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In the world of sports broadcasting, Kirk Herbstreit is a name that needs no introduction. Renowned for his insightful analysis and charismatic presence on television, Kirk Herbstreit is not just your typical sportscaster. He’s also known for a unique and heartwarming companion who accompanies him on his journeys – his loyal golden retriever, Ben.
The Emotional Support Behind the Scenes
Kirk Herbstreit’s extensive travels to cover NFL and college football games are no secret. What many may not realize is that he has a special reason for bringing Ben along. Ben is not just a pet; he plays a vital role as Kirk’s emotional support dog.
Ben’s journey into the limelight began in 2021 when he made his first TV appearance during a “GameDay” preview featuring the Cincinnati Bearcats and Tulsa Golden Hurricane. Little did anyone know that this adorable golden retriever would become a constant presence in Kirk’s life, both on and off the screen.
A Crucial Support System During Tough Times
In 2023, the significance of Ben’s presence skyrocketed when Kirk’s son, Zak Herbstreit, faced severe health challenges. Zak was hospitalized for a heart condition, which undoubtedly was a trying time for the Herbstreit family. It was during this period that Ben assumed a crucial role as Kirk’s emotional support dog.
With Zak unable to participate in Ohio State football practices, Ben became a source of comfort and companionship for Kirk. Despite the demands of Kirk’s role as an ESPN analyst and his membership in “Thursday Night Football,” Ben seamlessly integrated into the family and provided the emotional support that was much needed during those challenging days.
In the Limelight
It’s not just at home that Ben plays a crucial role; he’s also a part of Kirk’s professional life. Whether it’s staying in the broadcast booth with Kirk during game analysis or accompanying him on various media appearances, Ben has become an inseparable part of Kirk’s travel routine.
Ben’s charming presence has even caught the attention of notable figures in the sports world. During the Week 17 Jets-Browns game, Aaron Rodgers couldn’t resist giving Ben a few pats. It’s clear that Ben isn’t just Kirk’s companion; he’s a beloved and recognized figure in the world of sports broadcasting.
Who is Kirk Herbstreit?
Now that we’ve delved into the heartwarming story of Kirk Herbstreit and Ben, let’s take a moment to get to know the man himself.
Kirk Edward Herbstreit, born on August 19, 1969, is an accomplished American sportscaster and a former college football player. His insightful analysis and commentary have made him a household name among football enthusiasts. Herbstreit serves as an analyst on ESPN’s College GameDay, a prominent television program covering college football. He also provides color commentary for college football games on both ESPN and ABC, in addition to his role as a part of the Thursday night NFL games on Prime Video.
|Kirk Edward Herbstreit
|Sportscaster, Former College Football Player
|Date of Birth
|August 19, 1969
|Place of Birth
|54 (As of January 9, 2024)
|Jim Herbstreit (Father)
|Four Sons: Chase, Jake, Tye, Zak
A Football Journey
Before making his mark in the broadcasting world, Kirk Herbstreit showcased his athletic prowess on the football field. From 1989 to 1993, he played as a quarterback for the Ohio State Buckeyes. His football journey included several appearances in games during his junior season, culminating in him holding the starting quarterback position throughout his senior season. Beyond his achievements on the field, Herbstreit’s transition to a successful career in sports journalism has solidified his status as a prominent and respected figure in the world of college football analysis.
Kirk Herbstreit’s Family
Family is a central part of Kirk Herbstreit’s life, providing crucial support in balancing his busy career. He met his wife, Alison, during their time at Ohio State, where she served as a cheerleader. The couple tied the knot in 1998 and has since raised a family together, consisting of four sons.
In 2011, the Herbstreits made a move from Ohio to Nashville, where they now divide their time between Nashville and Cincinnati. Cincinnati holds a special place for them, especially since their youngest son, Chase, plays quarterback for St. Xavier High School in Cincinnati. It’s evident that family remains a priority for Kirk and Alison, as they actively support their sons in their various athletic and academic pursuits.
The Herbstreit family has a deep connection to sports, with twin sons, Jake and Tye, having been athletes at Montgomery Bell Academy. Tye continued his football journey as a walk-on at Clemson University, while Jake initially walked on at Clemson before transferring to Ohio State to focus on academics. Another son, Zak, joined the Ohio State football team as a preferred walk-on in 2021, playing the role of a tight end. This familial connection to football further underscores the Herbstreit family’s deep-rooted passion for sports and education.
Kirk Herbstreit’s Hobbies
Kirk Herbstreit has a variety of hobbies that complement his busy professional life. His interests include playing EA Sports video games, providing a recreational outlet and perhaps a connection to his earlier involvement as a commentator in EA Sports’ NCAA Football video game series. In addition to digital entertainment, Herbstreit maintains a commitment to physical well-being by engaging in regular workouts.
