Who is Gus Johnson?
One of the best Fox’ sportscasters, not just of college football but in many sports, known for his trademark catchphrases and exuberant joy during his announcing, August Cornelius ‘Gus’ Johnson Junior was born in Detroit, Michigan USA, on 10 August 1967 under the zodiac sign of Leo. He holds American nationality and his ethnicity is African-American. Besides play-by-play announcing, Gus also did track and field, boxing, the bobsled and luge events at the 1998 Olympic Winter Games, and was an anchor for the “AT&T Yankees Scorecard”, and host of the New York Rangers and Knicks “GameNight” programs.
Early life and education
Gus was raised in Detroit by his parents, August Cornelius Johnson Senior and Btroy Johnson, as their only child. Being secretive when it comes to his personal life, he hasn’t spoken about his parents’ professions. However, he once spoke about the reason why he become a broadcaster, saying that his mother had a big role in his choice of career.
‘In 1979, she sat me in front of the TV’, he recalled, ‘and there was this face. This angel. Who looked like me, who was sharp, who was handsome, who had pearly white teeth and was so articulate and impeccably dressed, and it was Bryant Gumbel. From that day on, my mother knew what she wanted me to be.’
Bryant Gumbel is an American sportscaster and television journalist, perhaps known best as the co-host of the National Broadcasting Company’s “The Today Show”, whom Gus says was his idol.
While he was in high school, Gus was into sports, and was a co-captain and all-league quarterback of the school’s football team. Gus was the Most Valuable Player (MVP) of the basketball team, and the first baseman or catcher on the baseball team, and a four-year letter winner on the baseball team. He attended the University of Detroit Jesuit High School and Academy, and upon matriculating in 1985, he enrolled at Howard University, from which he graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science in 1990.
Before he started his career as a broadcaster, Gus had a ‘problem’, as according to some people, he sounded ‘too Black’, thus he took diction and voice classes at Sam Chwat’s school, and as he said, he practiced for years but he still has his distinctive style, which has actually made him one of the favorite play-by-play announcers.
In 1991, Gus hosted the Entertainment and Sports Programming Network’s (ESPN) “Black College Sports Today”, and then he worked on KXXV-TV in Waco, Texas, WAAY-TV in Huntsville, Alabama, and WXII-TV in Winston-Salem, North Carolina before he started working as the weekend anchor for WTTG in Washington DC, until 1992.
Two years later, he worked for the Madison Square Garden Network (MSG) as the radio and back-up television play-by-play announcer for the National Basketball Association’s (NBA) New York Knicks, and he also hosted MSG’s shows focused on Knicks, Rangers hockey and Yankees baseball teams.
In 1996, Gus started working for the Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS) Sports, where he stayed until 2011. During all these years, Gus was one of CBS’s top college basketball play-by-play voices, and his enthusiastic and dramatic calls in the deciding moments of the games became part of the fabric of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Tournaments.
He also did play-by-play for National Football League (NFL) games, worked on CBS’s coverage of March Madness, and the numerous games that Johnson has called brought him also YouTube fame.
In May 2011, the news about Gus leaving CBS floated the internet and newspapers – according to Sports Illustrated, ‘two sides could not agree on a new deal’, and Gus stated that he wanted to spend more time with his son.
On 9 May 2011, Gus signed with FOX Sports, and today he’s the lead play-by-play announcer for college basketball, working with analyst Bill Raftery and former NBA player Jim Jackson, while on college football, he pairs with analyst Joel Klatt and sideline reporter Jenny Taft.
In the summer of 2017, Gus and Jim Jackson started to work for the FOX Sports coverage of the BIG3, a 3-on-3 basketball league, founded by famous actor and hip-hop musician Ice Cube and entertainment executive Jeff Kwatinetz. Until 2018, Gus called select Milwaukee Bucks games on FOX Sports Wisconsin with former NBA star Marques Johnson, and Gus also lent his voice to Fox Sport’s coverage of the Junior NBA World Championships, a youth basketball tournament for the top 14U/8th Grade boys and girls from all around the world.
In 2021, Gus received the CoSIDA Jake Ward Award, an annual award intended for an individual who has made an outstanding contribution in the media to the field of intercollegiate athletics.
Love life and relationships
There were various rumors both concerning Gus’ love life and his sexual orientation, however, he’s a quite secretive person when it comes to his personal matters.
He has no social media accounts, except for Twitter, but his last tweet was back in 2012, and so details about his private life are hidden from the public eye.
It is known that he has a son, however, neither his name nor his mother’s name is revealed, although back in 2012, Gus once tweeted about his son, saying that his age at that time was eight. He also tweeted about his engagement, but he hasn’t revealed who the lucky lady is, and what’s happening with the two of them. It’s unclear if his then-fiancé is the mother of his son.
As of March 2022, it is assumed that Gus is single, hasn’t been married, and has one child.
Net worth and salary
This 54-year-old sportscaster has earned a decent amount of money throughout his over 30-year-long career. According to sources, his net worth has been estimated at over $5 million, and his annual salary from Fox Sports is now around $500,000 per year.