ROSEMONT, Ill. – The Big Ten Conference announced Tuesday that ESPN’s Joe Tessitore and Joey Galloway will co-host the 45th annual Big Ten Kickoff Luncheon, marking the first hosting duo in the history of the event. The luncheon, presented by Allstate and BMW, will be held Tuesday, July 26, at the Hyatt Regency McCormick Place in Chicago.
Tessitore and Galloway will be joined at the Kickoff Luncheon by each of the Big Ten’s 14 head coaches and 42 of the conference's top returning students. The ESPN duo will sit down with the coaches in small groups to discuss the upcoming season. The luncheon will also include speeches by Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delany and Tournament of Roses president Brad Ratliff. Wisconsin’s Dare Ogunbowale will speak on behalf of the students in attendance. The complete list of student attendees can be found at bigten.org.
Tessitore is entering his 14th year as a play-by-play commentator for ESPN. Beginning this fall, he will make the transition to ESPN’s Saturday primetime game after serving as play-by-play caller for Thursday night games during the 2015 campaign.
Galloway joined ESPN as an analyst in 2011. He played college football at Ohio State, claiming All-Big Ten honors his junior and senior seasons. Galloway graduated with his bachelor’s degree from Ohio State in 1995 before playing in the NFL for 16 seasons.
The 45th annual Big Ten Kickoff Luncheon begins with the conference partnering with USA Football to put on a free Kickoff Luncheon Youth Clinic. From 8:30-10 a.m. CT, USA Football staff will lead approximately 120 boys and girls, kindergarten through eighth grade, through basic catching, passing, agility and defense drills.
At 10 a.m., fans in attendance will take part in an autograph session with the head coaches, while select students will participate in brief, live interviews. Coaches and students will be available for a photo session around 11 a.m., followed by the luncheon at 11:30 a.m.
A limited number of tickets remain available for $110 per seat or $1,100 per table (10 seats). Contact Davon Robb at the Big Ten office at 847-696-1010, ext. 163, or firstname.lastname@example.org to purchase tickets.
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, nearly 950 of the conference’s finest players, almost 80 head coaches and more than 52,000 supporters have made the Big Ten Kickoff Luncheon a yearly stop on their preseason college football schedules.