Daniel Patrick Pugh
May 15, 1956
|Alma mater||University of Dayton|
Daniel Patrick Pugh (born May 15, 1956), known professionally as Dan Patrick, is an American sportscaster, radio personality, and actor from Mason, Ohio. He hosts The Dan Patrick Show broadcast on radio on Premiere Radio Networks and streaming on Peacock. He co-hosted NBC's Football Night in America and serves as a senior writer for Sports Illustrated. He worked at ESPN for 18 years, where he often anchored the weeknight and Sunday 11 p.m. edition of SportsCenter.
Patrick was born in Zanesville, Ohio, and was raised in Mason, Ohio, about 30 minutes north of Cincinnati, one of six children of Patricia Joann (née Miller) and John Ambrose "Jack" Pugh. He was a basketball player in high school at William Mason High School, where he scored a single-game personal best of 36 points and earned AP Class AA All-Ohio third-team honors. He graduated in 1974.
He attended Eastern Kentucky University on a basketball scholarship for two years before transferring to the University of Dayton, where he majored in communications. Patrick is an alumnus of the Eta Hexaton chapter of the Phi Sigma Kappa fraternity at Dayton. His father Jack worked in the computer science department at UD until he died of cancer in 1981 when Dan was 25.
Before working with ESPN, Patrick was known by his surname, "Dan Pugh", as an on-air personality with the album rock-formatted WVUD and then, WTUE in Dayton, Ohio (1979–1983). Patrick was then a sports reporter for CNN (1983–89), where his assignments included the World Series, NBA Finals and Winter Olympics. Patrick explained in an interview on December 10, 2021, with Zachary Levi that his boss at CNN said to adopt his middle name, Patrick, as his on-air last name. From 1989–1995, Patrick did a daily sports segment for Bob and Brian, a syndicated Wisconsin-area morning show, and in the early 1990s, he did sports updates for the Columbus, Ohio, Rock Station WLVQ and appeared on the morning show "Wags and Elliot."
Patrick was an anchor on ESPN's SportsCenter (1989–2006). He also hosted The Dan Patrick Show on ESPN Radio from September 13, 1999, to August 17, 2007.
In the mid-1990s, Dan and Keith Olbermann were among ESPN's most recognizable faces. Olbermann used the catch phrase "Welcome to the Big Show" when Patrick worked with him on SportsCenter. After getting reprimanded by their superiors, they began saying "This is SportsCenter" sarcastically, accidentally spawning the show's new catch phrase as well as the name of their long-running promotional campaign. When Olbermann left, Patrick said, "This isn't the Big Show anymore." Patrick stated on his radio program that the ABC sitcom Sports Night was a semi-fictional account of the Olbermann/Patrick anchored SportsCenter, with Casey McCall (Peter Krause) representing Patrick.
Starting on March 19, 2006, until the final game of the NBA Finals, he became the host of ABC's then-titled NBA Nation, a pregame show for the network's NBA telecasts.
On July 9, 2007, Patrick on his radio show announced his departure from ESPN/ABC effective August 17, 2007, stating, "I am leaving ESPN August 17 to go out on my own and be a free agent...I think I was starting to take it (ESPN) for granted," Patrick said. He said ESPN tried to talk him out of it. If there were any animosity, he says, "I wouldn't be sticking around until August."
Patrick remained off air from ESPN Radio until August 15 for his three farewell shows. He was originally reported to be returning for a final week, but returned on Wednesday of that week.
ESPN's statement released to the media said Patrick would be released from his contract August 31, 2007, exactly one year early from his deal that was to run until August 31, 2008. The statement also said this would be the final comment on Patrick's departure from ESPN. "ESPN contractually bans all employees from making specific announcements of their futures on their airwaves, but out of respect to Dan and all he's done for ESPN we allowed him an opportunity to end the speculation".
Reaction from media sources hit the internet by storm. Many webpages, blogs, and news media outlets speculated on the reasons for Patrick's departure and his possible future. On July 10, 2007, The Dan Patrick Show, Keith Olbermann and Dan Patrick himself put some of the rumors and comments to rest.
Patrick confirmed he was asked by the producers of The Price Is Right to audition for the vacant host position, but he declined. The job eventually went to Drew Carey. Patrick admitted he was hurt when good friend, Sports Illustrated writer Rick Reilly (who would move to ESPN) wrote, "Patrick was making one of the top 5 biggest career mistakes in entertainment history," ranking right under Shelley Long's leaving Cheers and Katie Couric's leaving NBC's Today show for the CBS Evening News.
Keith Olbermann stated it was only a matter of time before a website erroneously reported Patrick was fired from ESPN, which was what happened in some reports when Olbermann left ESPN. Patrick again stated he was leaving on good terms with ESPN and he could return to ESPN if he should so choose. Patrick said he wanted to be on both television and radio again, although some newspapers reported he only wanted to do radio.
On his new show, Patrick often relates anecdotes of his ESPN career, in both positive and negative lights. He often refers to his former employer as "The Mother Ship" (and less frequently, "ESPeon"), and expresses disappointment with their practice of preventing their talent from appearing as guests on his show, and frustration when an ESPN employee has agreed to come on the show only to cancel.
