Newhouse to honor ESPN’s Sean McDonough ’84 with Marty Glickman Award for Leadership in Sports Media

By Wendy S. Loughlin

July 11, 2016
Photo of Sean McDonough

The Newhouse School will present the fourth annual Marty Glickman Award for Leadership in Sports Media to alumnus Sean McDonough ’84 of ESPN at an invitation-only event July 25 at Time Warner Headquarters in New York City.

Fellow Newhouse graduate Beth Mowins G’90 will present the award, which is sponsored by the Newhouse Sports Media Center. Mowins, play-by-play commentator for ESPN, received the award last year.

Other speakers at the event will include McDonough’s friends and colleagues Jason Benetti ’05, ESPN and White Sox play-by-play announcer; Bill Raftery, college basketball analyst with Fox Sports; and Dan Hoard ’85, radio voice of the Cincinnati Bengals and the University of Cincinnati.

McDonough, one of sports television’s most versatile broadcasters, will be the new play-by-play voice for ESPN’s “Monday Night Football” (MNF) when the 2016 NFL season kicks off this fall. He becomes the fifth person to occupy the position in the 46-year history of MNF, joining broadcasting stalwarts Keith Jackson, Frank Gifford, Al Michaels and Newhouse alumnus Mike Tirico ’88, who called the past 10 seasons on ESPN. He is also a leading play-by-play commentator on the network’s college basketball coverage.

A longtime voice on ESPN college sports, McDonough works with analyst Doris Burke on ACC Big Monday college basketball games. In 2016, he called the NCAA Final Four alongside Dick Vitale and Jay Bilas for ESPN International. For many years, McDonough, Bilas and Bill Raftery called Big Monday BIG EAST games for ESPN. Their work included the historic six-overtime Syracuse-UConn BIG EAST Tournament game at Madison Square Garden in 2009. The telecast won the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences’ Global Media Award for “Best Live Game or Event.”

McDonough worked Saturday afternoon ABC college football games from 2000-15. In 2015, Sports Illustrated named McDonough and partner Chris Spielman the Broadcast Team of the Year in the annual SI Media Awards.

McDonough has also voiced ESPN’s Major League Baseball Monday Night Baseball telecasts; served as a host and hole announcer on ESPN’s coverage of the U.S. Open The Open Championship and other golf events; and he has provided play-by-play on the network for NHL, tennis, the College World Series and college lacrosse, soccer and hockey. From 2013-15, he also called NFL games for ESPN Radio.

McDonough was the television play-by-play announcer for the Boston Red Sox from 1988-2004, during which time he was honored four times with the New England Sports Emmy Award for Outstanding Play-by-Play.

McDonough spent 10 years at CBS Sports and was the lead college football play-by-play announcer from 1997-99. In 1992 and 1993, he and Tim McCarver formed the network’s lead Major League Baseball broadcast team, calling the All-Star Game, the National League Championship Series and the World Series. At CBS, McDonough also provided commentary for a diverse array of sporting broadcasts, including men’s and women’s college basketball, NFL, The Masters and PGA Championship, and US Open Tennis. He worked 10 NCAA men’s basketball tournaments, and he contributed to CBS’ coverage of the Olympic Winter Games.

In 2014, McDonough was named to the Hall of Fame for WAER, Syracuse University’s noncommercial radio station, where he began his sports broadcasting career as a student.

McDonough is president of the Sean McDonough Charitable Foundation, which has given nearly $3 million to 129 children’s charities throughout Massachusetts. 

About the Glickman Award and the Newhouse Sports Media Center

The Glickman Award is named for sportscasting pioneer Marty Glickman, a 1939 alumnus of Syracuse University. Glickman’s legacy marks the beginning of the Newhouse School’s reputation for turning out more talented sports journalists than any other program in the country, leading Syracuse University to be hailed as an “incubator” of American sportscasters by Sports Illustrated.

The Newhouse Sports Media Center builds upon and celebrates Syracuse University’s more than 75-year legacy of producing successful professionals in sports media. Alumni include leaders in broadcast, print and online journalism, media relations and other areas. The center provides oversight for the school’s Sports Communications Emphasis and works to strengthen academic-industry partnerships and sponsor special events and guest lectures that include interaction with students. Associated faculty members serve as experts on issues in the field. Veteran broadcast journalist and professor of practice John Nicholson ’68 is director of the center.

For more information, contact Nicholson at 315.443.4065 or