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Gus Johnson

Johnson announcing at a 2008 NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament game
Born August 10, 1967 (1967-08-10) (age 42)
Detroit, Michigan

Gus Johnson (born August 10, 1967) is an American sports announcer. He currently is a sports announcer for Strikeforce mixed martial arts alongside Mauro Ranallo. He is employed by CBS Sports, Showtime, Madison Square Garden Network, the Big Ten Network, and the Detroit Lions Television Network. He is perhaps best known for his play-by-play coverage of CBS Sports' March Madness.





Johnson grew up in Detroit, Michigan, and attended the University of Detroit Jesuit High School and Academy. He graduated in 1985. That same year, according to the winter 1997 edition of University of Detroit Jesuit's alumni magazine, Highlights, Johnson was all-Catholic quarterback for the school's football team, an all-Catholic shooting guard on the basketball team, and first baseman and catcher on the baseball team. The 1984-1985 University of Detroit Jesuit yearbook also notes that Johnson was a co-captain of both the football and basketball teams and most valuable player on the latter.

Johnson subsequently graduated from Howard University with a degree in political science in 1990 and was a four-year letter winner on Howard's baseball team.

Early career

Johnson called play-by-play for the Detroit Tigers Major League Baseball franchise (1998–99), the NBA's Minnesota Timberwolves (1996–97), Big East Basketball on the Big East Network, college hockey and college basketball on ESPN, and Canadian Football League games for ESPN2. He also does some NFL games for CBS.

Johnson hosted ESPN's Black College Sports Today in 1991. After brief stints as an on-air personality with KXXV-TV in Waco, Texas, WAAY-TV in Huntsville, Alabama, and WXII-TV in Greensboro, North Carolina, he served as the weekend anchor for WTTG-TV in Washington, D.C., from 1991 to 1992. Gus also had a small cameo, as an announcer, in the 1998 film "He Got Game".

Current roles

Johnson covers mixed martial arts events for Strikeforce. Along with numerous sports for CBS Sports, with his most recognized role as a play-by-play announcer for CBS' March Madness, which he has worked each year since 1996. While Johnson is best known for his excitable play-by-play announcing, he is particularly known for his calls at the end of several close NCAA Tournament games including, UCLA-Princeton in 1996, Florida-Gonzaga in 1999, Syracuse-Vermont in 2005, UCLA-Gonzaga in 2006, Ohio State-Xavier in 2007, and Michigan State-Kansas in 2009. Other CBS duties include play-by-play announcing for the NFL on CBS, college football, track and field, boxing, mixed martial arts EliteXC: Primetime, and bobsled/luge at the 1998 Winter Olympics.

He is well known for his dramatic calls of exciting moments during games, often using his signature phrases "Oh my goodness!", "Rise and fire!", and "Pure!"

In addition to his duties at CBS, Johnson has worked for the Madison Square Garden Network (MSG) since 1994, where he is the current radio play-by-play and backup television play-by-play announcer of the NBA's New York Knicks, in addition to providing television play-by-play for MSG's coverage of the WNBA's New York Liberty. With the Knicks, he is well known for some of his calls. For example, one famous Gus line occurs after Knicks forward Al Harrington scores: "My name is Al Harrington... And I get Buckets!" Perhaps Johnson's most famous Knicks call was his yelling and screaming during Allan Houston's last second shot to knock off the top-seeded Miami Heat in the first round of the 1999 playoffs, en route to an unlikely NBA Finals appearance. Johnson has also provided commentary for MSG's coverage of the Golden Gloves Tournament and served as host of the "Yankees ScoreCard" and "SportsDesk", as well as the New York Rangers and Knicks "GameNight." Beginning in 2006, Johnson served as the pre-season TV voice for the Buffalo Bills and Philadelphia Eagles. Johnson also provides play-by-play commentary for the Arena Football League's New York Dragons.

Beginning in August 2008, Johnson started handling play-by-play duties for Detroit Lions pre-season games on The Detroit Lions Television Network. In October 2008, it was announced that Johnson will join the Big Ten Network for their basketball coverage during the 2008-09 season.[1]

Beginning with the February 7, 2009 edition of Showtime Championship Boxing, Johnson became the lead blow-by-blow caller, replacing longtime Showtime voice Steve Albert.

Johnson will also be the play-by-play man alongside Bill Raftery in EA Sports NCAA Basketball 10.


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