Mike Tirico stands at the top echelon of the sports commentary as a jack-of-all-trades and master of each. He has worked as a studio anchor and radio host, and served as the play-by-play voice on both TV and radio for a range of sports at the college and professional levels.
Born Michael Todd Tirico in Queens, New York on December 13, 1966, he was raised as the only child of Donald and Maria Tirico in an Italian-American family. He attended nearby Bayside High School. In 1987, he received the inaugural Bob Costas scholarship, awarded to a promising student in broadcast journalism at Syracuse University.
During college, Tirico spent four years as the sports director at WTVH-TV, the local CBS affiliate, where he handled play-by-play for Syracuse basketball, football, lacrosse and volleyball. Because of his prowess covering Syracuse sports, Tirico landed a job with ESPN after graduation in 1991.
Almost immediately, he began working as an anchor on the omnipresent highlight show "SportsCenter" (ESPN, 1979- ). He also hosted a show when ESPN Radio premiered in 1992. His duties seemed to expand exponentially after that. In 1993, Tirico hosted the inaugural episode of "Monday Night Countdown" (ESPN, 1993- ), a position he maintained for eight years.
Tirico served as the debut anchor for the launch of ESPNEWS in 1996. That same year, he became the golf host for ABC Sports. Tirico began announcing college basketball and Thursday night college football in 1997, remaining in that post until 2006. In 2002, he added extensive coverage of NBA games to his busy schedule after ABC and ESPN acquired the broadcast rights.
Over time, Tirico has either done the play-by-play or anchored coverage of virtually every major sporting event, from the Daytona 500 to The Master's, and the BCS Championship to the World Cup in South Africa. His voice is iconically linked to numerous sports for legions of fans, especially for football, basketball and golf.
In 2006, Tirico assumed the high-profile mantle as the play-by-play announcer for "Monday Night Football" (ABC/ESPN, 1970-present). He became just the fourth man to hold that post in the show's history, joining broadcasting legends Keith Jackson, Frank Gifford and Al Michaels. Tirico returned to doing a radio show each weekday in 2007, but he turned hosting duties over to colleague Scott Van Pelt in 2009 to focus on his versatile slate of play-by-play duties.
Proving that there is nothing he cannot do, Tirico even hosted the 2009 U.S. Open tennis tournament in Flushing Meadows, just a stone's throw from where he grew up in Queens. In 2010, the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association named Tirico Sportscaster of the Year.