Beyond gaming and fitness, Herbstreit is a passionate horse racing enthusiast, demonstrating his diverse interests beyond football. His love for sports extends to following Ohio teams, including the Cincinnati Bengals, Columbus Blue Jackets, and Cincinnati Reds. Notably, he played a significant role in the documentary “How We Lookin’?” about the life and career of longtime Reds broadcaster Marty Brennaman, showcasing his connection to the broader sports community.
Herbstreit’s affection for animals, particularly his golden retrievers, is evident in his leisure time. His bond with his golden retriever, Ben, is highlighted, as Ben has become a loyal companion, accompanying Herbstreit on his extensive travels for football-related broadcast roles. These hobbies not only provide a balance to his professional commitments but also offer insights into the diverse interests that contribute to Kirk Herbstreit’s well-rounded lifestyle.
Kirk Herbstreit’s Faith
Kirk Herbstreit is a devout Christian, openly expressing the profound role faith plays in his life. When questioned about the significance of his religious beliefs, he emphasized, “Everything. I try to every day walk that path.” This succinctly underscores the centrality of Herbstreit’s Christian faith, highlighting the guiding principles that shape his daily life and actions.
Kirk Herbstreit’s Career
Kirk Herbstreit’s journey from a high school athlete to a renowned sportscaster is nothing short of remarkable. Born and raised in Centerville, Ohio, he emerged as a multifaceted athlete during his high school years, excelling not only as a quarterback for Centerville High School’s football team but also making a mark in basketball and baseball. Graduating as the Ohio Gatorade Player of the Year, Herbstreit’s athletic prowess earned him a place in the Ohio State Buckeyes as a quarterback, playing from 1989 to 1993. He became a co-captain and the team MVP in his senior season, setting records like the highest number of pass completions in the Ohio State-Michigan rivalry game.
After completing his degree in business administration at Ohio State in 1993, Herbstreit transitioned to a successful broadcasting career. Joining ESPN in 1996, he quickly rose to prominence as the lead analyst on College GameDay, contributing insightful commentary alongside a team of experts. Known for his dedication to charitable causes, including the Buckeye Cruise for Cancer and The Make-A-Wish Foundation Ultimate Sports Auction, Herbstreit’s impact extends beyond the broadcast booth.
Over the years, he has contributed significantly to ESPN’s coverage, earning a nomination for a 1997 Sports Emmy Award and establishing himself as a prominent figure in college football analysis. Herbstreit’s involvement in various football events, such as lending his name to the Kirk Herbstreit National Kickoff Classic and joining ABC’s Saturday college football primetime games, further solidifies his influence in the sports broadcasting arena. His recent roles include serving as the color commentator for Thursday Night Football on Prime Video, showcasing the versatility and longevity of his career in the dynamic world of sports media.
Kirk Herbstreit’s Net Worth
Kirk Herbstreit’s net worth is estimated to be around $12 million. His primary source of income comes from his illustrious career in sports broadcasting and analysis. As an esteemed analyst for ESPN, Herbstreit is prominently featured on “College GameDay,” a popular television program covering college football. He also provides color commentary for college football games on ESPN and ABC, along with serving as an analyst for Thursday night NFL games on Prime Video.
Herbstreit’s extensive experience, insightful commentary, and on-screen presence have contributed to his success in the field, leading to numerous accolades, including five Sports Emmy Awards. Additionally, he has been actively involved in various football-related events, such as the Kirk Herbstreit National Kickoff Classic, further solidifying his influence in the sports broadcasting arena. While specific details about his earnings may not be publicly disclosed, it is evident that Herbstreit’s successful career in sports broadcasting forms the cornerstone of his financial endeavors.
Why does Kirk Herbstreit Travel with his Dog – FAQs
1. Why does Kirk Herbstreit travel with his dog? Kirk Herbstreit travels with his dog, Ben, as an emotional support companion, especially during challenging times such as when his son Zak Herbstreit faced health issues.
2. Is Ben, Kirk Herbstreit’s dog, always with him during football broadcasts? Yes, Ben, the golden retriever, is a constant travel companion for Kirk during his football-related broadcast duties, offering emotional support and companionship.
3. When did Ben first make a public appearance with Kirk Herbstreit? Ben made his first appearance on TV in 2021 during a “GameDay” preview of the Cincinnati Bearcats and Tulsa Golden Hurricane contest.
4. How did Ben become Kirk Herbstreit’s emotional support dog? Ben took on the role of an emotional support dog for Kirk after Zak Herbstreit, Kirk’s son and a tight end for Ohio State, was hospitalized for a heart condition, prompting the need for additional support.
5. Has Ben, Kirk Herbstreit’s dog, received attention from other notable figures in the sports world? Yes, Ben has received attention from notable figures like Aaron Rodgers, who gave him pats during a Week 17 Jets-Browns game while Kirk continued his duties as an analyst.
Now that you know why Kirk Herbstreit travels with his beloved dog, Ben, and have gained insights into Kirk’s life and career, you can appreciate the heartwarming story behind this unique bond even more.