Joins Hall of Fame inductees Jeff Bagwell, Craig Biggio, Andre Johnson, Guy V. Lewis and Bill Yeoman at 2021 Houston Sports Awards presented by Insperity
HOUSTON – Hello friends.
Jim Nantz, one of the best-known voices in sports, delivers that signature on-air welcome at the start of every CBS Sports broadcast he anchors. From the Masters to the Super Bowl, the Final Four and everything in between, it’s his invitation to join him for a few hours and watch something special unfold.
Nantz, now four-plus decades into a Hall of Fame career, launched his dream at the University of Houston’s Taub Hall where he would practice announcing the Masters in his dorm room with his suitemates for an audience, Houston’s favorite adopted son will be honored with the 2021 Lifetime Achievement Award at the Houston Sports Awards presented by Insperity on Monday April 26 at the Carlton Woods Creekside Fazio Golf Course.
He joins the 2021 Houston Sports Hall of Fame Class – Jeff Bagwell, Craig Biggio, Andre Johnson, Guy V. Lewis and Bill Yeoman – that will also be honored at the fourth annual event, celebrating Diamonds the Rough.
“There are certain things that come around in your life and this one, I can’t think of anything that would mean more to me than to be honored by the City of Houston,’’ Nantz said.
“It’s No. 1 for me. When the town that embraced you and gave you your chance and the people in the city gave you your chance . . . It doesn’t get any better than this. This is awesome.’’
The 61-year-old, who will call Super Bowl LV on February 7, started his UH career as a member of the golf team, but his dream of becoming a broadcaster soon overshadowed his golf career. In addition to practicing his talents on UH teammates and suitemates Fred Couples, Blaine McCallister and John Horne, he worked as the public address announcer at then-Hofheinz Pavilion from 1979-1982.
He also worked for both KTRH (740-AM) and KHOU-Channel 11 before leaving Houston for Salt Lake City in 1982.
Nantz, a three-time Emmy winner and five-time National Sportscaster of the Year, joined CBS in 1985 and currently serves as the lead play-by-play announcer for THE NFL ON CBS; the lead anchor of CBS’s golf coverage, including the PGA Tour, Masters and the PGA Championship; and lead play-by-play announcer for college basketball, including the NCAA Men’s Final Four.
In 2007, Nantz became the first commentator in history to complete the rare broadcasting trifecta – calling the Super Bowl, NCAA Men’s Final Four and the Masters all in a span of 63 days. He repeated that trifecta in 2010, 2013 and 2016. In 2019, he completed an even rarer quintet, calling the AFC Championship, Super Bowl, Final Four, Masters and PGA Championship in a span of 120 days. He will call that same quintet in 2021.
Nantz has earned virtually every honor in the broadcasting world and will be inducted into the National Sports Media Association Hall of Fame in June, but he also stands out as an advocate and philanthropist. In 2011, he created the Nantz National Alzheimer Center at the Texas Medical Center in honor of his father Jim Nantz, Jr., who suffered with the disease for 13 years before passing away in 2008.
Nantz was a close friend of 2019 Lifetime Achievement Award winner the late President George H.W. Bush, who shared the award with wife Barbara. Nantz and Bush met in 1993 when they played a round of golf at Memorial Park.
Ironically, Nantz called only one UH basketball game on the Cougars’ home court – last year’s UH-Memphis game, which was at Fertitta Center, noting was a “real bucket list moment for me,” he said. “I never thought I would have the opportunity to do this.”
He was inducted into the UH Hall of Honor in 2002 and received an honorary doctorate of humane letters from his alma mater.
Among his other honors, Nantz was the youngest recipient of both the Pro Football Hall of Fame Pete Rozelle Radio-Television Award and the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame Curt Gowdy Media Award, was inducted into the Sports Broadcasting Hall of Fame and received the Ambassador of Golf Award presented by the PGA TOUR.
About the Houston Sports Awards
The fourth annual Houston Sports Awards will be held on Monday April 26, 2021 at the Carlton Woods Creekside Fazio Course in The Woodlands. This star-studded dinner and awards show brings together Houston’s top athletes, both past and present, to commemorate, celebrate and recognize Houston’s top sports achievements, sports icons, performers and moments.