SBD/April 8, 2014/Media

Put The Highlighters Away: Digger Phelps Retiring From ESPN After 20 Years

Phelps coached for 20 years before a 20-year stint with ESPN
ESPN college basketball analyst Digger Phelps last night announced that he would be retiring from broadcasting after 20 years on the network. Phelps, during a live edition of "College GameDay" prior to the UConn-Kentucky national championship game, said, "I spent 20 years at Notre Dame as a coach and now 20 years here at ESPN, doing a great job with all you people. Now it's time for me to move forward. This will be my last time on TV." ESPN's Rece Davis said, "It’s been a great run, Digger, and we thank you for your contributions. We're in our 10th year at 'GameDay,' and certainly Digger's contribution and personality have been a major factor and an integral part of how successful this show has been" (“College GameDay,” ESPN2, 4/7). BROADCASTING & CABLE's Tim Baysinger notes Phelps joined ESPN in '93 as a studio and game analyst, and became known for a "quirk where his highlighter and pocket square in his suit were always the same color" (BROADCASTINGCABLE.com, 4/8). In South Bend, Tom Noie notes a two-year contract that Phelps signed in '12 "is expiring." Phelps said, "It's time for me to move on. There's other things I want to do." Noie notes in retirement, Phelps and fiancée Linda Costas "want to travel," and Phelps "might write another book." Phelps: "There's a lot of options out there" (SOUTH BEND TRIBUNE, 4/8). ESPN’s Keith Olbermann noted people "of this age know the television figure," but Phelps also was a "legendary coach” (“Olbermann,” ESPN2, 4/7).
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