Monday Night Football director Chip Dean joined ESPN in 1979, just two months after the network’s September launch, and is the coordinating director in the company’s event production department. Responsible for the development of 25 event directors, Dean created and manages a directors program to encourage and inspire collaboration and technological advancement across all sport categories.
Dean worked on Sunday Night Football from 2001-05, and moved to one of the top positions in the industry in 2006, as director of ESPN’s Monday Night Football. He was promoted to coordinating director in the summer of 2011.
Dean and coordinating producer Jay Rothman comprise one of the most innovative and talented production duos in sports, having teamed together on football for 25 years. Their work resulted in ESPN’s Sunday Night Football game coverage being recognized in 2004 with sports television’s highest honor, the Emmy in the Live Series category. Under their direction, ESPN’s Monday Night Football has been consistently nominated for a Sports Emmy in this category, in addition to emerging as the most-watched series in cable television history.
Aside from his NFL responsibilities, Dean served as the lead director for ABC Sports’ college football telecasts from 1997 to 2000, featuring two Rose Bowls, two Orange Bowls, the Fiesta Bowl and a pair of National Championship games. Dean was also the director of ESPN’s prime-time college football telecasts for 10 years (1987-1996) and the network’s lead college basketball director from 1985 to 2000, with highlights including the ACC conference tournament and the Big East conference tournament, an event Dean has directed since ESPN acquired it in 1995.
Dean’s other high-profile directorial assignments have included ESPN’s College World Series coverage (1990-1993), 10 years of the ESPYs, 16 years of the NCAA Women’s Final Four, the X Games, Wednesday Night Baseball, men’s college basketball and more. He has also served as coordinating director for ESPN’s coverage of the NFL Draft.
Dean won three CableACE Awards (Award for Cable Excellence) in the Directing Live Sports Events category: in 1990 for his work on college football, in 1991 for the College World Series and for his work on college basketball. Dean directed the CableACE-winning (Sports Events Special) Duke/North Carolina basketball game in 1993. He has also received four Sports Emmy Awards: Live Series for Sunday Night Football in 2004, Technical Team Remote for the 1997 and 1996 X Games and in the graphics category for his contributions to ESPN’s 1988 NCAA basketball open.
Dean also has directed the network’s 1988 America’s Cup coverage, auto racing, tennis, figure skating, swimming & diving and select events at the 1985-87 U.S. Olympic Festivals.
A native of Ridgefield, Conn., Dean joined ESPN as a director for SportsCenter in November 1979. He assumed a similar position in the network’s remote production department in September 1983. When the company celebrated its 30th anniversary in September 2009, he was one of 43 original employees still working with the company who were acknowledged in a special recognition ceremony.
From 1977 to 1979, Dean was a production manager for Channel 10 in Danbury, Conn. Dean attended Arizona State University on a football scholarship and played free safety for the Sun Devils under legendary coach Frank Kush. He received a Bachelor of Science degree in broadcasting from the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication in 1977. He received one of his alma mater’s top honors in 2009 when he was named to the Cronkite Alumni Hall of Fame.
Dean and his wife have two daughters and a son.