Tirico replaces Hicks in Notre Dame booth

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Let the changes keep coming. In an offseason filled with three new coordinators and the conclusion of a $400-million construction project including a video board towering over the south end zone, Notre Dame fans will need to adjust to another departure from the Irish norm, though this one is far-from consequential when it comes to how the team plays.

Mike Tirico will replace Dan Hicks as the play-by-play man for Notre Dame games in 2017, NBC Sports announced Monday morning. Tirico joined NBC just more than a year ago and called three Irish games in 2016 while Hicks tended to golf broadcast duties.

“Mike has been an elite play-by-play voice in both professional and collegiate football for more than a decade,” said Sam Flood, executive producer and president of production at NBC Sports. “He is the latest in a line of distinguished broadcasters to call Notre Dame Football on NBC. … We look forward to hearing Mike call the first-ever game at the newly-renovated Notre Dame Stadium.”

Tirico will join analyst Doug Flutie, entering his third season working in this particular booth, and sideline reporter Kathryn Tappen, beginning her fourth year patrolling the Irish sidelines. In May, Tirico was named the play-by-play voice for NBC’s Thursday Night Football. He will also host the primetime coverage of the 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea.

Safe to say, the established veteran has become a key player in NBC’s football coverage both professional and collegiate, as well as its overall sports portfolio.

Additionally, NBC Sports announced former NFL quarterback Chris Simms will take a seat in the studio show covering Notre Dame games, providing commentary both before games and during halftime alongside host Liam McHugh. McHugh has led the studio coverage for six seasons to date.

“We’re excited to welcome Chris to the NBC Sports family,” Flood said. “His playing experience and deep knowledge of football at the collegiate and professional levels, along with his extensive broadcasting experience, make him a great fit for our Notre Dame [coverage].”

Simms was a three-year starter at Texas from 2000 to 2002 before an eight-year NFL career spent mostly with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

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