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ESPN's Doctor Is Still In

The doctor is going to stay a while longer.

Dr. Jerry Punch has signed a multiyear contract extension with ESPN that will keep involved in motor sports and return him to college sports

Associated with ESPN since 1984, Punch had been serving as a pit reporter and lap-by-lap announcer on the worldwide leader’s NASCAR race telecasts through the network’s recently-completed final season of live NASCAR racing. In his new role, Punch will return to ESPN’s college football and basketball coverage in various roles. His first game will be Jan. 15 as he calls the Murray State vs. Belmont Ohio Valley Conference matchup on ESPNU. In addition, Punch will work as a pit reporter on ABC’s telecasts of the Indianapolis 500 and other races in the Verizon IndyCar Series.

He is ESPN’s sixth longest-tenured announcer, following Bob Ley, Cliff Drysdale, Chris Berman, Dick Vitale and Mike Patrick.

“ESPN has been my home for a long time and I’m grateful for the opportunities presented to me to remain part of the team,” said Punch. “I love the passion of college sports and look forward to helping bring those stories to our viewers and to reconnecting with the college coaches and staffs I’ve enjoyed relationships with over the years.”

In his on-air work, Punch has sometimes called on knowledge from his first career as an emergency room physician to explain injuries. He spent 14 years as the director of emergency room services at a Florida hospital and served two terms as chief of staff there. He remains active in the medical profession today.