Davis to host 'College GameDay'

BRISTOL, Conn. -- Rece Davis is taking over as host of ESPN's "College GameDay," with Chris Fowler focusing on calling the Saturday prime-time games.

The network said Thursday that Davis had signed a contract extension through 2021.

"I'm extremely pleased to continue to call ESPN my professional home," Davis said. "The past 20 years have been extraordinarily rewarding and this new chapter as the host of 'College GameDay' is one I eagerly embrace. I've cared deeply about college football my entire life. As a result, I'm humbled and grateful to join the brilliant men and women who have built 'GameDay' into the sport's defining show."

Fowler had hosted "GameDay" since 1990. Last season, he became ESPN's lead play-by-play announcer for college football, replacing Brent Musburger. That meant sometimes hosting "GameDay" in one location in the morning and traveling to another site for ABC's "Saturday Night Football." Analyst Kirk Herbstreit does the same.

Still, Fowler initially said he wanted to continue with both roles, as he did in 2014.

But Thursday's announcement allows ESPN to keep Davis and give him a broader role, with Fowler still in a prominent position.

"I am truly proud and gratified to have hosted 'College GameDay' for the past 25 years, from the humble early days in the studio to its present place on the sports TV landscape," Fowler said. "Traveling the country with Lee (Corso), Kirk, Desmond (Howard), and the whole 'GameDay' family as we shared Saturday mornings with passionate football fans has been professionally and personally rewarding ... and unforgettable fun."

Davis joined the network in 1995. He will no longer call Thursday night college football games for the network.

"This agreement reflects our belief that Rece Davis is one of the very best in the industry," said John Wildhack, ESPN's executive vice president for programming and production.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.