Sage Steele
Sage Steele Oct 2014 (cropped).jpg
Steele at the 10th Annual CoachArt Gala Fundraiser on October 16, 2014
Sage Marie Steele

(1972-11-28) November 28, 1972 (age 49)
Alma materIndiana University
Notable creditESPN SportsCenter
TitleHost, reporter

Sage Marie Steele (born November 28, 1972) is an American television anchor who is the co-host of the 12pm (ET) SportsCenter on ESPN. She also hosts SportsCenter on the Road from various sporting events such as the Super Bowl and The Masters. Steele formerly hosted NBA Countdown on ESPN and ABC for four seasons, ending in 2017. For five years prior to the NBA assignment, Steele was a full-time host of SportsCenter, ESPN's flagship show, and had previously contributed to ESPN First Take, Mike & Mike in the Morning, and SportsNation. Steele hosted SportsCenter's daytime coverage of the NBA Finals in 2012 and 2013, and covered every NBA Finals from 2012 to 2020.

Early life

Steele is the daughter of Gary & Mona (O'Neil) Steele. Her dad is American and her mom is Irish-Italian. Gary is Black and became the first Black varsity football player at West Point during the mid-1960s.[1] He was inducted into the Army Sports Hall of Fame in 2013 for his standout career on the Black Knights football and track & field teams.

Sage Steele was born in 1972 into an American Army family living in the Panama Canal Zone[2] Steele has two brothers, Courtney and Chad (senior vice president of media relations for the NFL's Baltimore Ravens).[3][4]

The U.S. Army stationed Steele's family in several different states and countries, including Greece and Belgium, before moving back stateside to Colorado Springs, Colorado, in 1984 for her seventh grade year. After attending Thomas B. Doherty High School in Colorado Springs for two years, she moved to Carmel, Indiana, and attended Carmel High School as a senior, graduating in 1990.[5][6][7]

She graduated from Indiana University Bloomington in 1995 with a Bachelor of Science degree in sports communication. Exactly 20 years later, she was the commencement speaker at the 2015 Indiana University undergraduate commencement, which she considers the greatest honor of her career.[8][9]

Broadcasting career

Steele's first television sports reporting job was at WSBT-TV, the CBS affiliate in South Bend, Indiana, as a news producer and reporter from 1995 to 1997.

Steele then worked at CBS affiliate WISH-TV in Indianapolis, Indiana, from 1997 to 1998 as the weekend morning sports anchor and weekday reporter. Her reporting duties included the Indianapolis Colts, Indiana Pacers, Indianapolis 500 and Brickyard 400 auto races, and local college and high school sports.

Steele worked at ABC affiliate WFTS in Tampa, Florida, from 1998 to 2001, where she was a sports reporter with former WFTS sports director and former SportsCenter host Jay Crawford and current "NFL RedZone" host Scott Hanson. She also worked at Fox Sports Florida as a reporter, continuing to cover teams throughout Central Florida such as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Orlando Magic, Tampa Bay Lightning and University of South Florida Bulls.

She then worked at Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic in Bethesda, Maryland, where she was an anchor and reporter for the network's nightly local sports news program, SportsNite, covering all sports in the Washington, DC/Baltimore region. Steele was one of Comcast SportsNet's original personalities, joining that network when it launched in 2001. During her six years at CSN Mid-Atlantic (2001–2007), she was a main anchor and also the beat reporter for the Baltimore Ravens.

Steele then joined ESPN and debuted on March 16, 2007, on the 6:00 p.m. ET edition of SportsCenter. In an interview with Awful Announcing, she mentioned that she was actually offered a job with the network in 2004, but turned it down while pregnant with her second child.[10]

On July 28, 2013, she drove the pace car for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Brickyard 400. During the pace laps at the beginning of the race, she was bumped in jest by 6-time Sprint Cup champion Jimmie Johnson.

