Jim Nantz is a CBS Sports TV sportcaster who is known for his colorful commentaries that are laced with his own personal experiences with the sport, such as golf, basketball and football. Born as James William Nantz III on 17 May 1959 in Charlotte North Carolina, he grew up in Colts Neck Township, New Jersey. He attended Marlboro High School where he was the co-captain of both the basketball and golf teams. After high school, he studied broadcasting at the Houston University in Texas and played in the Houston Cougars Men’s Golf Team and rubbed elbows with Fred Couples and Baline McCallister, who would later go on to become professional golfers.
After graduating in 1981, Jim Nantz broadcasted for several local TV and radio stations in Salt Lake City and Houston. Later, he became the play-by-play announcer of the Utah Jazz of the National Basketball Association and the football team of Brigham Young University. Four years later, CBS hired him to serve as play-by-play announcer and studio anchor for various sports events such as the NBA, NFL, the Masters and PGA Championship golf tournaments, the US Open Tennis Championship and the Winter Olympic Games. Since 1991, Nantz has called the NCAA Final Four men’s basketball finals in tandem with Billy Parker. The 2008-2009 season, however, saw Clark Kellogg acting as his analyst.
In 2004, Jim Nantz joined Phil Simms at the stadium booth as the top play-by-play announcer of “The NFL on CBS” after five years of hosting the pre-game program “The NFL Today” of CBS. In 2007, he called the play-by-play of Super Bowl XLI joining the ranks of Dick Enberg and Curt Gowdy as the only play-by-play announcers to call both an NCAA Men’s Basketball and Super Bowl Championship Game. He also duplicated the feat of Brent Musburger and Butler Cabin of hosting coverage of the Masters and announcing an NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship Game.
For his work in 1998, Jim Nantz received the Sports Emmy Award for Outstanding Sports Personality, Play-by-Play on April 27, 1999 becoming the first CBS sports personality to win the award since it was conceived in 1993. The following year, he duplicated his feat by winning the same award. Nantz is also one of the youngest sports personality to receive the Basketball Hall of Fame’s Curt Gowdy Award for broadcasting. In 2001, the University of Houston bestowed him with an Honorary Doctorate Degree in Humane Letters.
In his first book, “Always by My Side- A Father’s Grace and a Sports Journey Unlike Any Other,” which was released in May of 2008, Jim Nantz relates his personal experiences with the sports of golf, basketball and football and the personalities he has come across in the course of his colorful career. His Republican leanings can be gleaned from the fact that no less than President George H.W. Bush himself, who is one of his father figures, frequent golf partner and friend wrote the foreword of his book. Nantz has contributed to the presidential candidacies of Republicans Fred Thompson and George W. Bush.