Who Is Mike Tirico?
Born in 1966, Mike Tirico is an American sportscaster who's had a longstanding career with ESPN's Monday Night Football as an NFL play-by-play announcer (from 2006-2015). In his decade's long tenure at the network, he's also announced and anchored a variety of other professional sports such as NBA basketball, golf, tennis and the FIFA World Cup. After his contract expired with ESPN in 2016, Tirico signed on with NBC Sports. Starting with the 2018 Winter Olympics, Tirico will replace sportscast veteran Bob Costas as primetime host for the Games and has been serving as studio host for NBC's coverage of the NFL season since 2017.
Tirico has a net worth of $6 million, along with an annual salary of $3 million, according to Celebrity Net Worth.
Wife Debbie Tirico
Tirico met Debbie Gibaratz while the two attended Syracuse University. Debbie was an all-state basketball and softball star in high school and went on to play college basketball, making her way to the NCAA tournament and a year later, becoming her team's tri-captain in 1989. The couple later married and have two children together. In 1999 the Tiricos moved to Ann Arbor, Michigan, where Debbie's parents reside.
Early Life & Career
Born on December 13, 1966 in Queens, New York, Michael Todd Tirico was the only child of Maria and Donald Tirico. When he was four years old, his father left the family and lost contact.
Tirico graduated from Bayside High School and attended Syracuse University, majoring in broadcast journalism. In 1987 he was the first recipient of the Bob Costas Scholarship and became a play-by-play announcer for Syracuse's basketball, football, volleyball and lacrosse teams. As a college junior, he interned at a CBS affiliate station, and upon graduation in 1991, he immediately got a job with ESPN's SportsCenter. During his decade's long tenure at ESPN, Tirico covered a variety of assignments in multiple sports and also gave play-by-plays on the NBA Finals for ESPN Radio. However, he is most known for his contribution as an NFL play-by-play announcer on ESPN's Monday Night Football.
Career at NBC
In 2016, after signing off with ESPN, Tirico immediately began working for NBC Sports. His first appearance at the network was on the NBC Golf Channel for the 2016 Open Championship. He later served as contributor and studio host for NBC's coverage of the 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.
The year 2017 would mark big changes and opportunity for Tirico. He was not only set to replace Bob Costas for Olympics coverage — starting with the 2018 Winter Games in PyeongChang, Korea — but he also would take the veteran's place as host of NBC's Football Night in America. That same year, Tirico also became the host of the network's Thursday Night Football program, replacing sports announcer Al Michaels. If that weren't enough, the tireless sportscaster took the reins of Tom Hammond's role as commentator for the Triple Crown.
Is Mike Tirico Black?
According to Tirico, no. He grew up in a middle-class Italian-American home, and despite his darker features, he claims both sides of his family are white. (Although he lost contact with his father, Tirico says he's seen pictures of his father's family, and they all appear to be white.)
“The only contact I had growing up was with my mom’s side of the family,” Tirico told the Syracuse Post-Standard in 1990. “And they are all as white as the refrigerator I’m standing in front of right now.” He further added, “I know the story sounds like a lot of bull, but it’s the truth. Does it matter to me? Yeah. I’d like to find out the truth at some point, so I can answer questions for my kids. But me? I’m living, I’m working, I’m leading an upstanding life. I don’t worry about it.”
Sexual Harassment Allegations
Despite Tirico's illustrious sports broadcasting career at ESPN and now at NBC, it doesn't come without controversy. In 1992 Tirico was suspended for three months at ESPN, following sexual harassment allegations that the sportscaster groped, stalked and sexually solicited at least six women. As part of his punishment, Tirico was required to seek counseling.
NBC has stated it was aware of Tirico's past but believes he has learned and changed from the incident.
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