Change is coming to the Alabama football radio broadcast booth this September.
The school announced Wednesday that longtime voice of the team Eli Gold will be sidelined to start the season due to health issues. Chris Stewart, the play-by-play man for Alabama basketball and other sports will take his seat in the booth. Stewart has been a sideline reporter in recent years on football broadcasts.
Stewart will also host the Nick Saban Radio Show on Thursday nights during the season.
Gold, 68, signed a new deal with Alabama in 2018 that extended his contract through the 2023 season. At the time of the extension, Gold told AL.com he planned on working beyond the end of that
His streak of consecutive Crimson Tide games called ended at 409 after catching COVID-19 before the 2020 trip to Arkansas. Stewart filled his chair that day before Gold returned the following week for the SEC championship game.
Before that, Gold had both shoulders replaced in 2020 — the second of which came just a month before being sidelined by COVID.
The 2014 inductee to the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame has been a broadcast lifer. He joined the NASCAR Motor Racing Network in 1976 and was the voice of the Birmingham Barons baseball team in the early 1980s. He continued to work various other broadcasting jobs along with the Crimson Tide duties including Birmingham Bulls (hockey) and the Birmingham Squadron of the NBA G-League.
Priority, Gold said when signing with the Squadron, would always go to calling Alabama games in case of a conflict.
“I’m a professional describer,” Gold told AL.com in 2018. “I haven’t taken snaps and won a Super Bowl. I haven’t coached or haven’t been a general manager in the National Football League. So, I leaned heavily on my color man over the years. I know some football, but those guys look at the game from high above where I look at it. And I understand my role.”
Update: This story was updated to reflect the school’s release stating Gold will be out to begin the season.
Michael Casagrande is a reporter for the Alabama Media Group. Follow him on Twitter @ByCasagrande or on Facebook.