Michele Tafoya

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Michele Tafoya
Michele Tafoya (37271800062) (cropped).jpg
Tafoya in 2017
Michele Joan Tafoya

(1964-12-17) December 17, 1964 (age 56)
Alma materUniversity of California, Berkeley
University of Southern California
Years active1993–present
Spouse(s)Mark Vandersall
AwardsFive-time Sports Emmy Award winner

Michele Joan Tafoya,[1] (born December 17, 1964)[2] is an American sportscaster. Since 2011, she has been a reporter for NBC Sports, primarily as a sideline reporter for NBC Sunday Night Football.

Early life

Tafoya attended Mira Costa High School.[3] She received a Bachelor of Arts degree in mass communications from the University of California, Berkeley in 1988, and a master's degree in business administration from the University of Southern California in 1991.[4]


Tafoya worked as a host and reporter for KFAN-AM in Minneapolis, primarily for Minnesota Vikings and University of Minnesota women's basketball broadcasts. She worked for WAQS-AM in Charlotte, where she went by the name Mickey Conley.[5]

Tafoya also worked for the Midwest Sports Channel, serving as a Minnesota Timberwolves host and sideline reporter, as well as a play-by-play commentator for women's Big Ten basketball and volleyball.[citation needed] Tafoya then spent three years at WCCO-TV in Minneapolis as a sports anchor and reporter.[citation needed]

CBS Sports

Tafoya joined CBS Sports in September 1994 as a reporter and host for the CBS Television Network's sports anthology show CBS Sports Spectacular and college basketball coverage. She served as a host of At The Half and as a reporter for college football games. She made her on-air debut at the 1994 U.S. Open Tennis Championships.[6]

In 1997, The American Women in Radio and Television honored Tafoya with a Gracie Award for "Outstanding Achievement by an Individual On-Air TV Personality" for her play-by-play calling of WNBA games on Lifetime Television.[6] Tafoya served as a reporter for the network's coverage of the NFL, college football – including the 1998 National Championship Orange Bowl – and was late-night co-host with Al Trautwig of the 1998 Nagano Olympics in Nagano.[citation needed] In addition to her diverse assignments, Tafoya hosted CBS' NCAA Tournament selection show, Goodwill Games and the U.S Open Tennis Championships coverage. She left CBS at the end of 1999, after five years with the network.[citation needed]

ABC Sports and ESPN

Tafoya joined ESPN and ABC Sports in January 2000, working as a sideline reporter for ESPN Monday Night Football beginning in 2006 NFL Season. She was the sideline reporter for ABC Sports' Monday Night Football during the 2004 NFL season and the 2005 NFL season. Tafoya was a co-host for the Mike Tirico Show on ESPN radio. She helped ABC in their coverage of Super Bowl XL in Detroit as a sideline reporter with Suzy Kolber.[citation needed]

She was loaned to NBC Sports for the 2000 Sydney Olympics as a Reporter for Rhythmic Gymnastics and as the play-by-play woman for softball.

On October 10, 2003, Tafoya purposely poured beer over two fans beneath her luxury box at the Metrodome during a University of Minnesota versus University of Michigan game. Tafoya admitted to losing her composure and said she was embarrassed over the incident. She also issued a public apology.[7][8]

Tafoya formerly worked at NBA games on ABC and ESPN. On October 21, 2008, she announced she would be resigning from her duties as head NBA sideline reporter.[9]

Tafoya's other previous roles included a stint as the men's and women's NCAA basketball play-by-play and studio host, and as a college football and basketball sideline reporter. She also has served as a substitute host on Pardon the Interruption and as a panelist on The Sports Reporters II. Her other ESPN assignments have included calling WNBA games, also hosting skiing telecasts and working on ESPN's college basketball selection shows as a reporter. She also was a correspondent for SportsCenter and Outside the Lines.

In 2006, the Davie-Brown Index ranked Tafoya among the most likable TV sports personalities, including Biggest Trend-Setter.[citation needed] At the end of the 2010-2011 NFL season, she left ESPN for NBC Sports.[citation needed]

Return to WCCO

Tafoya was announced as the new evening drive time talk radio host for WCCO-AM on April 20, 2009. Her show began on June 1, 2009, and ended on January 27, 2012.[citation needed]

KQRS Radio

Tafoya joined "The KQ Morning Show" on KQRS-FM as co-host with long-time KQ morning personality Tom Barnard on September 8, 2016.[citation needed]

NBC Sports

Michele Tafoya as sideline reporter for NBC Sports in January 2021

On May 4, 2011, Tafoya was announced as the new sideline reporter for NBC Sunday Night Football, replacing Andrea Kremer and rejoining former co-worker and announcer, Al Michaels.[10] Tafoya also covers swimming during the Summer Olympics for NBC.

Personal life

Tafoya and husband Mark Vandersall have a son and a daughter.[9] The family lives in Edina, Minnesota.[9] In 2007, she told WCCO-TV that she had been struggling with an eating disorder since she was a child.[11]

Tafoya describes herself as a "'pro-choice' conservative with libertarian leanings".[12]

Career timeline


  1. ^ Middle name per Tafoya on KQRS Morning Show, November 6, 2018.[better source needed]
  2. ^ "Birthdays in Sport on December 17". On This Day. Retrieved January 15, 2021.
  3. ^ "Hall Of Fame". Mira Costa High School Alumni. Retrieved January 22, 2020.
  4. ^ "Michele Tafoya". NBC Sports. Retrieved February 13, 2014.
  5. ^ Washburn, Mark (May 4, 2004). "Tafoya lands 'MNF' sideline role". Charlotte Observer. p. 2C. Retrieved February 13, 2014.
  6. ^ a b Doody, Ben (September 4, 2014). "Michele Tafoya: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know". Heavy. Retrieved February 12, 2017. ...worked as a WNBA commentator on Lifetime from 1997-99
  7. ^ Hoffman, Bill (October 17, 2003). "REPORTER'S PRETTY POUR SHOWING". The New York Post. Retrieved February 12, 2017. I am so regretful, I can't even tell you.
  8. ^ Weyler, John (November 3, 2003). "She Quickly Brought Matters to a Head". Los Angeles Times.
  9. ^ a b c Zulgad, Judd (October 21, 2008). "Tafoya gives up NBA duties". Timberwolves. Star Tribune. Archived from the original on October 21, 2008. Retrieved October 21, 2008.
  10. ^ "Michele Tafoya Joins "Sunday Night Football" As Sideline Reporter". TV By the Numbers. May 4, 2011. Archived from the original on February 13, 2017. Retrieved February 12, 2017.
  11. ^ "Michele Tafoya's Struggle with Eating Disorders". News. WCCO-TV. November 16, 2007. Archived from the original on December 3, 2008. Retrieved June 7, 2009.
  12. ^ "Michele Tafoya on Working 200th NFL Game". SI.com. Time Inc. December 7, 2015. Retrieved December 7, 2015.
  13. ^ a b c d e f g Michele Tafoya - ESPN MediaZone Bio Archived July 5, 2008, at the Wayback Machine

External links

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