Mike Tirico is a famed American sportscaster, who is currently the National Football League (NFL) play-by-play anchor in the broadcast “NBC Sunday Night Football.” He’s also known for his long tenure in ESPN’s “Monday Night Football.”
Age, Early Life, and Education Background
Mike Tirico hails from New York City, USA, and was born under the Sagittarius zodiac sign on 13 December 1966, which makes him 57 years old as of 2023. He was raised in the borough of Queens by his Afro-American father Donald Tirico and Italian mother, Maria Tirico; his parents parted ways when he was four years old and his mother raised him single-handedly. Tirico has disclosed that he had problems with his identity when he was growing up, saying that he didn’t know whether he was black or white. He eventually acknowledged that his dad is African-American in September 2022.
Tirico attended Bayside High School in Queens, matriculating to Syracuse University in 1985, and graduating from the Newhouse School (commonly known as The S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications) in 1988. At Syracuse, Tirico received a Robert Costas Scholarship for being an outstanding journalism student.
Hobbies and Interests
Mike is keen on traveling and his career has seen him tour many US states and international destinations.
He’s an animal lover whose favorite pets are dogs.
Moreover, the New York City native is fond of donating to charity organizations, and often helps underprivileged children.
He likes watching films in his spare time, and his favorites are “The Shawshank Redemption,” “Dark Water,” and “Top Gun”; his best-loved actors are Russell Crowe and Tim Robbins.
NBC Sports announcer Mike Tirico wants you to know he is not a black man https://t.co/JZ9yYNnEkg pic.twitter.com/0CHc0Mov17
— Blavity (@Blavity) July 20, 2017
Career Beginnings: ABC and ESPN
Before he graduated from college, Mike worked as a Sports Director for the TV station WTVH, which is a CBS affiliate based in Syracuse, New York. In 1991, he joined ESPN as an anchor for the program “SportsCenter” and went on to cover Thursday night collegiate Football play-by-play from 1997 to 2005. He also covered college basketball from 1997-2005, and NBA from 2002-2016. During his tenure at ABC and ESPN, Mike handled golf coverage, and also hosted several events including “Monday Night NFL Countdown.” In September 2007, he began hosting ESPN Radio’s “The Mike Tirico Show” with his co-host, Scott V. Pelt. He served as the anchor for the 2009 US Open tennis tournament, co-anchored FIFA (soccer) World Cup in 2010 and 2014 and UEFA Euro in 2016, shortly before he left ESPN/ABC.
NBC Sports: 2016-Present
Mike joined NBC Sports on 1 July 2016, and in his first appearance the sportscaster covered the US Open Championship on the Golf Channel. He also covered 2016 Olympics from Rio de Janeiro. He replaced Dan Hicks to cover play-by-play for Notre Dame Football on NBC later that year, then after Bob Costas retired as primetime host of Olympic coverage on NBC in 2017, Tirico replaced him starting at the PyeongChang 2018 (best known as the 2018 Winter Olympics). In 2017, Tirico replaced Al Michaels, who was NBC’s “Thursday Night Football” play-by-play commentator, and he also took over Tom Hammond’s role in Triple Crown (horse racing) coverage.
2019 saw Mike covering the National Hockey League (NHL) game on Wednesday Night Hockey for the first time. He later hosted coverage of the 2019 NHL Winter Classics pregame and post-game. In 2022, Mike hosted American Football’s Super Bowl LVI, and the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing.
In 2017, The S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications awarded Tirico the Marty Glickman Award for Leadership in Sports Media. He’s worked with many famous sportscasters including Tim Brant, Lee Corso, and Terry Bowden while covering collegiate Football. He has covered NBA games with Tom Tolbert, Greg Anthony, and Hubie Brown, and moreover covered golf tournaments with Curtis Strange and Nick Faldo.
Mike married the Michigan native, Debbie Gibaratz, in the ‘90s. Debbie attended Trenton High School in Michigan, and was physically active and played softball. The duo met while attending Syracuse University, where they shared a similar interest in sports. Debbie was a talented collegiate athlete, who was named the captain of the University’s Women’s Basketball squad in 1989. Debbie is a very educated woman who earned a Master of Business Administration from New York University’s (NYU) Stern School of Business. She currently works with various charity organizations in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
Mike and Debbie have two children; a son named Jordan Tirico and a daughter, Cammi Tirico. The former followed in his parents’ footsteps and has played for A.A. Skyline Eagles. On the other hand, Cammi attended Northwestern University, and is looking forward to starting a golf career. Mike and Debbie are seemingly living a happy life together with their children, without any rumors of separation.
Rumors and Controversy
In 1992, Tirico was suspended from ESPN after several sexual harassment complaints against him were reported. In one incident, Tirico allegedly hit on a female colleague, who was a production assistant. Apparently, he approached her at a house party and told her that she was the most beautiful woman around, and followed her to her car even after she ignored his advances. The woman reported that Mike forcibly entered her car and even tried to make sexual advances toward her.
In another incident that involved a female producer who had been out to dinner with Mike and his fiancé, the sportscaster sent her messages telling her that he was looking to sleep with her. The two later met again while covering an NCAA Tournament for ESPN, and it is reported that the sportscaster continued making sexual advances. After he was dismissed, Mike trailed her while she was driving home, which spooked her out. News of the incident reached the ESPN offices, and five more female co-workers came forward with their own sexual harassment stories, which saw Mike suspended for three months. The books “These Guys Have All the Fun: Inside the World of ESPN” and “ESPN: The Uncensored History” covers these alleged sexual harassment incidents in depth.
Height, Weight, and Physical Appearance
Mike is of Afro-American roots and has a pair of dark brown eyes and black hair. He stands 5ft 7ins (1.70m) tall and weighs approximately 190lbs (86kgs).
Tirico reportedly earns an annual salary of $6 million as a sportscaster, and his net worth is approximately $14 million as of 2023.