College Football World Helps GameDay’s Lee Corso Celebrate 87th Birthday

by Dustin Schutte

Break out the party hats, cake and ice cream, the college football world has a birthday to celebrate! ESPN College GameDay legend and former head coach Lee Corso turned 87 on Sunday.

Corso has been a staple on the College GameDay set since its inception. He’s become one of the most beloved fixtures of any pre-game show in sports, thanks to his, “Not so fast, my friend,” catchphrase and his mascot-head predictions.

When the words “College GameDay” are mentioned, Corso is the first name that pops up. Because of that, everyone in the college football world is helping the former head coach celebrate.

Longtime colleague Kirk Herbstreit sent out his message on Twitter Sunday:

Several other colleagues and fans wished Corso a happy birthday, as well:

Corso made his first appearance on the ESPN set in 1987 following a coaching career that spanned nearly three decades. A Florida State graduate, he had stops at Louisville (1969-72), Indiana (1973-82) and Northern Illinois (1984) as a head coach.

We’d like to join the celebration and wish Coach Corso a happy birthday! We can’t wait to see him back on the College GameDay set with the season kicks off on Saturday, Aug. 27.

Lee Corso Starts a New GameDay Tradition in 1996

Lee Corso’s popularity on the College GameDay set exploded in 1996 when he started a new tradition. On October 5 of that year, the college football analyst donned the mascot head of Ohio State’s Brutus Buckeye.

Because Kirk Herbstreit’s wife had connections to the cheer squad in Columbus, Corso asked to borrow the mascot head for the show. That marked the first-ever headgear pick for the popular pre-game program.

Ever since then, the most-anticipated moment of each College GameDay episode is seeing which headgear Corso sports for the day’s biggest game.

Corso has donned several mascot heads throughout his career at ESPN. In a way, they’ll all be part of his 87th birthday celebration, as well.