Mike Tirico is leaving ESPN for NBC and on Monday ESPN made a long-speculated move official by naming Sean McDonough as its new voice for Monday Night Football.
"This is a dream come true,” McDonough said in a statement. “One of my favorite memories of my childhood was watching Monday Night Football with my Dad, who I know is smiling down on me today. I am humbled and deeply honored to have the opportunity to be a part of the most iconic franchise in the history of sports television."
McDonough has been with ESPN since 2000 and was a lead voice at CBS before that. He was a mainstay on the Worldwide Leader's college sports coverage, carving his niche in Bristol calling Big East basketball games alongside Jay Bilas and Bill Raftery in the mid-to-late aughts. His work with Chris Spielman on the ABC Saturday afternoon game was superb, particularly when ESPN had the sense of humor to make the defensively-minded Spielman resist the urge to leap out of the press box while calling Big 12 or Pac-12 games.
McDonough's work with Raftery and Spielman prepared him well to handle Jon Gruden. He'll know when to give Chucky the wheel and when to wrestle it back.
“I have met Sean and I am excited about the opportunity to work with him," Gruden said. "Like me, he comes from a family of three boys. Passion for sports has been a way of life for him and his brothers. He’s a seasoned pro, who’s called some of the biggest sporting events, including lots of football. I’m looking forward to getting started.”
McDonough's departure to MNF, coupled with Brad Nessler's reported exit for CBS, will require the suits in Bristol to do some major shifting on ESPN's college football package.