Saturday’s Blue-Gold Game will be an introduction for Irish fans to new linemen, linebackers and commentators. Joining some of the fresh faces on the field this weekend, Dan Hicks will make his debut as NBC’s new play-by-play announcer for Notre Dame games.
Dan Hicks will take over as the play-by-play announcer for Notre Dame football games starting this weekend.
NBC, which has aired Notre Dame home games since 1991, announced Monday that Hicks would take over for Tom Hammond on the Saturday afternoon broadcasts this fall. A network producer said the move was made to try to push Hicks into bigger venues.
“Dan is a gifted commentator, and we wanted to find more high-profile opportunities to showcase his talents,” said Sam Flood, an executive producer for NBC Sports and NBC Sports Network. “Coming off an undefeated regular season and a berth in the BCS Championship Game, Notre Dame football provides a perfect platform.”
Hicks is best known for his work on NBC’s PGA golf coverage and during the Olympics. He notably called all 18 of Michael Phelps’ gold medal races. He does have some past experience with football as well. He announced NFL games for the network in the 1990s and has since filled in for Hammond on a handful of dramatic Notre Dame broadcasts.
Recently, he was behind the microphone for Notre Dame’s 23-20 loss to South Florida to begin the 2011 season during a game that was twice delayed by weather. He also called Notre Dame’s improbable triple-overtime win over Pittsburgh this past November.
This year, he will join color commentator Mike Mayock and fellow University of Arizona graduate Alex Flanagan during Notre Dame’s home games. Hicks, who is married to ESPN host and Notre Dame graduate Hannah Storm, told the South Bend Tribune he is looking forward to the new assignment.
“I’m honored to have the job,” Hicks said. “I’m honored to have the next opportunity in a long line of really good play-by-play guys, which run from Dick Enberg to Tom Hammond and now to me. That in itself is a really rare opportunity, something I’m not taking lightly at all.”
Hammond had been a mainstay on Notre Dame broadcasts since he took over the games on a regular basis in 1992. NBC said it plans to keep Hammond in its collection of on-air voices. Along with covering the Irish, he has also regularly worked as the network’s lead commentator during horse races and some Olympic events.
Saturday’s game is scheduled to begin at 1 p.m. Eastern on NBC. The network plans to run an hour-long program detailing Notre Dame’s winter and spring workouts prior to kickoff.