Ian Eagle
Eagle in 2021
Born (1969-02-09) February 9, 1969 (age 52)
Other names"Bird"
Alma materSyracuse University
OccupationSports announcer/commentator
Years active1992–present
Spouse(s)Alisa Eagle
Children2
Parents

Ian Eagle (/ˈ.ən/ EYE-ən; born February 9, 1969) is an American sports announcer. He calls NBA, NFL and college basketball games on CBS, TNT, and TBS, as well as Brooklyn Nets games on the YES Network and French Open tennis for Tennis Channel.[2] Other announcing experiences include Army–Navy football games, boxing, and NCAA track and field for CBS.[3]

Early life and education

Eagle was born to entertainers Jack Eagle and Monica Maris. Jack, a former "Catskills comedian" and commercial actor, was best known for portraying "Brother Dominic" and "Mr. Cholesterol" in Xerox and Fleischmann's margarine television commercials respectively in the 1970s. Maris was a singer.[4][5] He graduated from Syracuse University's S. I. Newhouse School of Public Communications in 1990.[6]

Career

Early career

Eagle began his career by announcing football, basketball, and lacrosse for the Syracuse Orange on WAER, a student run radio station. While at Syracuse, he was in the Alpha Epsilon Pi fraternity. Following his graduation in 1990, Eagle began working for WFAN Radio in New York City as a producer. In 1992, WFAN gave him his own show (Bagels and Baseball). In 1993, Eagle was given pregame and postgame duties for the Jets. 1994 saw Eagle's first year as a Nets play-by-play radio announcer. A year later, he was made a TV announcer for SportsChannel, which later became Fox Sports Net New York (now MSG Plus). In 1997, WFAN made Eagle play-by-play announcer for Jets games.

Later television and radio career

Eagle joined CBS in 1998 doing announcing work for NFL and NCAA basketball. He continues to serve these roles today. In 2010, he joined Dan Fouts to make up the number three broadcast team for CBS' NFL coverage. The pair was elevated to the number two team behind Jim Nantz and Phil Simms in the 2014 season.[7] After Fouts parted ways with CBS, and with the NFL’s playoff expansion, which included CBS gaining rights to an extra playoff game, during the 2020 offseason, the network paired him with former Fox analyst Charles Davis, and the duo now call one of CBS’s Wild Card games every year, and a Divisional Game in even years. Other CBS work includes boxing, The Pilot Pen Tennis tournament, the U.S. Open (both the late night show and daytime studio host for 2008 U.S. Open coverage), and the NCAA Track and Field Championships.

Prior to joining the YES Network as Nets announcer in 2002, Ian Eagle served the same role for the Nets on the MSG Network and Fox Sports Net New York. When Marv Albert joined the YES Network prior to the 2005-06 NBA season, the games were split between the two broadcasters, before Eagle again became the primary announcer for the Nets in the 2011-12 NBA season upon Albert's departure.

During the 2010 NBA Playoffs, Eagle called two games on TNT, a likely move to promote him to calling national television broadcasts, similar to what Albert, former Minnesota Timberwolves play-by-play man Kevin Harlan and Knicks play-by-play man Mike Breen experienced. He was again called up by TNT for the 2011 NBA Playoffs, pairing with his YES colleague Mike Fratello. He has since continued to cover the NBA Playoffs for TNT through the first 2 rounds, though the amount of games fluctuates on whether the Nets make the playoffs (in 2019 and 2020, with the Nets making the playoffs, he instead covered the team locally on YES and missed the entire 1st round of TNT coverage, with Spero Dedes filling-in. He returned to cover part of the Toronto-76ers 2nd round series for TNT). He also does play-by-play for Thursday Night Football on Westwood One. On Sirius, in addition to his daily talk show, Eagle did a weekly talk show, The Phil Jackson Show, with Los Angeles Lakers coach Phil Jackson. And Eagle retains his roots to WFAN, occasionally serving as a fill-in talk show host on his old station.

Eagle also serves as the voice-over host of NBA Action replaced Spero Dedes in 2005 and previously, NBA Jam. In 2013, he called the international telecasts of the 2013 NBA Finals alongside Jim Spanarkel, his partner on Nets broadcasts on YES.

Prior to the 2019-20 NBA season, it was announced that as a replacement to the recently eliminated "Players Only" broadcasts which occurred on Tuesday nights beginning during the 2nd half of the season, TNT would instate a more traditional broadcast format to their Tuesday Night slate of games. Eagle was announced to be one of the play-by-play announcers to the weekly scheduled doubleheader, along with Brewers announcer Brian Anderson. Eagle will be partnered with either Stan Van Gundy or Jim Jackson.

Since Eagle pronounces his first name "EYE-un" (instead of the more common "EE-an"), he has often admitted that life was easier prior to the 1986 release of the movie Iron Eagle. In fact, many callers (including prominent sports figures) continue to call him "Iron Eagle"—much to his chagrin.

Broadcasting partners

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Other announcing

Personal life

Eagle lives in Essex Fells, New Jersey with his wife Alisa. They have two children, Noah and Erin.[9] Noah, also a Syracuse alum, is a play-by-play announcer for college football on CBS, the Los Angeles Clippers on radio, and held the same role for Nickelodeon's coverage of an NFL Wild Card Game.[10][11]

Awards

References

  1. ^ "Q&A: YES' Ian Eagle on 25 years of Nets basketball, including a near interview stumble and top-3 moments".
  2. ^ "Biographies".
  3. ^ "CBS Sports TV Team - CBSSports.com".
  4. ^ "Eagle, Ian. "Broadcaster of the Week: Ian Eagle, New Jersey Nets," NBA.com, Thursday, March 1, 2007". Archived from the original on January 8, 2018. Retrieved March 3, 2007.
  5. ^ "Passings: Jack Eagle; Comedian acted in TV commercials," Los Angeles Times, Friday, January 18, 2008.
  6. ^ Crockett, Corey (March 4, 2012). "Ian Eagle explains past experiences, path to successful broadcasting". The Daily Orange. Retrieved September 14, 2021.
  7. ^ "CBS Sports 2014 booth pairings: Ian Eagle, Dan Fouts named No. 2 team".
  8. ^ "Ian Eagle ::Tennis Channel". September 17, 2021.
  9. ^ Ian Eagle, CBS Sports. Accessed November 9, 2012. "A 1990 graduate of Syracuse University, Eagle was the play-by-play voice of the Orangemen for football, basketball and lacrosse, and was awarded the Bob Costas Award for Outstanding Sportscasting. He lives in Essex Fells, N.J., with his wife, Alisa, and two children."
  10. ^ Ditota, Donna (October 2, 2019). "How Syracuse grad Noah Eagle, at 22, landed the Clippers radio play-by-play gig". syracuse. Retrieved October 3, 2019.
  11. ^ "Bears-Saints Broadcast on Nickelodeon Draws Rave Reviews From Fans". NBC Chicago. January 10, 2021.
Preceded byGreg Gumbel #2 play-by-play announcer, NFL on CBS 2014–present Succeeded byIncumbent