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‘Stanford Steve’ Coughlin Joining ESPN’s ‘College GameDay’

On the heels of ESPN coming to terms with PENN Entertainment to launch its own sportsbook in November, ESPN is adding a new college football betting analyst to its signature program. ‘Stanford Steve’ Coughlin, who frequently appears on Daily Wager and the midnight edition of SportsCenter with Scott Van Pelt, is going to be joining College GameDay on the road in the role. He will be joined by host Rece Davis, insider Pete Thamel, reporters Jen Lada and Jess Sims and analysts Lee Corso, Kirk Herbstreit, Desmond Howard and Pat McAfee on the 37th season of the show.

Coughlin, a former tight end for the Arizona Cardinals, will be on site of the weekly featured game and also join College Football Live on Fridays from the same location. College GameDay looks to build off of its most-watched regular season in the show’s history after averaging 2.1 million viewers last year. The figure represents a 10% increase from the prior year and also garnered nine episodes with an average of at least 2 million viewers. It is unknown how the new role will affect his obligations with other programming across the network.

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“Thinking back, getting up early and watching College GameDay during my playing days at Stanford was part of the routine,” Coughlin said. “I’m jacked up to be part of this crew. Charlotte, let’s bring it [in] Week 1!”

Coughlin began working at ESPN as a production assistant in 2004 before being named the producer of Van Pelt’s national radio show with Ryen Russillo. When Van Pelt left the airwaves to host his own late-night edition of SportsCenter, he implemented Coughlin within the program – specifically during the “Bad Beats” segment. Van Pelt is reportedly in consideration for the open Monday Night Countdown hosting role, which comes after he expressed that he will likely not be hosting SportsCenter in the next three years.

“Anyone who has met ‘Stanford Steve’ knows how passionate he is about college football,” Lee Fitting, ESPN’s senior vice president of production, said in a statement. “Adding him to College GameDay will be a great fit as we tap into both his knowledge of the sport and his betting expertise every week to serve all of our loyal fans.”

Now, Coughlin is stepping into the position previously held by Chris “The Bear” Fallica, who moved to FOX Sports as its sports wagering expert. Flutter Entertainment and FOX recently agreed to gradually shut down its sportsbook, FOX BET, but it does not represent a move out of the business entirely. Instead, FOX is creating a new version of FOX BET Super 6 that will be released later in the summer.

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