Patrick is often critical of current ESPN shows and personalities (such as SportsNation, SportsCenter, First Take and former ESPN host Colin Cowherd) for stealing content from his show.
In September 2015, Patrick was a guest on the debut episode of SVP, a midnight (EST) version of ESPN's flagship show, SportsCenter, designed as a single-host format hosted by Scott Van Pelt. The SVP SportsCenter allows for some creative empowerment for Van Pelt. This empowerment was strategically evident when Van Pelt's first in-studio interview was Patrick.
August 17, 2007, was Dan Patrick's last day on ESPN Radio. He named his final three shows the "Farewell for Now" tour. The last 20 minutes of his show were filled with thank-yous and looks back. Guests included Bob Costas, Bobby Knight, Joe Montana, Jerry Rice, Ken Griffey Jr. and other sports stars. Will Ferrell also made a heavily promoted appearance in character as Ron Burgundy.
Main article: The Dan Patrick Show
Patrick signed a syndication deal with Chicago-based Content Factory, which launched his new version of The Dan Patrick Show on October 1, 2007. It was distributed nationally by Premiere Radio Networks. The show aired live on most stations from 9 a.m. to noon Eastern, although some delayed the show into the evening. The show ran delayed on Sirius XM Sports Nation on Sirius Radio channel 122 and XM Radio channel 143. It was also available as a live stream and in podcast form via Patrick's website.
In January 2009, Dan Patrick's show replaced Out of Bounds with Craig Shemon and James Washington on Premiere Radio's Fox Sports Radio network. This brought an additional 60 affiliates to Patrick's portfolio, and brought the affiliate count to over 200. It also allows SiriusXM Radio listeners to hear the show live on the Fox Sports simulcast on channel 247.
In August 2009, The Dan Patrick Show started being broadcast on The 101 Network, following a show of DIY Network in which a toy-filled "man cave" studio was built in Milford, Connecticut. The radio-only show had been produced in the attic of Patrick's home. The Dan Patrick Show features "The Danettes", who assist Dan with the show. The Dan Patrick Show became the first show to premiere on the Audience Network, DirecTV's rebranded version of The 101 Network on DirecTV channel 239 on June 1, 2011, where it aired until February 2020.
Sports Illustrated announced in October 2007 Patrick would become the magazine's senior writer. He would also contribute blogs to SI.com's "Fan Nation" and host the magazine's Sportsman of the Year show. SI collaborates with Content Factory to produce Patrick's web site, and helps stream his radio show. Patrick said he will produce non-television content exclusively for Sports Illustrated. The Dan Patrick Show began simulcasting on Root Sports in October 2010, and on NBC Sports Network in November 2012.
On July 7, 2008, it was announced Patrick would join NBC Sports as a co-host of the third season of Football Night in America with former SportsCenter co-anchor Keith Olbermann every Sunday night beginning in September during the NFL season. Patrick and Olbermann host a series of highlights on the show and a segment called "The Little Big Show" with the day's top NFL plays.
"The Little Big Show" refers to Patrick and Olbermann's time at ESPN where they referred to the 11pm SportsCenter they hosted as "The Big Show." Patrick served as the Super Bowl XLIII trophy presenter after the Pittsburgh Steelers defeated the Arizona Cardinals, and again at Super Bowl XLVI after the New York Giants defeated the New England Patriots. Patrick contributed to the network's coverage of the 2010 Winter Olympics as a reporter for women's downhill skiing and snowboarding. He hosted NBC's 2010 & 2011 Stanley Cup Finals coverage. In 2012, NBC named Patrick daytime co-host with Al Michaels for the London Olympics.
Patrick once again served as the trophy presenter at Super Bowl XLIX when the New England Patriots defeated the Seattle Seahawks.
In March 2018, it was announced that Patrick would not return as the host of NBC's Football Night in America after turning down a contract offer. Soon thereafter, it was announced that Patrick would take over hosting duties of Undeniable (with Joe Buck) on Audience Network.
On April 29, 2014, it was announced that Patrick would host Sports Jeopardy!, a sports-themed version of Jeopardy! shown on Crackle. The series debuted September 24, 2014, and featured special guest Alex Trebek reading out the Final Jeopardy! clue in the third episode. Its last episode aired on December 7, 2016.
In late October 2017, it was announced that Patrick would be creating a Dan Patrick School of Sportscasting with Full Sail University, located in Florida.
Patrick met his wife, Susan (White), when he worked at CNN and she was a producer of CNN's Inside Politics. They have three daughters and one son.
He received the University of Dayton Distinguished Alumni Award in 1997 and was inducted into the Mason High School Athletic Hall of Fame in 2000.
Patrick has made cameo appearances in many movies and TV shows, thanks in large part to his longtime friendship with actor Adam Sandler, a relationship for which he was deemed a "stooge" by David Letterman.
Dan Patrick has appeared twice in music videos: