As an Abilene Christian student, Lance Barrow (’77) would leave on the weekends to cover NFL games and golf tournaments with legendary broadcaster Pat Summerall, and then he would have to race back to Abilene to be back on campus for his classes on Mondays.
Before he even crossed the Commencement stage, Barrow had already begun what would become a 44-year career as with CBS Sports that culminated on Dec. 12, 2023, with his induction into the Sports Broadcasting Hall of Fame at a ceremony in New York.
A 13-time Emmy Award winning producer of CBS coverage of the Super Bowl, the Olympics, Final Four, The Masters and nearly every major professional sport, Barrow has staked his claim as one of the best sports television producers ever.
“Lance will go down in history as one of the most distinguished and accomplished producers in the annals of sports television,” CBS Sports lead announcer Jim Nantz told the Sports Broadcasting Hall of Fame. “It’s a massive achievement to be the leader of one network sports package. Amazingly, Lance was in charge of two: CBS Golf and the NFL on CBS. Since 1997, he choreographed our coverage of the Masters, the PGA Championship and the Super Bowl. He did them all over and over again and won countless Emmys. A true testament to a legendary career.”
Barrow was joined by eight others in the hall’s Class of 2023, including NBC Sunday Night Football analyst Cris Collinsworth, leading sports reporter Andrea Joyce and long-time NBA on TNT host Ernie Johnson Jr.
Barrow served as the coordinating producer for The NFL on CBS from 2004-17 during which he served as the lead game producer for the 2016 Super Bowl, which is among the most-watched broadcasts in television history. Before that, he served in the same capacity for the 2013 Super Bowl, as well as the 2010 Super Bowl, which was watched by 106.5 million viewers making it the most-watched program in television history at the time, and for the Super Bowl in 2007. Before that he was replay director for CBS Sports’ coverage of the 2001 Super Bowl and the 2004 Super Bowl.
He stepped down after 44 years at CBS Sports and began an advisory role with the network following the 2020 PGA golf season.
While still a student at ACU, Barrow joined CBS Sports in May 1976 as a spotter/researcher for Summerall. Since then, he has served in virtually every capacity of CBS Sports’ golf production. Barrow produced CBS Sports’ coverage of ski jumping and nordic combined at the 1994 Olympic Winter Games and was the associate director of the primetime broadcasts at the 1992 Olympic Winter Games. He also has served as producer for coverage of NCAA basketball, college football and auto racing.
His credits include the Masters and PGA Championship; NCAA Men’s Final Four; U.S. Open Tennis Championships; The NFL Today; and six Super Bowls. Barrow also has earned Emmy Awards for his work on the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship, the Daytona 500 and the NFL.
In 2007, the Professional Caddie Association presented Barrow with the first Gene Sarazen Spirit Award, and in 2013, he was selected to the Texas Golf Hall of Fame.
Barrow, who played football and baseball while at ACU, has received several honors from his alma mater over the years. He was ACU’s Young Alumnus of the Year in 1995, Outstanding Alumnus of the Year in 2008, and in October 2017 he earned a Lifetime Achievement Award from the ACU Sports Hall of Fame. He served as a university trustee from 2005-20.
During the induction ceremony, Barrow noted how blessed he has been throughout his career (watch Barrow’s full induction speech here).
“We’re so fortunate to be able to do this,” Barrow said, before giving some advice to the other sports broadcasters in the room. “Take a moment and just stop for a minute to just look around at where you are and what you’re getting to do, and say, ‘Thank you, Lord, for letting me do this.’ ”
— Jonathan Smith
Dec. 13, 2023