Scott Zolak Officially Named To Replace Gino Cappelletti

Chad Finn had it last week, but WBZ-FM made it official this morning when they named Scott Zolak to be the Patriots color analyst alongside Gil Santos this season.

Here is the release:

SCOTT ZOLAK NAMED COLOR COMMENTATOR

FOR THE PATRIOTS RADIO NETWORK on

98.5 THE SPORTS HUB!

Zolak Joins Veteran Play-by-Play Announcer Gil Santos in the Booth

98.5 The Sports Hub is the Official Flagship Station of the Three-Time

Super Bowl Champion New England Patriots

Boston, MA – Wednesday, August 8, 2012 –  Longtime sportscaster and expert football analyst Scott Zolak has been named color commentator for the Patriots Radio Network on 98.5 The Sports Hub (WBZ-FM)…the Official Flagship radio station of the three-time Super Bowl champion New England Patriots.  In his new role as color commentator, which is effective immediately, Zolak joins renowned play-by-play announcer Gil Santos to provide in-depth game analysis and complete play-by-play detail of every Patriots game.  Zolak replaces Gino Cappelletti who retired last month, and Zolak’s announcement was made earlier today by Mike Thomas, Vice President of Programming for CBS RADIO Boston.

“Scott’s vast knowledge of football and his long relationship with the team make him the obvious choice for this position,” said Thomas when making the announcement.  “I’m looking forward to hearing him with Gil this season.”

“It is with great pride and gratitude that I have been given the opportunity by 98.5 The Sports Hub and the Patriots organization to continue the tradition established by the great Gino Cappelletti to be the color commentator for the defending AFC Champion New England Patriots,” said Zolak about his new role.  “I am beyond looking forward to sitting in next to the legend Gil Santos as I make this transition from the sideline to the booth.”

In addition to his expanded role as color commentator on 98.5 The Sports Hub, Zolak currently co-hosts the “Gresh & Zo” show on 98.5 The Sports Hub for three years with Andy Gresh live weekdays from 10AM to 2PM, and he contributes to “Patriots All Access,” “Patriots Game Day, and “Patriots 5th Quarter” on WBZ-TV.  Before being named color commentator joining Gil Santos in the booth, Zolak reported from the field as part of the Patriots Radio Network programming on 98.5 The Sports Hub.

Zolak is a former football quarterback who played in the National Football League (NFL) for nine seasons…most of them as quarterback for the New England Patriots.  Over the course of his career, he played in 55 games, completed 124 of 248 passes for 1,314 yards, threw eight touchdowns and seven interceptions, and finished his career with a passer rating of 64.8.

New England Patriots football coverage on 98.5 The Sports Hub begins three hours prior to kickoff with Sylvania Patriots Preview, continues with the GMC Halftime Show, and wraps up with the Kaspersky Lab Patriots Postgame Show for three hours after the game.  Patriots Preview is a fast-paced, energetic and informative prelude to kickoff, featuring in-depth analysis, dueling opinions and the only game-day interviews with Coach Bill Belichick and Vice-Chairman and President Jonathan Kraft.  Our postgame is a high-energy, opinionated breakdown of the game, with the press conferences of Belichick and Tom Brady aired live, and immediate reaction from the fans.

  • Winning_Again

    With Zolak going into the radio booth, who takes his spot on the sideline Bruce? Any ideas or insight? Troy Brown does alot with WEEI, so I doubt that, unless there is no contract in place keeping him at EEI. Mike Flynn might be a candidate but I’m not sure how prepared he would be in a role like that. They could always go out of market but I don’t see that happening.

    • http://bostonsportsmedia.com/ Bruce Allen

      They may not have anyone. That role was sort of created for Zolak to ease into the broadcast and give Gil and Gino another set of eyes on the field.They may decide they don’t need it this season.

    • Jason_Coyote

      I tend to agree with Bruce, I think that sideline role was only created to serve as a transition while Gino was gracefully eased into retirement. Overall I think Zolak will be solid in the booth as like some other football analysts in this area, he knows his stuff when he is kept on point. He won’t be co-hosting a four-hour talk show on Sundays, so his sophomoric side should be minimized.
      The question I have is regarding who takes Zo’s role on the pre and postgame shows. Unfortunately my worst fears were confirmed earlier today when I heard Gresh mention he’d remain on the pregame. I was hopeful that 98.5 would have used the Zolak promotion to tinker with the pregame, maybe even pair up Tanguay with Mike Flynn, who seems to be grossly underutilized by the station in their Pats coverage (which makes zero sense to me). I would have to think Zo’s role on pregame will be diminished if not entirely eliminated, and it’s scary to think that it might be only Tanguay and Gresh for the three hours leading up to kickoff.

