UCLA Athletic Director Dan Guerrero announced today that Josh Lewin will replace Bill Roth as the new play-by-play announcer for both UCLA football and men’s basketball.
Lewin has more than two decades of experience calling NFL, MLB, NHL and college sporting events. He will be entering his 12th season as the voice of the San Diego Chargers this fall and is currently in his fifth season handling play-by-play duties for the New York Mets.
"Calling games for UCLA is the best job in college sports as far as I'm concerned," said Lewin. "I'm fortunate to work for two tremendous organizations in the San Diego Chargers and New York Mets, and to think I now get to do this for UCLA is both incredible and an absolute honor. I’m so excited to join the Bruin family and cannot wait to start doing something I totally love for a university I so completely admire. September 3rd cannot get here soon enough!"
Lewin is replacing Bill Roth, who stepped down from his position at UCLA last month. after just one season with UCLA.
"Serving as play-by-play announcer for UCLA football and men’s basketball was, in every way, a dream come true," said Roth. "The people here – from the fans, coaches, our administrators and especially the student-athletes – have been amazing. While UCLA is a magical place, my roots are back East and unexpectedly, I missed home more than I ever imagined possible. Candidly, I just did not feel I could do this job to the best of my ability. I appreciate all the support I received from IMG and UCLA as I came to this decision and thank the entire Bruin family for giving me this truly remarkable opportunity."
In discussing Roth's departure and Lewin's hiring, Dan Guerrero said:
When you have the chance to add a Hall-of-Fame broadcaster as accomplished as Bill to your program, you obviously have to give that serious consideration. Bill expressed tremendous interest in this position and his confidence in his ability to switch coasts ultimately gave us confidence in this choice. With his pedigree, it was impossible to say no. Unfortunately, Bill was unable to make this transition and has decided to return back home to the East Coast. We thank him for his hard work and professionalism over the past year and wish him all the best.
Fortunately, as we all know, UCLA attracts exceptional talent. Josh made us aware of his interest in the position a couple years ago, but the timing simply wasn’t right with his other broadcast commitments. Currently with more flexibility in his other duties, it quickly became apparent, given the extensive search we conducted not all that long ago, that Josh is now an ideal fit. A star in the industry whose enthusiasm is infectious, Josh has consistently demonstrated remarkable talent, poise, sound judgement, a knack for vividly describing the action and a sense of humor that reminds us this is, after all, a game that is supposed to be fun. His national recognition, professional touch and passion for all things UCLA have us very excited to partner with him moving forward. Josh is the future of our UCLA broadcasts, and our future is bright.
Lewin became the radio play-by-play voice of the Chargers in July 2005. He has an extensive broadcast experience including 21 seasons as a Major League Baseball play-by-play announcer. Since 2012, he’s handled play-by-play for the New York Mets’ radio broadcasts on WFAN and WOR. Additionally, from 1996-2010, Lewin broadcast MLB regular and postseason games, NFL football contests and NHL games for FOX Sports. From 2002-10, he served as the play-by-play announcer for the Texas Rangers. Lewin also called Baltimore Orioles games on radio in 1995 and 1996, Chicago Cubs games on WGN-TV in 1997 and Detroit Tigers games on Fox Sports Net Detroit from 1998-2001. Collegiately, Lewin’s broadcast experience includes Conference USA Football, CCHA Hockey, Southern Methodist and Michigan State basketball and the Big 12 Basketball Tournament.
Any Bruin fan concerned that Lewin may be stretching himself thin should look to last November when Lewin called the Chargers' 29-26 loss to the Ravens in Baltimore and chartered a private plane at his own expense to get to Citi Field in time for Game 5 of the 2015 World Series between the Mets and Kansas City Royals.
The Chargers-Ravens game ended at 4:13 pm. Ten minutes later, Lewin began his 200-mile journey to Citi Field in Flushing, NY. He arrived at Citi Field a little more than an hour before the 8:15 pm scheduled first pitch of Game 5.