ESPN officially has its next sideline reporter for Saturday Night Football.
With Maria Taylor off to NBC and Tom Rinaldi working for FOX, there’s a pretty big hole in ESPN’s premier college football sideline reporter department. The hole is being filled, though.
ESPN announced on Monday afternoon that veteran sports reporter Holly Rowe will take over for the primetime Saturday night games.
Here’s the official announcement:
ESPN announced today that longtime ESPN commentator Holly Rowe will join the ABC Saturday Night Football team this fall. Rowe will take on the sideline reporter role for the franchise, joining play-by-play commentator Chris Fowler and analyst Kirk Herbstreit as she kicks off her 26th season covering college football for ESPN and ABC. She will begin her new duties in August as part of her existing multi-year contract, and this new assignment continues Rowe’s reporting presence from kickoff of the college football season through the conclusion of the College Football Playoff.
Rowe is extremely pumped.
“My entire life has revolves around college football so forgive me if I am here just crying all day!!! Beyond grateful, humbled and excited. Thank you to everyone who has helped me along the way!” she tweeted.
My entire life has revolves around college football so forgive me if I am here just crying all day!!! Beyond grateful, humbled and excited. Thank you to everyone who has helped me along the way!
“Make the big time where YOU are” ❤️ https://t.co/OGzyi6dnKQ
— Holly Rowe (@sportsiren) August 9, 2021
The sports media world is pumped, too.
— John Bianco (@UT_Bianco) August 9, 2021
— Tracy Wolfson (@tracywolfson) August 9, 2021
This ROCKS. https://t.co/ma3UYF9H79
— Marilyn Payne (@marilyn_payne) August 9, 2021
congratulations to one of the best to ever do the job! https://t.co/IiBdAFKOR9
— Kris Budden (@KrisBudden) August 9, 2021
Incredibly well-deserved https://t.co/BZE0XsmBwU
— Jeff Platt (@jeffplatt) August 9, 2021
Holly could not be more deserving. The Gold Standard as a reporter, teammate and friend. As beloved a person as I’ve ever witnessed in this industry & with great reason. Way to go Hol!!!! https://t.co/T00TS5YRRV
— Ryan Ruocco (@RyanRuocco) August 9, 2021
Rowe, who has been with the network in a full-time capacity since 1998, shared more on her reaction to the news.
“When they told me, I just started crying because I’ve been obsessed with college football my entire life,” Rowe said. “It’s a dream come true and I’m thankful to my bosses for this opportunity. I’m starting my 26th season covering games on ABC and ESPN, and it’s been long years filled with hard work. I’m excited to join what’s been established as the best team in college football with Chris and Kirk, and I hope to be the world’s best teammate to them.
“Early in my career, I would cover the NCAA Division III National Championship every year and I met a legendary coach named Frosty Westering,” Rowe added. “His quote for life was ‘make the big time where you are’ so you’re not always chasing the big time. I’ve adopted that as my personal mantra and I’ve tried to make the ‘big time’ where I am, putting my heart and soul into every show and every game. It’s really special for that to finally pay off and I’m just grateful, honored and humbled.”