  • Winning_Again

    I disagree. Zolak may not be the most well spoken talk show host but he excelled as a sideline guy and his football analysis is spot on. Color radio guys need to analyze a play on the fly. I think a retired quarterback from the area is perfect for that role. Much like a catcher in baseball, the quarterback needs to manage and know what everyone is doing. I think this translates into quickly reading a play, and describing it to radio listeners.

    Matt Light has been on the scene for a cup of coffee and you already want to stick him in the booth?? That’s laughable. While he may develop, you don’t say Zolak sucks then offer a newbie as a replacement.

    • joe

      there is no way either of those guys could do color for a team and then do neutral work for espn putting both them and the network in an awkward position when it came time for them to criticize the pats

    • Winning_Again

      You haven’t got a clue George, not to mention your points on this site constantly contradict themselves. You cry for more insight and opinions one week, but when Zo uses technical terms, he’s arrogant? Less is more? Let’s see you standing by that motto in subsequent posts George.

      To me, you have a personal gripe with the choice, for who knows what reason. I really don’t care. You’re entitled to your opinion, albeit illogical based on your previous stances, but be prepared to receive the just criticism.

  • latetodinner

    George, For the life of me sometimes I do not understand why you say the things you say. For all of his early problems on the air when he was on 790 the score in PVD he has grown up remarkably since joining 98.5 in Boston. His football work during his daily show, at night on CSSNE and when he occasionally did college broadcasts is excellent. An ex back up QB who truly understands the game is the perfect color guy. He is far more articulate that Bruschi or Light. He is also more knowledgeable. On top of that he handled Gino’s deteriorating skills last year with incredible professionalism, gently observing corrections rather than showing up Gino for the blind old man he had become. This has nothing to do with sucking up to the Krafts, but rather he is the logical choice. Now if they give Tanguay santos’ job…then you have a legit complaint.

    • Winning_Again

      Thank you, I think you articulated what I meant to say!

    • 02062

      “Grown up”? He repeatedly plays a clip of 90 something year old Johnny Pesky saying “play ball” and laughs his head off.
      And yet, he never mentioned once in 2 plus football season Gil and Gino’s mangled spots, misidentified players.
      He’s got the Kraft brand firmly on his backside – he’s Dick Lusk with a lazy eye.

      • Winning_Again

        What does that have to do with his Patriots Game Day coverage? the Gresh & Zo show are separate from Patriots GameDay Live Coverage.

      • latetodinner

        He has grown up considerably from the days in Providence when he and Gresh would talk about drinking beer in high school, as they stuffed guys in lockers because they were football players…it was non stop. His need to tell inside jokes while dropping Drew Bledsoe’s name have also diminished. He has certainly grown up and he is pretty good now when he talks football. I think he is a fine choice…like I said the real issue will be when Santos steps down.

        • Winning_Again

          Why are you even bringing up anything other than what he does in the booth between 1-4pm on Sunday. His role on G&Z doesn’t matter in this case, nor does his private life. I don’t know what your driving at George, but if your going in the direction of Mike Tirico type stuff, make sure you are confident in that they are facts. Would hate for Zo to stuff you in a locker.

        • GeorgeCain72

          I didn’t mention his personal life, so be careful with your accusations. And I love the insults, from the weak minded, because that’s what the courageous do from their keyboard.. This is America folks. I voiced an opinion and I stand by it. Save this attack crap for the campaigns. It’s a sports argument, don’t get personal, its not what this website is about.

        • Winning_Again

          You did mention his personal life. You brought it to the forefront of the conversation that was strictly about Zo moving to the booth. For some reason, you decided to say ” As far as grown up, not true, he’s immature. I won’t comment on his personal life.” Yes, you are right, you didn’t comment on his personal life. But you brought it up as if to suggest there is some hidden persona that we don’t know about. I don’t need to be careful with my accusations, your posts say it all.

          Insults from the weak minded. Yes George, I am weak-minded. I am a lemming sports fan that makes opinion based posts here claiming they are factual. I rant about the Cap being Crap. I say Paul Pierce will be traded by the deadline. I stand by Josh Beckett.

