The SEC Network made its debut last night, and the long-awaited network has some serious ties to the Capital Region.

Joe Tessitore, who has been at ESPN since 2002, will be the lead anchor on the pregame show "SEC Nation" for the network. The Schenectady native graduated from Christian Brothers Academy. He also broadcasts college football and basketball for ESPN -- and also does boxing for "Friday Night Fights."

He will travel to each campus in the first year of the network to show fans glimpses of life in SEC Country. His work with the SEC started in 2011 when he executive produced the ESPN film "Roll Tide, War Eagle." In 2012 he was also a consulting producer on the "30 for 30" film about Bo Jackson.

Tessitore is a name long known by college football fans, as he has called Saturday's marquee college football game on ESPN with Matt Millen.

He also has a background in horse racing and has spent time covering the Breeders' Cup and Belmont Stakes for ESPN/ABC.

He has also been given the Sam Taub Award for Broadcast Excellence by the Boxing Writer's Association.

Furthermore, he worked at WRGB in Albany in 1994-95. When he left, longtime Capital Region sports anchor Doug Sherman was his replacement.

Read more about Tessitore here.