ESPN Adds Del Rio To Its NFL On-Air Talent Roster

Courtesy: ESPN

ESPN has added another big name to its roster of on-air talent for its NFL broadcasts.

The company announced Thursday through a news release that it has added Jack Del Rio to its talent roster.  Del Rio first rose to fame as the head coach of the Jacksonville Jaguars in the team’s early years.  Most recently, he was the coach of the Oakland Raiders.

As the newest member of the team, Del Rio will make appearances on NFL LiveSportsCenter and ESPN Radio.  He said in the news release, he is optimistic about his future.

“I’ve visited several training camps over the last few weeks, and I’m really looking forward to the upcoming football season and my new role with ESPN!,” he said.

ESPN Vice President of NFL and College Studio Shows Seth Markman spoke highly of Del Rio in talking about Del Rio’s addition to the network’s on-air talent roster.

“Jack was highly successful as a player and coach,” Markman said.  “He sees the game from both perspectives and he doesn’t shy away from sharing his honest opinion.  He will be a great addition to our ESPN team.”

Del Rio’s career as a player started at the University of Southern California. As a member of the Trojans, he was a consensus All American and co-MVP of the 1985 Rose Bowl. He would go on to be enshrined in the university’s Athletic Hall of Fame for his performance as a football and baseball player.  He also received the school’s Silver Anniversary Award in 2010.

After college, Del Rio was drafted by the New Orleans Saints in the third round of the 1985 NFL Draft.  That same year, he was named the team’s Rookie of the Year and a member of the National Football League’s All-Rookie Team.

Del Rio was named a member of the Pro Bowl team in 1994 as a member of the Minnesota Vikings. During his time with the Vikings (1992-95), he led the team in tackles for three consecutive seasons.

Along with his time with the Vikings and Saints, Del Rio also played for the Kansas City Chiefs (1987-88) and Dallas Cowboys (1989-91).  During the course of his 11 years as a player in the league, Del Rio amassed 1,005 career tackles, 13 sacks and 13 interceptions over 160 regular season games.

Del Rio went from the player ranks to the coaching ranks in 1997 as an assistant strength coach for the Saints.  He was eventually promoted to the team’s linebackers coach in 1998 before taking the same position with the Baltimore Ravens in 1999.  He held that position until 2001, helping the team the NFL’s top prize in Super Bowl XXXV along the way.

After leaving the Ravens in 2001, Del Rio added another notch to his resume, becoming the Defensive Coordinator for the Carolina Panthers in 2002.  That position led to Del Rio’s first head coaching position in 2003 with the Jacksonville Jaguars, which he would lead until 2011.

Del Rio headed west following his time as the Jags’ head coach, becoming the Denver Bronco’s Defensive Coordinator from 2012-14 before moving back to the head coaching ranks in 2015 as the head of the Oakland Raiders.  He helmed the team until 2017.

During his head coaching time,  Del Rio led the Jaguars and Raiders to three playoff appearances and 97 total collective victories.

More information on Jack Del Rio’s addition to ESPN’s talent roster is available online now along with all of the network’s latest NFL headlines at:






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Mendoza, ESPN Reach Contract Extension Agreement

Courtesy: ESPN

Another member of ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball broadcast team will be back with the group this spring.

Jessica Mendoza reached a new multi-year contract extension with ESPN this week.  The announcement came only a day after fellow ESPN MLB broadcast team member and MLB vet Mark Teixeira was announced to return.

Mendoza said in a news release from the network that she is glad the two sides came to terms on the contract.

“I’m beyond excited to continue to contribute analysis to ESPN’s signature MLB platform — Sunday Night Baseball — alongside Alex Rodriguez, Matt Vasgersian and Buster Olney,” Mendoza said.  “I look forward to continue helping grow the sports of softball and Major League Baseball through our second-to-none coverage by utilizing cool technology, offering exciting insights and doing it all with passion.”

ESPN Senior Vice President of Production and Remote Events Mark Gross shared Mendoza’s thoughts.

