Faces of the Pac-12 Networks: Ronnie Lott

By Jonathan OkanesRonnie Lott

FULL NAME: Ronald Mandel Lott
AGE: 53

CAREER HIGHLIGHTS: Two-time All-American defensive back at USC. …Helped Trojans win 1978 national championship. … Won four Super Bowls with the San Francisco 49ers. … Inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2000. … FOX Sports NFL analyst from 1996-98.

Just like he used to when an opposing wide receiver came across the middle, former USC All-American Ronnie Lott took the opportunity to get involved with the Pac-12 Network head on.

On the same airplane as Larry Scott two years ago, Lott overheard the Pac-12 commissioner discussing the idea of beginning a new television network for the conference. Lott launched a preemptive strike.

“I approached him with the idea that if it ever comes to fruition, I would have the opportunity to possibly work for him,” Lott said. “Just knowing Larry and his intention of building something that would allow fans to feel what it’s like to be part of the conference of champions, I was excited at that moment. That was two years ago. Here we are sitting here talking about it.”

Lott was one of three on-air personalities signed by the Pac-12 Network last week, the initial trio of talent brought in by the network. Lott joins former Stanford swimmer Summer Sanders and former UCLA quarterback and coach Rick Neuheisel as the three faces of the Pac-12 Network. Neuheisel also coached at Washington and Colorado.

Lott’s connection to the Pac-12 runs deep. He played defensive back for the Trojans from 1977-80 and was an All-American after his junior and senior season. Lott helped USC win two Rose Bowls and the 1978 national championship. He also played basketball for the Trojans. Lott’s son, Ryan Nece, went on to become a linebacker at UCLA.

Lott went on to have a Hall-of-Fame career in the NFL with the San Francisco 49ers. Lott has remained in the Bay Area since he finished playing and has followed the Pac-12 closely.

“I’m grateful that I have this opportunity because I get to stay connected to something that I know a lot about,” Lott said. “I love all the sports.”

While football is Lott’s obvious expertise, he said he is looking forward to learning about the student-athletes from all over the Pac-12 – both as a broadcaster and a fan himself.

“We want to connect to those athletes and be a part of their lives and know what they are thinking about and how they are thinking about the future,” Lott said. “Hopefully we’ll be able to convey that to the audience.”

In his new role, Lott will serve as a studio analyst for the network’s football broadcasts. The Pac-12 Network is scheduled to televise 35 football games during the 2012 season.


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