Stratford High School c/o 1978
Washington Federals (USFL), New England Patriots
BiographyCraig James (b. January 2, 1961 in Jacksonville, Texas) is an American sports commentator for college football games on the ABC television network. Prior to becoming a sportscaster, James was a professional football player for the New England Patriots of the National Football League and for the Washington Federals of the United States Football League.
James, a running back, attended Southern Methodist University where he and teammate Eric Dickerson formed what was known as the "Pony Express" backfield (SMU's mascot is the mustang). In the 1980 Holiday Bowl, James' offensive production of 225 rushing yards and 9.9 yards/carry were both Holiday Bowl records that stood for 13 and 15 years respectively. In 1982, he scored on a 96-yard touchdown reception to set a new record as the longest scoring play in Southwest Conference history.
He graduated in 1983 and went to play in the USFL for one year, after which he joined the Patriots. He was named Offensive Player of the Year by the Vince Lombardi Committee in 1985 and started in both the 1985 Pro Bowl and Super Bowl XX. In the 1985–86 season, James rushed for 1,227 yards, becoming the last white player to rush for more than 1,000 yards in a season. One blogger has termed this the "Curse of Craig James".
After his retirement from playing in 1989, James went on to become a radio analyst for SMU college football games and then the sports anchor for KDFW-TV. During this time, he also appeared on ESPN as a studio analyst on the "College GameDay" and "College Football Scoreboard" programs. In 1996, he joined CBS where he served as a studio analyst on their "College Football Today" as well as "The NFL Today" programs before becoming a game announcer on "The NFL on CBS" with Kevin Harlan. During his CBS stint, he also served as a reporter during the NCAA Men's Basketball Championship as well as the 1998 Winter Olympics. In 2003, James moved to ABC.
James also operates his own broadcasting school, eponymously called the Craig James School of Broadcasting. He now lives in Plano, Texas, with his wife Marilyn and their four children.