NCAA: Bill Raftery Leaves ESPN for Fox Sports

Long-time college basketball commentator Bill Raftery leaves ESPN for Fox Sports.

Jun 27 2013, 10:35pm CDT | by

NCAA: Bill Raftery Leaves ESPN for Fox Sports
Photo Credit: Getty Images

After 31 years, popular college basketball commentator Bill Raftery is no longer with ESPN. 

The Associated Press reports Raftery will call games for the reshaped Big East Conference for the new cable network Fox Sports 1. Raftery had worked for ESPN since 1982. He will continue to also call games for CBS. 

Raftery, who coached Seton Hall from 1970-81, will team with play-by-play announcer Gus Johnson for the Big East games on FS1, which debuts on August 17. They previously worked together for CBS.  

ESPN released a statement upon Raftery's departure.

"We completely understand his interest in remaining associated with the core group of schools that he's been part of for 30+ years. We wish him the absolute best in his next chapter and thank him for his incredible contributions to ESPN." 

CBS Sports' Matt Norlander notes Big East games have long been part of Raftery's repertoire. Aside from his tenure as Seton Hall head coach, he was the voice of "Big Monday" on ESPN for many years. 

Raftery says he leaves ESPN "with nothing but terrific memories and friendships."

He also expressed his excitement Big East Conference games for Fox Sports.

"I've been associated with the Big East Conference since it began, and I feel the same excitement and anticipation now as I did way back then as the conference is re-born with Fox Sports."

The revamped Big East is set to start offon July 1 following a split from the original conference that was founded in 1979. The member schools are Georgetown, St. John's, Villanova, Seton Hall, Providence, Marquette, DePaul, Butler, Creighton and Xavier.  

Former WNBA president Val Ackerman was named Big East commissioner on June 27. 

Raftery coached the Seton Hall Pirates for 11 years, posting a 154-141 (.522) record. 

 
 
 


Poch de la Rosa follows all major U.S. sports: NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL and the NCAA. His favorite teams are the Colts, Braves, Pacers, Sharks and Irish, respectively.

 

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