Sports Outside the Beltway

Dan Patrick Leaving ESPN after 18 Years

Dan Patrick is leaving ESPN after 18 years.

Dan Patrick is leaving ESPN.

Patrick, who has been with the network for 18 years, announced on his radio show Monday that he will appear on air for the last time Aug. 17. Norby Williamson, ESPN executive vice president for production, made a simultaneous announcement. A news release said that the mutual agreement will allow Patrick to pursue new interests outside of ESPN.

The final week of Patrick’s radio show, which started in 1999, will include a look back at memorable moments, interviews and guests.

“If there was animosity, I wouldn’t be doing any radio shows after today,” Patrick said on his show, adding, “I hope to be doing radio somewhere, somehow, down the road.”

In a news release, Patrick said: “I feel privileged to have had this opportunity and I have extremely mixed emotions about leaving. With that said, I told ESPN that I believe it’s time for me to try something different, something that will also be challenging and rewarding. While I’m not sure what that will be, I am grateful to ESPN for its willingness to allow me to pursue new endeavors.”

Said Williamson: “Dan has accomplished so much over the past two decades at ESPN, and fans and newsmakers have turned to him for his steady and trusted approach. We wish him the very best.”

Patrick was a “SportsCenter” anchor from 1989 to 2006, winning the National Sportscaster of the Year award from the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association in 2000. He also received a Sports Emmy Award in the Studio Host category in 1998.

In all honesty, I didn’t even realize Patrick had left SportsCenter again, having watched the show only accidentally in recent years, and seldom catch his radio show. I get my sports news online these days, turning on the television only for live games and a few talk shows like “PTI” and the “Sports Reporters.” Still, Patrick was a pro and one of the marquee faces at the network. It’ll be a major loss for them.

One wonders, though, why Patrick is leaving without a plan in place (presuming he’s telling the truth). It’s one thing to want to seek other opportunities but another entirely to do so without a paycheck.

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