ESPN's "College GameDay" is losing one of its signature personalities.
Longtime researcher and analyst Chris "The Bear" Fallica is leaving the network for Fox Sports, according to Awful Announcing's Ben Koo. He is reportedly believed to be doing one last show on Saturday, where he will get an official sendoff.
Fallica will reportedly be joining the upstart rival of "College GameDay," Fox's "Big Noon Kickoff," like fellow former GameDay personality Tom Rinaldi. He will likely fill the same role with Fox that he did with "College GameDay," making the intermittent, research-focused appearances that made him a fixture on ESPN.
Fallica had been one ESPN's longest-tenured employees, first joining ESPN Radio in 1995 as a production assistant and tape operator before joining GameDay in 1996.
Fox Sports has done just about everything it can to grow "Big Noon Kickoff" into a true challenger for "College Gameday." Created in 2019, "Big Noon Kickoff" has steadily grown in the ratings and currently features Reggie Bush, Matt Leinart, Brady Quinn and Urban Meyer as panelists alongside host Rob Stone. It's unclear how much presence Fallica will have on the show, but adding a college football fan favorite never hurts.
Beyond "Big Noon Kickoff," Fallica's new role is reportedly expected to focus on sports betting, as Fox Sports has been one of the many sports outlets trying to get in on the industry-wide boom. He has plenty of experience in that arena, having hosted the gambling-focused “Stanford Steve and the Bear” podcast and often appearing on ESPN's "Daily Wager" program.