Arguably the most exciting voice in all of sports broadcasting, Gus Johnson is the lead play-by-play announcer for FOX Sports’ college football and college basketball coverage. Johnson has served as FOX Sports’ lead college football play-by-play voice since 2011, and of the network’s college basketball coverage since 2013, the first year FOX Sports carried national college basketball games. Johnson has also called lent his voice to FOX Sports’ coverage of the BIG3 and the Jr. NBA World Championships.
LAW OF GUS
Over the past several years, Johnson has cemented his role as the top voice for some of FOX Sports’ most popular sports properties. On college football, he teams with analyst Joel Klatt and sideline reporter Jenny Taft to call Big Ten, Big 12 and Pac-12 games. Johnson pairs with legendary college basketball analyst Bill Raftery to form FS1’s lead college basketball broadcast team, and with Jim Jackson for top games on the FOX broadcast network, including the Big 10 and also the BIG EAST Tournament from New York’s Madison Square Garden. In the summer of 2017, Johnson and Jackson also joined forces for FOX Sports’ coverage of the BIG3, a professional 3-on-3 basketball league co-founded by Ice Cube and Jeff Kwatinetz. Additionally, Johnson called select Milwaukee Bucks games on FOX Sports Wisconsin from 2015-18, alongside former NBA standout Marques Johnson.
RISE AND FIRE
Prior to joining FOX Sports, Johnson was one of CBS’s top college basketball play-by-play voices from 1996 to 2011. Clips of his dramatic, enthusiastic calls in the deciding moments of NCAA Tournament games became part of the fabric of the events and were the foundation of Johnson’s rise as a YouTube sensation. While at CBS, he also did play-by-play for NFL games, college football, track and field, boxing, the Hambletonian and the bobsled and luge events at the 1998 Olympic Winter Games in Nagano, Japan.
In 2009, Johnson was named play-by-play announcer for “Showtime Championship Boxing” and was the announcer for “CBS EliteXC Saturday Night Fights.” In conjunction with his work at CBS, Johnson held a position with the Madison Square Garden Network from 1994-2010 as the lead radio play-by-play announcer for the NBA’s New York Knicks. Johnson also appeared in spot duty on the Knicks’ TV broadcasts and was the face of MSG’s TV coverage of the WNBA’s New York Liberty. While with the network, he also anchored the “AT&T Yankees Scorecard” and hosted the Knicks and New York Rangers’ “GameNight” programs.
Earlier in his broadcast career, Johnson worked for ESPN as the voice for college hockey and college basketball, and for Big East basketball on the Big East Network. He also announced Canadian Football League contests for ESPN2. In 1991, he hosted ESPN’s “Black College Sports Today,” after working in local TV at KXXV-TV in Waco, Texas, WAAY-TV in Huntsville, Ala., WXII-TV in Winston-Salem, N.C., and WTTG-TV in Washington, D.C.
On the big screen, Johnson had a cameo role as an announcer in the 1998 film “He Got Game.” Born in Detroit, he attended the University of Detroit Jesuit High School and Academy, where he was an all-league quarterback on the football team, an all-league shooting guard on the basketball team and an all-league baseball player as a first baseman and catcher. Johnson earned the Sid Rhaim Award for Athlete of the Year in his senior year and was elected to the Detroit Jesuit High School Hall of Fame’s inaugural class. Furthermore, he was voted into Michigan’s Catholic High School Hall of Fame. Johnson graduated from Howard University in 1990 with a degree in political science and played baseball all four years. Johnson currently resides in New York City.