        • http://bostonsportsmedia.com/ Bruce Allen

          George, by saying “I won’t comment on his personal life,” the insinuation is clear that you think that there is something in his personal life worth talking about, but that you’re not going to bring it up. Maybe it was clumsy wording, but by saying you’re not going to comment on something no one brought up, you’re commenting on it.

        • HighWireNickEsasky

          After suffering through a few of George’s columns, I’d go with “clumsy wording.”

  • http://twitter.com/DryHeave1 DryHeave

    Who cares that, “Bruschi or Light could have done the games AND kept their ESPN jobs”….i mean who gives a rat’s ass about their “ESPN jobs”?….whatever, Zolak was the correct choice

  • Guntfather

    Wild guess is that Bruschi or Light would cost a lot of money. Zo probably not that much.

  • bsmfan

    Have to say that Light, who I am not sure if he did broadcasting before, has fit himself right into ESPN. He seems to also fit right in with everyone.

  • jonny

    i dont get the pick. He is awful. His 2 minutes on the sideline made me cringe

  • http://twitter.com/DryHeave1 DryHeave

    quite the debate going on here but when you sum it all up……99.9% of us watch the games on TV and VERY RARELY listen on radio. Floor now open for people to come out of the woodwork and say, “I LISTEN ON RADIO ALL THE TIME!!!”

  • GRBSPR

    My dream press release would be one that says, “Steve Burton has decided to pursue other opportunities.’ There is no one associated with Patriots’ on-air talent more insufferable than him. I’m quite certain players feel so, too.

    • Jason_Coyote

      “SSSEEEEEEE ya later!” With a catchphrase like that, I’m amazed ESPN hasn’t called Steve yet.

  • Ben

    Actually ran into zolak this weekend and though he certainly has the big man on campus feel to him (dad was hs coach who had Montana before him; sandusky recruited him as a LB), quite knowledgable about college football games that took place 25 years ago and treated everyone that approached him with respect. And he was strong on the sidelines the past few years helping Gil and Gino without insulting them which must have been hard.

  • HighWireNickEsasky

    Not sure how Boomer is analogous. He does the Monday night game for Westwood One. He doesn’t work for a specific team’s radio broadcast, which would make him less partial and ensure that he’s not available on most Sundays for studio appearances.

  • danmateus

    Sean McDonough will replace Gill next season…bank on it.
    He is a great play by play guy who should still be calling Sox games if not for the Sox getting their panties in a bunch when Sean gave honest criticisms of the team. That’s why they hired the clone who’s the Jay Leno of play by play guys…bland and unopiniated.

    • Jason_Coyote

      I hope you’re right on that prediction – I can only imagine what thoughts Sean would have about the Sox right now if he was still calling games every day with the man he named the ‘Rem Dawg’.

    • bsmfan

      With all of the ESPN departures recently, wasn’t he one of the guys getting an extension? I’m pretty sure he was. I doubt he’d leave ESPN, nor could someone local afford him.

    • latetodinner

      It will not be McDonough…there is no way the Kraft family approves of him…sins of the father. The early odds on favorite is Tanguay which would such beyond suck. I am still holding out hope for Dave O’Brien. If not OB then I hope they go out of the market for someone.

  • Linda Austin

    Dumb as a stump!

  • noturfinest

    Anyone think ‘Zo will pronounce the “d” in field now? “There’s a fumble on the fiel”…’Zo – it’s fielDDDDDDDDDDDDD

  • Mitch

    Until Gil santos retires, pats radio play by play will continue to be unlistenable and worst in nfl

  • Cjones

    Zolak is terrible breaking down a game, he makes the game more difficult to understand with all his meaningless insider lingo. He’s a terrible choice for this role as his ego is gigantic in comparison to his intelligence and skill level. When you hear a good color man they simplify things for the layman not complicate things to show off their insider status. Perhaps it’s Gresh and the other guy that got fat all of a sudden that bring him down and Zolak will do well with a more professional sidekick. I doubt it, he thinks he’s Dennis Leary.

  • Mark

    Scott Zolak was the wrong choice! Not that anything can be done about it now, we’re stuck with him and his AWEFUL word pronunciations & “Know it All” persona. Sorry Gil, you deserve better. Looks like it’s time to turn the volume up on the TV again.

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