American Football Database
Verne Lundquist
Born (1940-07-17) July 17, 1940 (age 81)
Duluth, Minnesota, USA
EducationTexas Lutheran University

Merton Laverne "Verne" Lundquist, Jr. (born July 17, 1940) is an American sportscaster, currently employed by CBS Sports television.


Early life and career

Lundquist was born in Duluth, Minnesota. He graduated from Austin High School in Austin, Texas, before attending Texas Lutheran University (formerly Texas Lutheran College), where he was one of the founders of the Omega Tau Fraternity (ΩΤ) in 1958 before graduating in 1962.

He began his broadcasting career as sports anchor for WFAA in Dallas and in Austin for KTBC, as well as being the radio voice of the Dallas Cowboys. WFAA-TV is ABC's station in Dallas, Texas. Lundquist joined the Cowboys Radio Network in 1967[1] and remained with the team until the 1984 season. He was paired with future (and now current) play-by-play man Brad Sham starting with the 1977 season, the year the Cowboys went 12–2 (winning the first 8 games of the season) and captured their second NFL title in Super Bowl XII.

Nationally, Lundquist worked for ABC Sports from 1974–81, then moved to CBS (1982–95) and TNT cable (1995–97) before returning to CBS in 1998. Lundquist was featured as himself commenting on the golf games in the movie Happy Gilmore.

Currently, Lundquist resides in Steamboat Springs, Colorado.

Network assignments

Before becoming a nationwide sports commentator, from 1970–74, Lundquist was commentator for the sports show, Bowling for Dollars, in Dallas, Texas. It aired weekday evenings on ABC station, WFAA-TV, from 6:30–7:00, in north central Texas. During these 4 seasons, Lundquist started interviewing Cowboys players and their first head coach, Tom Landry, at their sidelines, during halftimes, practices, pre-season and pre-game warm-ups, in Dallas. Lundquist currently does play-by-play for CBS college football (teaming with Gary Danielson on the network's broadcast of Southeastern Conference games) and college basketball action, as well as The Masters and PGA Championship golf tournaments. He is also among the key voices of NFL Films, and in past years had called regional NFL games for CBS, NBA games for CBS and TNT, and TNT's Sunday Night Football telecasts.[2] He called television play-by-play on Seattle Seahawks preseason games from 2006–08. Lundquist's patented belly laugh and his contagious enthusiasm for the events he covers have made him one of the more prominent and recognizable on-air talents in network TV.

During the 1992, 1994 and 1998 Winter Olympics, whose rights were held by CBS and TNT, Lundquist and Scott Hamilton served as the announcers for figure skating events. Their performances were parodied by Saturday Night Live cast members Phil Hartman and Darrell Hammond (as Lundquist) with Dana Carvey, David Spade, and Will Ferrell (both as Hamilton): in 1992 with Jason Priestley and 1994 with Nancy Kerrigan and Chris Farley they did a spoof of the Olympics figure skating events, as both Hartman and Myers went "Oh!" when Priestly or Farley (in a pre-recorded performance) did an on-ice pratfall. Lundquist, after seeing the original footage in 1992, commented that Hartman "nailed it dead on."

Lundquist also backed up for Chris Schenkel on ABC's Pro Bowlers Tour in 1978 during a tournament in Grand Prairie, Texas.

Memorable calls

While calling the Cowboys' radio broadcast of Super Bowl XIII against the Pittsburgh Steelers, he famously said, "Bless his heart, he's got to be the sickest man in America!" after Cowboys tight end Jackie Smith dropped a 3rd quarter touchdown pass, which would have tied the game at 21.

Lundquist was also the play-by-play man for the 1992 Regional Final between Kentucky and Duke, where Christian Laettner hit a 17-foot jumper at the buzzer to win the game in overtime. "Here's the pass to Laettner...puts it up...YES!!!" In 2006, he announced another memorable college basketball game (George Mason vs. Connecticut) in the Elite 8. In George Mason's historic upset of UCONN, Verne announced "By George, the dream is alive!" He was a play-by-play announcer in the NBA Live '98 video game[3] and was also the play-by-play announcer in the College Hoops 2K8 video game.

Lundquist also called two famous golf shots at the Masters. Most recently, Lundquist called Tiger Woods' dramatic chip-in bridie on #16 at the 2005 Masters Tournament, yelling "Here it comes...Oh, my goodness!...OH, WOW!! IN YOUR LIFE, have you seen anything like that?"[4] In 1986, he called Jack Nicklaus' birdie putt on #17, with the famous line: "Maybe...YES, SIR!" Lundquist played himself commentating on tournaments in the 1996 motion picture Happy Gilmore. He also commentates for college football games. Another pet phrase Lundquist uses on occasion is "How, do you DO!"; on a huge offensive or defensive play, a phrase he took from Southern Cal football broadcaster Pete Arbogast (who in turn took the phrase from venerable broadcaster Vin Scully).

Lundquist filled in for Ernie Johnson Jr. as host of TNT's coverage of the PGA Championship twice, in 2006 as Johnson was battling cancer, and in 2011 when Johnson left after the second round following the death of his father on that Friday night.


At the 2005 Sun Bowl, Lundquist was inducted into the Sun Bowl Hall of Fame along with UCLA Bruins football coach Terry Donahue. In 2007 the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association elected him for induction to its Hall of Fame.

In broadcasting circles, Lundquist is affectionately known as "The Golden Throat".

Broadcasting partners

  • Clark Kellogg
  • Gary Danielson
  • Tracy Wolfson
  • Bill Raftery
  • Terry Bradshaw
  • John Madden
  • Billy Packer
  • Dan Fouts
  • Randy Cross
  • Dan Dierdorf
  • Pat Haden
  • Lesley Visser
  • Brad Sham
  • Todd Blackledge
  • Jill Arrington