Thursday is Mike Tirico’s final day at ESPN. It’s also his 25-year anniversary of his joining the Worldwide Leader. First hired as a SportsCenter anchor, Tirico expanded his duties to studio host for ESPN’s NFL programming, play-by-play for college basketball, college football, golf, NBA, tennis and eventually, Monday Night Football. And he finishes his ESPN career as a soccer host on UEFA Euro 2016. Starting in July, Tirico becomes a member of NBC Sports where he’ll call Thursday Night Football.
Among his career highlights at ESPN, he was the first face seen when ESPNews launched and one of the first voices heard when ESPN Radio premiered, both in the 1990’s. And he also had his own ESPN Radio show which he co-hosted with Scott Van Pelt.
He joined ESPN in 1991 as a 24 year old. He had graduated a few years earlier from Syracuse University and began a meteoric rise in the ranks in Bristol, CT.
Check out this video of Tirico launching ESPNews in 1996 and NFL Prime Monday with Joe Theismann (!) and CRAIG JAMES in 1993. He had more hair back then and he looked so young! The voice has remained the same throughout the years though.
That’s some amazing video. But when your career spans 25 years in one place, you’re going to see some classic archival footage.
ESPN Executive Vice President, Programming and Production, John Wildhack had these words for Tirico when it was announced that he was leaving for NBC Sports:
“During his 25 years with the company, Mike has made tremendous contributions to ESPN across the variety of sports and properties he has touched; even more important, he has developed lasting friendships with his on-air colleagues and so many ESPN employees behind the camera. We thank Mike for all he’s done for ESPN and we wish him the best in this new chapter of his career.”
For Tirico, he’s covered many sports at ESPN whether it’s been hosting the Masters from the Butler Cabin at Augusta or sitting in the 18th tower at St. Andrews for the Open Championship or standing next to Jon Gruden in broadcast booths for Monday Night Football.
But he’s ready for the next phase of his career with NBC calling the NFL with Cris Collinsworth and most likely being an Olympic host. It’s a great way to cap off what has already been quite an amazing career.