ESPN's Rece Davis to Serve as Emcee for 43rd Annual Big Ten Kickoff Luncheon Presented by Allstate and BMW

July 17, 2014

Rosemont, Ill. – The Big Ten Conference announced today that ESPN’s Rece Davis will serve as emcee for the 2014 Big Ten Kickoff Luncheon presented by Allstate and BMW. The 43rd annual event will be held on Tuesday, July 29, at the Hilton Chicago and will mark the first official appearance of Maryland and Rutgers as members of the Big Ten.

Beginning at 10 a.m. CT, fans in attendance will take part in an autograph session with all 14 head coaches and one former player from each school, while current players will take part in brief, live interviews highlighted by questions from fans on-site and through social media channels. The luncheon begins at 11:30 a.m, and Davis will sit down with the coaches in small groups to discuss the upcoming season.

The event will also feature speeches by Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delany, Tournament of Roses president Rich Chinen and Ameer Abdullah of Nebraska. The All-Big Ten running back and Academic All-Big Ten honoree will speak on behalf of the 42 players in attendance. The complete list of player attendees can be found at

Davis, who joined ESPN in 1995, serves as primary studio host for ESPN and ESPN2’s coverage of college football and college basketball. He is the host of ESPN’s Saturday college football pregame, halftime and postgame studio coverage and College Football Final with analysts Lou Holtz and Mark May. Davis also calls the ESPN College Football Primetime game on Thursday nights. Before joining ESPN, Davis worked at WJRT-TV in Flint, Mich., after beginning his career at television stations in Georgia and Alabama. He graduated from the University of Alabama in 1988.

A limited number of tickets remain available for $110 per seat or $1,100 per table (10 seats). Contact Josh Munk at the Big Ten office at 847-696-1010, ext. 105, or to purchase tickets.

For over four decades, the Big Ten Kickoff Luncheon has featured some of the biggest names in college football. Legendary players like Desmond Howard, Eddie George, Ron Dayne and Drew Brees, as well as storied coaches like Bo Schembechler, Woody Hayes, Duffy Daugherty and Hayden Fry, have all attended this historic event. In all, more than 850 of the conference’s finest players, over 60 head coaches and nearly 50,000 supporters have made the Big Ten Kickoff Luncheon a yearly stop in their preseason college football schedules.