“Jessica’s preparation, expertise and work ethic are among the many attributes that make us proud to have this trailblazer with us for years to come,” Gross said.  “She forms tremendous relationships in the sports with executives, managers and players, and those connections help us inform our telecasts and make them better.  Her passion for the sport is contagious.”

Mendoza made history in 2015 when she joined ESPN’s SNB broadcast team.  It made her the first woman to ever serve as a national analyst for Major League Baseball games.  She also became the first woman to serve as an analyst for an MLB post season game on Oct. 15 when the Yankees and Astros faced off in the American League Wildcard Game live from Yankee Stadium.

According to ESPN’s news release, Mendoza is considered “one of America’s greatest softball players.”  A graduate of Stanford University, she holds records in categories, such as batting average, hits, runs, home runs stolen bases and slugging percentage.

She helped lead the U.S. Softball team to gold in the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens.  She also won a silver medal at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing. Additionally, she will be inducted into the National Softball Hall of Fame next year as a member of the class of 2019.

Along with her continued duties on SNB, she will also make appearances on ESPN’s MLB studio program Baseball Tonight, and will make regular appearances on SportsCenter and Get Up! according to the network’s release.

More information on this and other news from ESPN is available online now at:






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Teixeira, ESPN Reach Agreement On Contract Extension

Courtesy: ESPN

Mark Teixeira is sticking with ESPN.

The MLB great, who is a three-time American League All-Star and member of the 2009 World Series Champion New York Yankees, has signed a new multi-year agreement with ESPN.  The network made the announcement in a news release sent Monday.

Teixeira’s new deal ensures that he will remain an analyst on ESPN’s Baseball TonightSunday Night Countdown for the foreseeable future.  The program precedes ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball each week throughout Major League Baseball’s season.  The contract also ensures he will serve as analyst for other ESPN baseball programs, such as Opening Day, Winter Baseball Meetings and World Series.

Teixeira was humble as he talked about his new contract in a recent interview.

“I have the coolest job in baseball,” Teixeira said. “I’m fortunate to work with so many great colleagues and friends at ESPN, who are deeply committed to covering the sport we all love with passion and expertise.  I’m so happy to be part of this team.”

ESPN Vice President, Production Seth Markman shared  Teixeira’s positive thoughts.

“Mark is a consummate professional who elevates our show every time he appears,” Markman said.  “He’s smart, cadid and an excellent communicator, and his passion for the game is evident.  We’re proud to have Mark here at ESPN.”

Along with his work on ESPN’s MLB coverage, Teixeira will also contribute to SportsCenter and will make appearances on ESPN Radio’s programming, including ESPN Radio 98.7’s The Michael Kay Show.

Over the course of his Major League Baseball career, Teixeira — a switch-hitting First Baseman — hit 409 home runs, batted in 1,298 runs and won five Golden Gloves.  He retired at the end of Major League Baseball’s 2016 season and joined ESPN’s on-air roster at the start of the league’s 2017 season.

More information on ESPN’s Major League Baseball coverage is available online now along with all of the latest MLB headlines at:






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ESPN Moving ‘NBA Countdown’ Back To L.A.; Announces Programming Changes For ‘SportsCenter,’ Other Shows

Courtesy: ESPN

ESPN’s NBA Countdown is headed back to the West Coast.

The network’s flagship NBA studio show is returning to ESPN’s Los Angeles Production Center for its upcoming season.  The change is in line with ESPN’s new NBA post-game show NBA After The Buzzer, which will feature the NBA Countdown broadcast team.

The return of NBA Countdown to its Los Angeles studio marks the first time since the 2010-2011 season that it has aired from the West Coast.  It moved to the East Coast in the 2011-’12 season and has been there ever since.

Along with the announcement of the show’s move back to Los Angeles, ESPN also announced that Michelle Beadle will leave her job as host of ESPN’s weekday morning show Get Up! and will expand her role in ESPN’s NBA coverage.  Her last appearance on Get Up! will be August 29.

Connor Schell, ESPN Executive Vice President of Content, said he was optimistic about the changes coming to ESPN’s NBA coverage, including the extension of Beadle’s contract and the expansion of her role in the network’s NBA coverage.

