College basketball analyst Dick Vitale, one of the most recognizable personalities in sports television, has signed a contract extension with ESPN through the 2020-21 season.
Vitale, 78, will continue his work as a game analyst on key matchups each week during the regular season, as well as Champ Week. He will also remain a contributor on numerous ESPN platforms, including SportsCenter, ESPN.com and more.
The longtime ESPN personality adds to a recent extension announced last May, as he enters his 40th season with the network this year.
“ESPN has been family to me and I am honored that they want me to continue being a contributor on our college basketball team,” Vitale said. “ESPN has provided me a forum that has turned my dreams to reality. I feel young at heart. I said once, and I will say it again – my goal is to be the first in broadcasting to open a hoops game at 100 years old saying “This is Awesome, Baby!’ with a capital A.”
“Dick’s commitment and passion towards college basketball and towards ESPN for the past 39 years has been unmatched,” said Lee Fitting, ESPN vice president of college sports. “It’s tough to imagine that there has been a greater ambassador for the game of college basketball, and we are thrilled to have Dick on our air for years to come.”
Vitale joined ESPN during the 1979-80 season — just after the network’s September 1979 launch — following a successful coaching career. He called ESPN’s first-ever major NCAA basketball game – Wisconsin at DePaul on Dec. 5, 1979 (a 90-77 DePaul win). His storied career includes more than a thousand games and his “Vitale-isms” have become part of the sports lexicon, including “Awesome, Baby!,” “Get a TO, Baby!” and “PTP’er.”