Monday, December 22, 2014

Dr. Jerry Punch to remain with ESPN, covering college basketball and football

   Dr. Jerry Punch, a longtime staple of ESPN's NASCAR coverage, will remain with the network and return to his former role covering college football and basketball. Punch will also serve as a pit reporter on ABC's telecasts of the Indianapolis 500 and other IndyCar Series races.

   “ESPN has been my home for a long time and I’m grateful for the opportunities presented to me to remain part of the team,” said Punch. “I love the passion of college sports and look forward to helping bring those stories to our viewers and to reconnecting with the college coaches and staffs I’ve enjoyed relationships with over the years.”

   Punch has worked with ESPN since 1984 and was a pit reporter and play-by-play announcer on ESPN's NASCAR coverage over the years. ESPN recently completed its final season of live NASCAR race coverage.

   Punch's first game will be Jan. 15 as he calls the Ohio Valley Conference match-up between Murray State and Belmont (Tenn.) on ESPNU.

    In his on-air work, the native of Newton, N.C., has sometimes called on knowledge from his first career as an emergency room physician to explain injuries. He spent 14 years as the director of emergency room services at a Florida hospital and served two terms as chief of staff there. He remains active in the medical profession today.

   After working as a track announcer at Hickory (N.C.) Speedway, Punch made his broadcasting debut on radio for Motor Racing Network at the 1980 Daytona 500. He branched into television in 1982. He is ESPN’s sixth longest-tenured announcer, following Bob Ley, Cliff Drysdale, Chris Berman, Dick Vitale and Mike Patrick.