Beth Mowins

Beth Mowins is an American sports commentator – more commonly known as play to play announcer – as well as a sports journalist for EPSN and CBS. She is the second woman to call nationally televised the 2005 college football games for ESPN.

Beth was born in 1967 in Syracuse, New York. She comes from a family that has a lasting tradition in sports, as she grew up with 3 brothers – she was the only girl among all the children so inevitably she established a strong relationship with sports of all kinds from quite a young age. Her parents were deep into sports as well. Her father was a basketball coach, while her mother closely followed ice hockey; it is the most tangible evident that both her parents had some sentimental feelings towards sports.

While she was growing up, viewing and following various sports on her home television was a normal routine and the whole family used to get involved in one way or the other. All this exposure to sports helped her get well acquainted to various sporting terminologies hence providing her with a considerable advantage over her rivals at the beginning of her career. There was a big field behind her family house where she along with the children from the neighbourhood used to play various sports. Thus, a career in sports came naturally to her. At the age of 9 or 10 she saw Phyllis George; a Miss America who was probably one of the first woman sports announcers/commentators, at that very moment she knew it was the kind of job that she could see herself doing.

The play-by-play announcer went to North Syracuse High School and participated in the school’s basketball, softball and soccer teams. After High school, she attended the Lafayette College in Easton, Pennsylvania from where she graduated with a BA in 1989 and followingly got her master’s degree from Syracuse University. As a college student in Lafayette College, she was captain of the varsity basketball team for two seasons.

After graduation, she did internships for college radio giving sports updates and news. This helped her to be recognized by a lot of employers. Later she moved to her home town and pursued a Master’s degree in communication.

In fact, that is approximately how she started her career in the field. Specifically, Beth debuted in 1991 as news and sports director for WXHC-FM Radio in Homer, N.Y. She remembers sending out endless demo tapes to local and regional venues, before she impressed the Big East and landed a job working with women's basketball.


“I was fortunate that my career started right at the time they were starting to do more women's stuff. All the Big East markets would pick up local affiliates in New York and New Jersey. They started doing a Big East Game of the Week,” she says.

Her career though did not skyrocket until she was hired by ESPN in 1994 to be a play by play announcer for various sports televised by the channel. And at the time, even though she wasn’t the first woman to get involved as a reporter on ‘men’s sports’ she certainly was one of a handful. Yet, it didn’t seem to discourage her. “I've been really lucky over the years to have great guys who believed in me and mentored me and helped me out along the way. I don't feel like it's a big deal. Most of the time places I go, I can't remember a bad experience. Most people are very friendly and professional,” she admits. Her job ineed required her – and still does – to travel a lot, so she has to spend a considerable amount of time for every game. As of 2012 she lives in Saginaw, Michigan. Since the beginning of her career, the Lafayette College graduate has called on a rather long string of events including the NCAA Women's College Cup, NCAA men's basketball tournament, NCAA women's college basketball tournament, NCAA Women's College World Series, USA Softball and USA women's hockey.

The peak of her career came arguably in 2015, when Beth Mowins became the second woman play-by-play announcer ever to report on an NFL game. At this point an honourable mention should be made to Gayle Sierens, who broke the gender barrier as the first woman to accomplish that, 3 decades ago.

“I think most football play-by-play announcers would love to have that opportunity so certainly I'll try to make the most of it,” said Mowins, who has been calling college football games on ESPN for a decade. “To be able to do it with the Raiders is pretty cool. I'm friends with Gayle Sierens so it's pretty cool that it has come back full circle and the opportunity is there for me.”

Surprisingly, for someone who is so popular on TV, Beth is yet to make her private life public. One could try searching the internet for information about her family only to find pages commending her for the spectacular journey as a professional announcer and sports follower. She has been so quiet and mysterious regarding her privacy that she never leaks any details. No one can say whether she is married or not, her relationship status remains a big question mark as there is no knowledge of her current boyfriend, husband, marriage, divorce or even an affair. For someone who is so regular on TV, nobody actually knows a great deal about her.

There has been however a controversy regarding her style of commentary as someone had written “how a Man could bear a woman with such a stupid voice?” This led to the belief that she was married and her photos with various men were published with claims of the person being her husband. As it is with famous people who have secret lives, there is always some gossip surrounding them in efforts to make them reveal their personal details. Similarly, Beth has her share of chatter saying she is secretively lesbian but no proof can be provided to support the claims.

Last Modified: Apr 8, 2020

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