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Verne Lundquist to step down from calling SEC football on CBS

Head coach Phil Martelli of the Saint Joseph's

Head coach Phil Martelli of the Saint Joseph's Hawks is interviewed by Verne Lundquist of CBS after defeating VCU in the championship game of the 2014 Atlantic 10 Men's Basketball Tournament at Barclays Center on March 16, 2014 in the Brooklyn. Credit: Getty Images

Verne Lundquist will step down as lead play-by-play announcer for SEC football on CBS after the 2016 season, the network announced Tuesday. Brad Nessler will succeed him alongside analyst Gary Danielson starting in 2017.

Lundquist will continue calling college basketball, including the NCAA Tournament, and golf for CBS.

“Being a part of the ‘SEC on CBS’ since 2000 has been the most significant assignment I’ve been given in my more than five decades in this business,” Lundquist, 75, said in a news release. “Now, it’s time to step back and take in the aroma of those tulips, those roses, and those daffodils that friends have been telling me about for years.

“In 2017, I’ll happily step aside from college football and welcome Brad to the booth. I’ve known Brad for more than 30 years and have always admired his work ethic and his on-air presence. He shares the same passion for college football that I do. The ‘SEC on CBS’ is in great hands. Brad and Gary will form a great partnership in the years ahead.”

Nessler, who spent 24 years at ESPN, will begin calling SEC football games in 2016 on weekends when CBS has two games on its schedule.

“Verne has been a friend for over 30 years and someone I’ve always looked up to in this business,” Nessler said. “I’m not replacing him, as it would be impossible to replace Verne.”

Danielson added, “Verne is a legend in this business. I am extremely thankful to have had the opportunity to sit next to him for the past decade calling SEC games and so grateful that Verne gets to finish his football career calling the last play the way he wanted.”

New York Sports