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ESPN salutes Brent Musburger before he calls his final event Jan. 31

ESPN/ABC and sports broadcasting legend Brent Musburger announced today his plans to leave play-by-play at month’s end.

In a career that spanned almost 50 years, generations of sports fans grew up listening to Musburger’s game calls, some of the most memorable in all of sports.

ESPN Senior Vice President, Events and Studio Production, Stephanie Druley, who made sure Brent’s voice was the first one viewers heard the night of SEC Network’s launch in 2014, shared her thoughts on what he has meant for the industry and to the ESPN/ABC family.

In the end, he made a personal decision for himself and for his family. I respect that. But, personally and professionally, I am disappointed and saddened, considering he’s still a fantastic play-by-play announcer.
– ESPN Sr. VP Stephanie Druley on Brent Musburger’s decision

When did you learn of Brent’s intentions to leave play-by-play once and for all?
About 10 days prior to the Sugar Bowl, we were told that Brent was considering stepping away from play-by-play. I was shocked. I did not feel like it was time for him to step aside. We had a follow-up meeting where we made a very strong pitch to get him to change his mind.

In the end, he made a personal decision for himself and for his family. I respect that. But, personally and professionally, I am disappointed and saddened, considering he’s still a fantastic play-by-play announcer.

What has Brent meant to sports broadcasting?
Brent is a legend. He is one of the best play-by-play announcers ever. Every game he did felt big. During a game, Brent is a true storyteller. His preparation is not just the x’s and o’s. He has a genuine curiosity about the players and coaches and he was able to find a way to weave interesting stories into a game.

What about Brent’s approach to calling a game that stands out to you?
He helps the viewer connect to the people in the game. He gives you a reason beyond team allegiance to be interested in the event. I knew when I watched one of Brent’s games that I would learn something. That’s the one thing I hope that young broadcasters take away from Brent’s career.

As a colleague, what were his relationships with those on the production team?
Brent is so kind and generous to those who work with him. He genuinely loves sports and that passion is infectious to those of us who had the pleasure to work with him.

What’s your favorite memory of working with him?
In 2015, Brent called a Montana game for us. He and his wife Arlene opened their home to the entire crew for dinner. We had a great time in Brent’s saloon, around the fire pit, and on the bocce ball court. He will be missed.

For more Brent Musburger photos, visit ESPN Images.
Brent Musburger’s career timeline.

Michael Holmes produced the video above.
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