contributions Edit
Nantz is a frequent political contributor, commonly supporting members of the Republican Party. In the past he has donated money to the campaigns of George W. Bush, Joe Lieberman, Lindsey Graham, and Fred Thompson. Most recently he has contributed the maximum amount allowed by law to support Jeb Bush's 2016 Presidential Campaign.