ROSEMONT, Ill. – The Big Ten Conference announced today that Dave Revsine, BTN’s lead studio host, will serve as host of the 2018 Big Ten Kickoff Luncheon, which will be held Tuesday, July 24, in the Grand Ballroom at the Chicago Marriott Downtown Magnificent Mile.
Revsine will be joined at the Kickoff Luncheon by each of the Big Ten’s 14 head coaches, 42 of the conference's top returning students and College Football Hall of Fame inductees Dana Howard of Illinois and Aaron Taylor of Nebraska. Revsine will sit down with the coaches in small groups to discuss the upcoming season and also interview Howard and Taylor.
Revsine has served as BTN’s lead studio host for a wide array of programming since the network’s inception and was its first on-air hire. When the network launched on August 30, 2007, Revsine’s words were the first spoken on the network: “Eleven schools, 252 varsity teams, one great network to cover it all. Welcome to BTN, your ultimate source for Big Ten sports.” Revsine appears on BTN Live, B1G Football and Beyond, BTN Tailgate, The Final Drive, B1G Tip-off Show, B1G Basketball and Beyond and The B1G Show. He has also anchored the network’s on-site studio coverage of the Big Ten Men’s Basketball Tournament since 2007 and serves as the play-by-play announcer for select regular season Big Ten men’s basketball games. Revsine came to BTN from ESPN, where he spent 11 years in a variety of capacities. Although known primarily as a college sports expert, Revsine’s versatility allowed him to fill nearly every role for the network, including anchoring SportsCenter and hosting studio coverage for a variety of sports, including two FIFA World Cups. He also hosted ESPN Radio's College GameDay for six years and ESPN Radio's coverage of several BCS Championship games. Revsine also had an extensive role in the network’s college basketball coverage.
BTN’s Lisa Byington will serve as the sideline reporter for the Kickoff Luncheon, interviewing groups of students throughout the event. Byington has been a part of BTN since August of 2007 as a play-by-play broadcaster, reporter and studio host. In 2017, she became the first female play-by-play voice for a football game on BTN, while calling Bowling Green at Northwestern. Byington was a two-sport athlete at Northwestern, playing both basketball and soccer and advancing to the NCAA Tournament in both sports for the Wildcats, while earning Academic All-Big Ten honors. Byington began her career at the local news level, beginning at WBKB-TV in Alpena, Mich, the nation’s second-smallest market in the country, and then moving on to WLNS-TV in Lansing, Mich. She joined BTN for its first football weekend as a freelancer in 2007. Byington also works on national broadcasts for CBS and Turner during March Madness, broadcasts men’s and women’s basketball for Fox and FS1, and handles play-by-play work in the summer for the Chicago Sky, Chicago’s WNBA franchise.
The 47th annual Big Ten Kickoff Luncheon begins at 10 a.m. CT with an autograph session with the head coaches and Hall of Famers. Around 10:50 a.m. CT, fans can get group pictures of the Hall of Famers, all 14 coaches and all 42 players in attendance. The luncheon begins at 11:30 a.m. CT and will feature highlight videos, group interviews conducted by Revsine and Byington with coaches, students and Hall of Famers and much more, including door prizes highlighted by a free trip to the 2018 Big Ten Football Championship Game and the 2019 Rose Bowl Game.
The Big Ten Kickoff Luncheon annually attracts some of the most talented names in college sports. The event has drawn legendary coaches as well as each of the conference’s Heisman Trophy winners since 1970. In all, approximately 1,000 of the conference’s finest players and 80 head coaches have celebrated the start of a new college football season at the Big Ten Kickoff Luncheon with nearly 55,000 supporters. For more information, go to www.bigten.org/KOL.