Yesterday, NBC announced that Dan Hicks was joining the broadcast team for Notre Dame football, taking over the play-by-play duties from veteran Tom Hammond. Hicks, who leads NBC’s golf coverage, has voiced some incredible moments at the Olympics as well, including all 18 of Michael Phelps’ gold medals, during his acclaimed career. He’ll team with Mike Mayock and Alex Flanagan, who return for the 2013 season.
“Dan is a gifted commentator, and we wanted to find more high-profile opportunities to showcase his talents,” said Sam Flood, Executive Producer, NBC Sports & NBC Sports Network. “Coming off an undefeated regular season and a berth in the BCS Championship Game, Notre Dame Football provides a perfect platform.”
That Hicks and Notre Dame football combine to make a perfect storm is not just hyperbole. If Hicks’ history in the Irish booth is any indication, it might just be a legitimate prediction.
Hicks’ last two stops in the Notre Dame broadcast booth have been memorable high wire acts. In 2011, Hicks called the Irish’s season opener against USF, the first game delayed by weather at Notre Dame Stadium. In 2012, it was Hicks in the booth again, in a game that looked like the Irish were doomed again, but ended with the Irish pulling out a miraculous triple-overtime victory against Pitt.
I had a chance to catch up with Dan yesterday, and I asked him about his history of calling dramatic Notre Dame football games.
“I’m extremely honored to carry on the great tradition of Notre Dame football on NBC Sports,” Hicks told me. “Needless to say the few times I’ve done this prior to this full time assignment have been nothing short of drama filled.
“The last two the wildest. From the multi-weather delays when another Coach Holtz came to South Bend and upset the Irish, to last November when Notre Dame held off Pitt in that epic triple overtime game to keep their unbeaten season alive.
I know Irish fans seen heightened drama from their team in my limited stints behind the mic before, and I look forward to describing more fantastic finishes in the future.”
Recent history isn’t the only time Hicks brought drama with him into the broadcast booth. A decade before the Irish’s last undefeated run, it was Hicks calling a game that doomed the Irish. As Ty Willingham’s troops donned green jerseys and proceeded to fumble away their undefeated season, Hicks presided over the events as Hammond’s substitute.
Hicks will be in the booth this Saturday for the Irish’s Blue-Gold game.