Michael Todd "Mike" Tirico (; born December 13, 1966) is an announcer for ESPN's presentation of Monday Night Football. In addition, Tirico calls a multitude of programming for ESPN/ABC, including college basketball, the NBA, golf and tennis. He is also one of the anchors of the 2014 World Cup along with Bob Ley.
ABC and ESPN television career
Tirico joined ESPN in 1991 as a SportsCenter anchor, after four years as Sports Director at CBS affiliate WTVH-TV in Syracuse, New York, during his undergraduate years at Syracuse University. Tirico is noted for his versatile nature and the variety of assignments he has handled for SportsCenter; Tirico has handled the play-by-play for ESPN's Thursday night college football package (1997 to 2005), college basketball coverage (1997 to 2002), NBA coverage (2002 to present), and PGA golf coverage for ABC (1996 to 2006). Tirico has also hosted studio coverage of various ESPN and ABC covered events, including a stint on ESPN's Monday Night Countdown (previously known as NFL Prime Monday) from 1993 to 2001 and ABC's NBA studio shows. He also broadcasts NBA games on ESPN/ABC, and usually does the NBA Finals coverage for ESPN Radio. He anchored the 2009 U.S. Open (tennis) and co-anchored the 2014 World Cup.
Tirico has been paired in the college football booth with Tim Brant, Terry Bowden, Mike Gottfried, Kirk Herbstreit, Lee Corso, and David Norrie. His partners in NBA coverage have included Tom Tolbert, Hubie Brown, and Greg Anthony, and he has worked with Curtis Strange, Judy Rankin, Nick Faldo, and Paul Azinger in PGA coverage. He has worked with Len Elmore on college basketball coverage. Tirico is also partners with Jon Gruden on Monday Night Football.
On April 21 and 22, 2007, he appeared as a guest host, filling in for Michael Wilbon, alongside Tony Kornheiser on ESPN's Pardon the Interruption.
Tirico hosted his first show from WAER radio in Syracuse, N.Y., the station where he started his sports broadcasting career, on the campus of Syracuse University. Fellow Orange alum Bob Costas was his first guest. On September 20, 2007, Tirico began hosting the short-lived Mike Tirico Show on ESPN Radio from 1:00–3:00 pm weekdays (Eastern time). The show filled the empty seat left by Dan Patrick. During the spring of 2008, the title of The Mike Tirico Show, which featured Scott Van Pelt as a co-host, was changed to Tirico and Van Pelt. On May 19, 2009, Tirico announced he would be leaving the show to focus more on his television play-by-play duties, and the name of the show became The Scott Van Pelt Show.
Sexual harassment controversy
Tirico's period at ESPN has not been without controversy. Two books about the network, ESPN: The Uncensored History (2000) by former New York Times sportswriter Michael Freeman and 2011's These Guys Have All the Fun (by Washington Post writers James Andrew Miller and Tom Shales), recount allegations of sexual harassment. Tirico, for example, was suspended by the network for three months in 1992 for multiple incidents involving attempted groping, sexual solicitation, and stalking of female co-workers.
Tirico grew up in Queens, New York and graduated from Bayside High School and Syracuse University. Tirico and his wife Debbie have two children. The Tiricos have lived in Ann Arbor, Michigan since 1999.
Tirico is unsure of his heritage, as he is not certain who his biological parents are. He has stated, "Yeah. I’d like to find out the truth at some point, so I can answer questions for my kids" regarding his heritage and biological parents.
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- ^ Carroll, Lloyd (May 28, 2009). "Coming up next in TV land". Queens Chronicle. Retrieved January 7, 2013.
- ^ a b Baumgardner, Nick (October 7, 2011). "Ann Arbor's Mike Tirico gets to introduce the Lions to America on 'Monday Night Football'". Ann Arbor News. Retrieved January 7, 2013.
- ^ "World Cup Anchor Mike Tirico’s Bizarre History: Reports of Stalking and Sexual Harassment". The Daily Beast. July 17, 2014.