Eli Gold will not return as ‘Voice of the Crimson Tide’ for new season

Eli Gold
Eli Gold has been the voice of the Crimson Tide since 1988. (“Eli Gold” by Claudette Gold (Eli Gold’s wife) is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0)

Alabama football fans are already coping with the fact that Nick Saban will not be roaming the sidelines for Crimson Tide games this fall, but those (like me) who associate fall Saturdays with the voice of Eli Gold on the radio will also have to cope with a change.

Gold — the voice of the Crimson Tide for decades — will not be in the broadcast booth this coming season, the first season since 1987 that fans won’t hear the legendary voice of Eli Gold.

A season without Eli Gold

Although Gold missed some games recently due to health issues, he was never “out” as the Tide’s play-by-play man in the radio booth, but the university made it official Wednesday that the radio legend was not returning for the 2024 season.

Christ Stewart, Gold’s companion in the booth for several years now, will take over full play-by-play duties.

“Eli has been an invaluable member of our broadcast team. We are grateful for his years of service and wish him all the best in this next chapter. CTSN is fortunate to have someone as part of our existing broadcast team in Chris to step up and seamlessly transition into this role.”

Jim Carabin, vice president and general manager of the Crimson Tide Sports Network

Gold said in a statement he is not retiring from broadcasting, but that the Crimson Tide Sports Network decided to go “in a different direction” for the upcoming season.

According to his social media, Gold has accepted a position doing play-by-play for a professional organization, and will make an announcement Friday, Feb. 23.

The legend of Eli Gold

Eli Gold had a style all his own. Tuning into a Bama game and hearing him describe the uniforms of each team as they line up for the first series of the game was vintage Eli, and will be missed.

Gold’s journey to Alabama was unique, in that he was not an Alabama native who grew up a Bama fan or anything.

He started his career in his home state of New York announcing hockey games, and moved to Birmingham to become the announcer for the Birmingham Bulls games in the World Hockey Association in 1976. Gold was also the first broadcaster for UAB basketball games (for 6 years) and often filled in for the Blazers broadcast when Gary Sanders was not available.

He would later become well-known for his broadcast of NASCAR races and would eventually be named the play-by-play man for the University of Alabama football and basketball games in 1988.

His career included:

  • Alabama Sportscaster of the Year four times
  • Chris Schenkel Award winner by the National Football Foundation for 2019
  • Member of Alabama Sports Hall of Fame

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Michael Seale
Michael Seale
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