Beginning in the 2013–14 NBA season, Steele became the host of NBA Countdown on ESPN and ABC through 2017.[11]

Steele co-hosted the Miss America 2017 & 2018 pageant on ABC with Chris Harrison.[12] She hosted the Scripps National Spelling Bee from 2010 to 2013. In 2014 she was a guest host several times on The View.[13][14]

She became the noon (ET) SportsCenter co-anchor with Matt Barrie in February 2021. She had anchored the 6 p.m. ET edition of the show for several years before moving to noon and prior to that she had anchored SportsCenter:AM.[13]

On October 5, 2021, she was suspended by ESPN for remarks she made on Jay Cutler's September 29 podcast about COVID-19 vaccine mandates, women who dress in a way she feels is provocative, and Barack Obama calling himself Black even though he, like Steele, has a white mother.[15] In conjunction with her suspension, Steele issued an apology: "I know my recent comments created controversy for the company, and I apologize. We are in the midst of an extremely challenging time that impacts all of us, and it's more critical than ever that we communicate constructively and thoughtfully."[16]

Personal life

Steele married Jonathan Bailey and they have three children.[17] In March 2021, Steele put her home in Avon, Conn., on the market for $1.6 million,[18] after doing extensive renovations.[2]

She is on the board of the Pat Tillman Foundation. She was named to the board of the V Foundation for cancer research in 2019.[13]


  1. ^ Nerves of Steele Archived 2007-07-02 at the Wayback Machine St. Petersburg Times, June 9, 2000
  2. ^ a b Wollschlager, Mike. "ESPN's Sage Steele Renovates an Avon Colonial into a Dream Home". Connecticut Magazine. Retrieved 2021-06-02.
  3. ^ People - Front Office Archived 2009-08-21 at the Wayback Machine Baltimore Ravens
  4. ^ Murphy, Jen (2 June 2014). "Sage Steele of 'NBA Countdown' Pumps Iron in a Group". Archived from the original on 13 February 2017. Retrieved 11 March 2017 – via
  5. ^ Briggeman, Brent (June 4, 2015). "Sage Steele's time in Colorado Springs helped steer her life toward ESPN". Colorado Springs Gazette. Archived from the original on June 15, 2015. Retrieved June 14, 2015.
  6. ^ Agness, Scott (February 11, 2011). "ESPN's Sage Steele shares stories and advice with avid IU students". Vigilant Sports. Archived from the original on December 24, 2015. Retrieved June 14, 2015.
  7. ^ Jaffe, Harry (September 2002). "She knows the score". Washingtonian. Archived from the original on May 6, 2015. Retrieved June 14, 2015.
  8. ^ Morris, Lena (March 25, 2014). "Steele recounts obstacles in path of becoming host of ESPN's top shows". Indiana University Journalism. Archived from the original on March 24, 2015. Retrieved June 14, 2015.
  9. ^ "Alumna Sage Steele to speak at Indiana University Bloomington undergraduate commencement". Indiana University Bloomington. April 8, 2015. Archived from the original on June 11, 2015. Retrieved June 14, 2015.
  10. ^ Maggs, Joe (October 27, 2015). "After a Lengthy Journey, ESPN NBA Countdown Has Finally Found Its Identity in Sage Steele". Awful Announcing. Archived from the original on October 28, 2015. Retrieved October 27, 2015.
  11. ^ "ESPN Gives Up on No-Host Format; Steele to Anchor NBA Countdown — Sports Media Watch". Archived from the original on 2013-10-29. Retrieved 2013-10-26.
  12. ^ "Chris Harrison Will Return for His Eighth Year to Host Miss America 2017". 11 July 2016. Archived from the original on 14 July 2016. Retrieved 18 July 2016.
  13. ^ a b c "Sage Steele". ESPN Press Room U.S. Retrieved 2021-10-08.
  14. ^ "Behind the Scenes at ABC's 'The View' with 'NBA Countdown' Host Sage Steele". The Walt Disney Company. 2014-04-07. Retrieved 2021-10-08.
  15. ^ Sage Steele talks ESPN, hating Notre Dame, rude men in media, social media attacks & COVID vaccines, archived from the original on 2021-12-21, retrieved 2021-10-08
  16. ^ Alexander, Brenda. "Sage Steele removed from ESPN following comments on Obama, vaccine; former colleague Jemele Hill calls her out". Retrieved 2021-10-08.((cite web)): CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  17. ^ "Sage Steele's Blog: No, I'm Not the Nanny". People. May 8, 2015. Retrieved October 8, 2021.
  18. ^ "ESPN Anchor Sage Steele Selling Her $1.6M Connecticut Home". News. Retrieved 4 October 2021.