Year Inducted: 2017
Chris Lincoln has covered sports since the 1960s, writing for newspapers and magazines, or broadcasting sports on radio and television, where he is best known.
Lincoln was born in Baltimore in 1947 and lived in many eastern cities as a child due to his father being in the Coast Guard. Lincoln started his sports career in high school in Warren, Mich. writing for the school newspaper and the local Royal Oak Tribune. He attended the University of Missouri (1965-1970) where he worked as a student assistant in the Sports Information office, then as a writer for the Columbia Daily Tribune and finally as a sportscaster at KFRU Radio in Columbia, Mo. It was there that he did his first play-by-play broadcasting.
In 1974, Lincoln became the sports director for KTUL-TV, Channel 8, in Tulsa, Okla. While there he also became the host of the University of Oklahoma’s national football replay show with head coach Barry Switzer. At the same time, Lincoln also hosted shows for Oklahoma State University, the University of Tulsa and Oral Roberts University, while also doing play-by-play of many sporting events for the station.
In 1976, Lincoln was tabbed by ABC Sports as one of the network’s regional college football play-by-play announcers. He would later go on to do college football and basketball play-by-play for ESPN.
Lincoln left KTUL in late 1981 to form Winner Communications (now Winnercomm), a television sports production company, along with KTUL salesman, Jim Wilburn. They built the Tulsa-based company into the nation’s largest independently owned sports production company, producing more than 1,000 hours of sporting events and specials for over a dozen networks.
It was during his 25 years at Winnercomm where Lincoln became known to millions of viewers as the host of the weekly “Racehorse Digest” on ESPN. The show featured Thoroughbred and Quarter Horse racing highlights and news from 1982-1998.
Lincoln was hired in 1999 as the global presenter for the World Racing Championship Series. He was the main presenter of the world’s top international thoroughbred races held in nine countries and over four continents. Lincoln has been to more than 50 race tracks across North America and 22 more tracks around the world, including Dubai, Hong Kong, Tokyo, Singapore, Australia and Europe.
Lincoln has covered numerous Triple Crown races, Breeders’ Cup World Championships during his career. He has earned horse racing’s highest honors, including an Eclipse Award for Thoroughbred coverage and multiple Sprint Awards for his coverage of Quarter Horse racing.
In 2006, Winnercomm was sold and Lincoln was invited to return as executive sports director at KTUL in Tulsa. In 2011, Lincoln moved into semi-retirement as he remains active with special feature work, sports specials and freelance broadcasting.
During his extensive career, Lincoln has provided play-by-play for over 20 different sports, attending and covering nearly every major sporting event the world has to offer.