Longtime ESPN college football commentator Rod Gilmore announced Monday, through ESPNMediaZone, that he was recently diagnosed with multiple myeloma, a form of blood cancer.
Gilmore has been with ESPN since joining the network’s college football coverage team in 1996. He is a member of a Saturday broadcast team with Mark Jones and Quint Kessenich, and is scheduled to be on the commentator crew for the Week 1 SEC meeting between Vanderbilt and South Carolina.
“I feel great and my prognosis is good,” Gilmore said in a release. “I have great support with an amazing medical team, an incredible wife and family and amazing friends and colleagues.”
Gilmore graduated in 1982 from Stanford, where he started for three seasons as a defensive back — including participating in “The Play” as a senior in the Stanford-Cal game — and played baseball. Gilmore credited the early detection of his condition to a yearly physical — he’s been having them for 25 years, he said — and urged people to join him in getting consistent exams.
“Early detection is critical and I encourage all of you to get annual physicals,” Gilmore said in the release. “Cancer does not discriminate and it will hide if you let it.”
John Skipper, ESPN president since 2012, released a statement in support of Gilmore’s fight.
“We extend our thoughts and support to Rod and his loved ones. Rod is the consummate professional, and a valued and esteemed colleague, who has the entire ESPN family behind him. I know he is approaching his battle with hope and optimism and we wish him continued strength in that fight. We look forward to his expert analysis on our college football coverage, where he has been educating and informing fans for many years.”
Gilmore signed off with a note of reassurance: “See you Week 1 in Nashville.”