Nick Saban on Alabama football announcer Eli Gold: 'Hope he has a speedy recovery'

Nick Kelly
The Tuscaloosa News

Nick Saban was at Bryant-Denny Stadium on Wednesday for a Nick's Kids Foundation event, but Eli Gold, the voice of Alabama football, was one of the first things he discussed. 

Gold is dealing with health issues and will not be available to start the season, UA announced earlier in the day. 

"Eli has done a fantastic job of being the voice of our iconic brand at the University of Alabama for a long, long time," Saban said. "Our thoughts and prayers are with him and his family. We certainly hope that he has a speedy recovery. He’s a good friend. He's been a great ambassador for the University of Alabama. We appreciate all he's done, more than you know."

Gold, 68, has served as the radio voice for the Crimson Tide since 1988. 

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Chris Stewart will fill in for Gold in the booth until Gold can return. Stewart has been the play-by-play announcer for Alabama men's basketball for over two decades. He has also called baseball games since 2000. 

Stewart will also fill in for Gold as host of Saban's weekly radio show on Thursdays. 

Gold was a 2014 inductee into the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame. 

Nick Kelly covers Alabama football and men's basketball for The Tuscaloosa News, part of the USA TODAY Network. Reach him at nkelly@gannett.com or follow him on Twitter: @_NickKelly