Kirk Edward Herbstreit (/restrict/; born August 19, 1969) is an American commentator for the college football coverage program College GameDay on ESPN. He also provides color commentary for Thursday Night NFL games on Prime Video and college football games on ESPN and ABC. Herbstreit has received five Sports Emmy Awards for his television work in various categories. Until the series was put on hold after NCAA Football 14, he additionally made yearly appearances as a pundit in EA Sports’ NCAA Football. Herbstreit played quarterback for the Ohio State football team from 1989 through 1993. He participated in a number of contests during his junior season and started all games during his senior campaign as the quarterback.
Early Life, Family, and Education | Kirk Herbstreit
The former football player was born to Jim Herbstreit and Judy Herbstreit in Centerville, Ohio. Kirk participated in baseball, basketball, and football in school.
He also learned to enjoy and excel at the sport through his father, who was a former college football player. He was influenced as a child by his father’s great collegiate football career. Additionally, he enjoyed playing and watching games.
From that point on, he developed a liking for commentators and sportscasters as well as a general interest in sports. Kirk played quarterback for the school team and was named Ohio’s Gatorade Player of the Year in his senior year.
Kirk spent his senior year playing quarterback for the Ohio State University football team after graduating from Centerville High School in Centerville, Ohio. Kirk was the first player to formally commit to the Ohio State Buckeyes after John Cooper was named their head coach in 1988. Kirk became a four-time letter winner and one of the team’s top players throughout the course of the following five years. He shared the field with Greg Frey and Kent Graham during his time there and served as team captain in 1992. In the 1992 season, he received the MVP vote.
Intriguingly, Kirk Herbstreit and his father Jim Herbstreit became just the second father and son team to lead Ohio State, as Jim Herbstreit served as co-captain of the team in 1960 alongside offensive tackle Jim Tyrer. Prior to Troy Smith breaking it in 2006, Kirk once held the record for the most passes completed by any player at Ohio State (28 throws for 271 yards in a 13-13 draw in 1992).
Kirk Herbstreit ended his playing career and transitioned to commentary. He joined the ESPN College GameDay expert panel, along with Desmond Howard, Rece Davis, and Lee Corso, to debate and analyze the college football games, highlights, and player profiles. He later joined Chris Fowler and ABC Sports’ college football primetime series as an analyst. For this work, he was nominated for a Sports Emmy Award in 1997 as the best studio analyst on television.
Later, he was an ESPN color analyst for Thursday night games. Later, he began providing analysis for ABC’s coverage of Saturday night college football games and assumed the role of host for the weekly college football radio show on Columbus’s 97.1 The Fan.
The son of Jim Herbstreit, the 1960 Ohio State team’s co-captain, Kirk Edward Herbstreit was born on August 19, 1969, in Centerville, Ohio. He attended Ohio State University, where he earned a business administration degree in 1993. Kirk and Allison Butler were married on June 13, 1998.
Kirk first met Allison Butler when she was a cheerleader at his university. Jake and Tye, identical twin sons, were born to them in 2000, followed by Zak and Chase in 2003 and 2006, respectively. Kirk resides in Franklin, Tennessee, with his family.
Herbstreit earned a letter each year he played for the Buckeyes at Ohio State University from 1989 through 1993. He served as the Buckeyes’ co-captain in 1992, just like his father had done three decades before, and was chosen as the team’s MVP. Kirk set a school record for most passes completed while on the squad (28), which was surpassed by Troy Smith in 2006.
The Kirk Herbstreit National Kickoff Classic is named in Herbstreit’s honor. He graduated with a degree in business administration in 1993. Kirk has lent his support to a number of charitable events, including The Make-A-Wish Foundation Ultimate Sports Auction and the Buckeye Cruise for Cancer. The event “pits high school teams from the states of Ohio and Texas against prep football powerhouses from around the nation.”
Honors and Awards
Herbstreit has received five Sports Emmy Awards, including Outstanding Sports Personality – Studio Analyst in 2010, Outstanding Sports Personality – Sports Event Analyst in 2018 and 2020, and Outstanding Sports Personality – 2019 and 2020. Additionally, in 1998, 2006, 2007, 2012, and 2017, he received nominations for Outstanding Sports Personality – Studio Analyst and Outstanding Sports Personality – Sports Event Analyst, respectively.