“We are extremely excited to launch ESPN’s first ever NBA post-game show,” Schell said.  “We’re doubling down on our NBA studio content at a time when the NBA is red hot and fan interest continues to surge, and we are doing it with Michelle, as she is so important to our coverage.  As the basketball world looks to L.A. with renewed interest, we’ll be right there to cover it.”

As an added bonus for audiences, the increased interest in the NBA noted by Schell has also led ESPN officials to expand The Jump, ESPN’s daily Los Angeles-based NBA studio show hosted by Rachel Nichols, to a full one-hour format.

Other changes that are being made at ESPN, partly due to the network’s changes in its NBA coverage include the expansion of Get Up! to a two-hour show starting Sept. 3.  Starting on that day, it will air from 8 a.m. – 10 a.m. ET.  Mike Greenberg will still host the show and Jalen  Rose will also stay on as co-host on days when he does not have to appear on NBA Countdown.

Maria Taylor, Laura Rutledge, Diana Russini and Jen Lada — each of whom has served as guest host on Get Up! — will all continue to serve as contributors to the program.

During football season, ESPN’s NFL and college football commentators will appear on Get Up! in its expanded time slot.  That list of talent includes: Ryan Clark, Victor Cruz, Paul Finebaum, Dan Orlovsky, Jesse Palmer, Louis Riddick, Rex Ryan, Adam Schefter, Marcus Spears, Jonathan Vilma and Damien Woody.

One more change coming to the ESPN networks involves ESPN Radio’s Golic & Wingo.  Along with continuing on ESPN Radio, it will be simulcast on ESPN2 and ESPNEWS from 6 a.m. – 8 a.m. before moving solely to ESPNEWS from 8 a.m. – 10 a.m.  This move is also set to happen on Sept. 3.

By connection, SportsCenter will continue to air on ESPN2 from 8 a.m. – 10 a.m.

More information on these changes is available online now along with all of ESPN’s latest news at:






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ESPN To Air Special ‘SportsCenter’ Broadcast Tonight To Coincide With NFL Season Schedule Announcement

Courtesy: ESPN

The National Football League will announce the schedule for its 2018-’19 season tonight, and in anticipation of the announcement, ESPN will air a special two-hour edition of SportsCenter tonight.

SportsCenter Special2018 NFL Schedule Release will air tonight starting at 8 p.m. ET.  the program will be simulcast live on the ESPN App.  Trey Wingo will anchor tonight’s broadcast, and will be joined by analyst Darren Woodson and ESPN NFL Insiders Louis Riddick and Adam Schefter for additional commentary.

Due to tonight’s special broadcast, SportsCenter SpecialMel & Todd’s Mock Draft has been moved from its original time slot tonight to 6:30 p.m. Friday on ESPN2.  Wendi Nix will anchor that broadcast.  Riddick and Schefter will both appear during the broadcast, too.

Just last week, ESPN announced its 2018-’19 NFL pre-season broadcast schedule, which begins the New York Jets on the road against the Washington Redskins August 16 at 8 p.m. on ESPN.  It will also broadcast the Ravens at the Colts August 20 at 8 p.m. on ESPN.  Both games will be simulcast in Spanish on ESPN Deportes.

ESPN’s 2018 MNF Preseason Schedule:


Time (ET)



Thu, Aug. 16

8 p.m.

New York Jets at Washington Redskins

ESPN, ESPN Deportes

Mon, Aug. 20

8 p.m.

Baltimore Ravens at Indianapolis Colts

ESPN, ESPN Deportes

More information on ESPN’s NFL coverage is available online now along with all of the latest NFL headlines at:






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ESPN’s Marty Smith Getting His Own Show

Courtesy: ESPN

ESPN personality Marty Smith is getting his own monthly show.

The veteran reporter’s new program SportsCenter PresentsMarty Smith’s America will launch Wednesday, Aug. 2 on ESPN2. The hourlong program will see Smith conducting interviews with notable sports newsmakers each week.

Smith said of the program that it stemmed from Smith’s desire to profile people and their stories more.

“Everyone has a story,” Smith said.  “This life is about relationships and sharing those stories.  My team and I thoroughly enjoy telling them, through the prism of building lasting relationships.  Work hard.  Be kind.  Have passion.  That’s us.  We have a unique style and energy.  We genuinely care about the people we cover – not just the stories they provide.”

ESPN Senior Vice President Rob King said the series will see Smith interviewing his subjects in out of the ordinary settings such as “pond swimming with Nick Saban and hooping it up with Alan Iverson, and examining their different viewpoints on practice, reporting from the back of a race car and challenging Cam Newton to a game of flag football.”

The series’ debut episode will see Smith spending a day with Newton at a charity kick ball game in Charlotte, N.C. in “Kicking It With Cam.”  It will also see Smith join soccer superstar Cristiano Ronaldo in China in “All Access with CR7 in China.”  “The Trojan Horse,” also included in the series’ debut episode, follows Smith as he spends a day with USC quarterback and pre-season No. 1 overall draft pick Sam Darnold on the USC campus in L.A.

NBA star LeBron James is also profiled in the series’ debut episode, but not in his own words. Smith sits down with James’ best friend and business manager Maverick Carter in “The King Maker,” also included in Marty Smith’s America.

As if all of the stories set for the series’ debut is not enough for audiences, former college football star and Major League Baseball hopeful Tim Teabow will serve as Smith’s co-host on the series’ premiere.

More information on Marty Smith’s America is available online along with all of ESPN’s latest news and more at:










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ESPN Adds Chip Kelly To Its College Football Broadcast Roster

Courtesy: ESPN

ESPN has added a new big name to its college football coverage roster.

Chip Kelly was named the latest addition this week to the network’s roster of college football analysts.  Kelly, who has more than 30 years experience in college and professional football, will serve as a studio analyst for many of the network’s college football broadcasts. According to a press release from ESPN, Kelly will also appear on Friday and Sunday editions of SportsCenter to offer insight on college and NFL matchups.

Lee Fitting, ESPN Senior Coordinating Producer, called Kelly’s outside the box approach as a coach one of his major strong points while discussing his addition to the network’s on-air football roster.

“Chip is one of the most innovative football minds of our generation,” Fitting said.  “As a coach, he saw the game from a unique perspective, never afraid to take an unconventional approach.  We want him to bring that mentality to our college football coverage each week, offering fans a varying viewpoint outside of the conventional thought process.”

Kelly said in response, he intended to use that unconventional approach when he begins his time with the network, adding he is anticipating starting the next chapter of his football career with ESPN.

“Over the last 30 years, I have experienced football from one perspective – as a coach,” Kelly said.  “Working in television will allow me to see the game from a different angle; simultaneously;  I’ll provide viewers an insight to the mindset of a coach and team while offering alternative views of various situations.  Once I decided to make the move to television, my familiarity with ESPN, combined with their high-quality productions and vital role in college football, it was easily the best network suited for me.”

From 2009 – 12, Kelly served as head coach of the University of Oregon’s football team, compiling a record of 46 – 7.  That record included wins in the Rose Bowl and Fiesta Bowl, and a trip to the College Football National Championship.  In 2009 and ’10, he led the Ducks to the Pac-10 title.  He also led the team to the Pac-12 title.

His time at the helm in Oregon is only one part a 24-year college football career.  Before taking the helm at Oregon, he also spent two years as the team’s offensive coordinator. He spent the past four seasons in the National Football League, including a stint at the helm of the Philadelphia Eagles.

While leading the Eagles, Kelly led the team to a 10 – 6 record and led the team to the NFC East title.

Kelly’s own accolades include Pac-10 Coach of the year in 2009.  He earned four separate coach of the year awards in 2010 including the Associated Press Coach of the Year award.

Kelly will start his on-air college football career with ESPN with the start of this year’s college football season.

More information on Kelly’s addition to ESPN’s college football broadcast ranks is available online now along with all of the latest college football news at:










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