This biography of a living person needs additional citations for verification. Please help by adding reliable sources. Contentious material about living persons that is unsourced or poorly sourced must be removed immediately, especially if potentially libelous or harmful.Find sources: "Suzy Kolber" – news · newspapers · books · scholar · JSTOR (May 2016) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)

Suzy Kolber
Suzy Kolber.jpg
Kolber at FedExField in September 2016
Born1963/1964 (age 58–59)
Alma materUniversity of Miami
Occupation(s)Anchor, reporter

Suzy Kolber (/ˈklbər/; born 1963/1964)[1] is an American football sideline reporter, co-producer, and sportscaster for ESPN. She was one of the original anchors of ESPN2 when it launched in 1993. Three years later, she left ESPN2 to join Fox Sports, and rejoined ESPN in late 1999.


Early life

Kolber was raised in a Jewish family in suburban Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.[2] She went to Sandy Run Middle School in Dresher, Pennsylvania, and is a 1982 graduate of Pennsylvania's Upper Dublin High School. She graduated from the University of Miami in 1986.[3][4] At ten years old, Suzy won a spot on the school football team. However, she quit because of a strong disagreement from adults and her parents.[5]

Career before ESPN

Kolber graduated from the University of Miami in 1986 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in telecommunications. While an undergraduate, she worked at Dynamic Cable in Coral Gables, Florida, as a sports director (1984–86) and was on the University of Miami water ski team. After graduation, she worked at CBS Sports in New York City as a videotape coordinator (1986).[6]

From 1985 to 1989, Kolber produced the 5:30 p.m. ET sportscast at WTVJ-TV in Miami, winning a local Sports Emmy[7] in 1988. From 1989 to 1990, she freelanced as a specials producer for WPLG-TV in Miami. In addition, she produced two magazine shows, Greyhound Racing America in Miami, Florida (1988–90) and Cowboys Special Edition in Irving, Texas (1990–91). In 1991, Kolber's freelance assignments included work as a reporter/producer for Breeders' Cup Newsfeed in Greenwich, Connecticut; a field producer for Inside Edition in New York City; a sports specials producer for WCIX-TV in Miami, and a producer/director for NFL Films. She was a weekend sports anchor and weekday feature reporter at WPEC-TV in West Palm Beach, Florida[8] from December 1991 until she moved to ESPN in 1993.


Kolber has covered a variety of assignments for ESPN from the National Football League to the 1996 ESPN X Games bicycle-stunt events and Grand Slam tennis events. She is most recognized as a sideline reporter on ESPN’s Monday Night Football with Michele Tafoya. In 2007, she was also a host for ESPN’s pre-race NASCAR Countdown program.[9]

Kolber joined ESPN’s MNF team during its inaugural year in 2006 after five previous seasons on ESPN's Sunday Night Football (200105).[10] As a member of the MNF team, Kolber helped the longtime franchise become the most-watched program in cable television history.

Kolber worked the ABC Sports broadcast of Super Bowl XL in Detroit in 2006 with Michele Tafoya and contributed to the network’s pre-game show. She also became the first female recipient of the Maxwell Club Sports Broadcaster of the Year Award in 2006[11] and was named to Sports Business Daily’s 2004 list of the 10 favorite sports TV personalities of the past 10 years.[12] Kolber regularly hosts ESPN’s year-round NFL Live news and information show, and she has played a major role in ESPN’s comprehensive coverage of the annual NFL Draft, hosting the Day 2 telecast (2004–2006) and leading analysis segments on Day 1. For the 1999 through 2003 NFL seasons, Kolber was the host of NFL Matchup. She also previously contributed “Backstage” segments to Monday Night Countdown.[13]

During the NFL off-season, Kolber serves as an anchor on SportsCenter and as an on-site and studio host for ESPN's tennis coverage at the French Open (since 20042006) and Wimbledon (since 20032006/2009).[14] In 1996, 2000 and 2001, she hosted the Summer X Games and Winter X Games, and she co-hosted the event again in Aspen in 2006. She also hosted horse racing events including all three legs of the Triple Crown for ESPN/ESPN2 studio programs.[12]

Kolber returned to ESPN in August 1999 after originally joining the network in 1993 as co-host for ESPN2's SportsNight, when the network debuted October 1 of that year. She later served as an anchor on SportsCenter, a reporter on College GameDay and co-host of the X Games in 1995 and 1996. Kolber also hosted ESPN2's SportsFigures, which uses sports celebrities and analogies to teach math and physics.[4]

While covering the 2011 NFL Draft, Kolber came under fire for her interview with Mark Ingram II, who started to sob when Kolber read an e-mail from Ingram's imprisoned father. The interview was perceived by some as being manipulative.[15][16]

On Tuesday, September 13, 2011, the ESPN2 debut of the show NFL32 with Suzy Kolber and Chris Mortensen hit the air. With a backdrop similar to a sports bar (complete with wainscoting, sports memorabilia, and dark woodwork), the show focuses on "dissect the biggest topics of the day from all 32 NFL teams"[17] and attributes much of its design to that of the Dan Patrick Show, a well listened to and watched national radio and television show on DirecTV's Audience network.

The Namath incident

On December 20, 2003, Kolber received national attention when, covering a New York Jets game, former Jets quarterback Joe Namath twice stated, in a nationally televised sideline interview with Kolber, that he wanted to kiss her, and "couldn't care less about the team strugg-a-ling." Kolber responded, "Thanks, Joe. I'll take that as a huge compliment."[18] Namath later apologized and blamed the incident on his obvious intoxication. Soon after, Namath entered an outpatient alcoholism treatment program. Namath chronicled the episode, including his battle with alcoholism in his book Namath[19] and later said that remembering the embarrassment he felt after the interview aired helped him maintain a lasting sobriety.[20]

Monday Night Football

Kolber joined ESPN's Monday Night Football crew as a sideline reporter along with Michele Tafoya when the network took over the longtime football series from ABC Sports in 2006. After Tafoya left ESPN for NBC Sports at the end of the 2010–2011 NFL season, ESPN used a rotating solo sideline reporter for the 2011–2012 NFL season, with reporters such as Wendi Nix, Ed Werder and Rachel Nichols stepping into the role each week, with Kolber as a fill-in. Kolber requested to do more in-studio work so she didn't have to be away from her child. The show NFL32 (now NFL Insiders) was created as a result of this request. Lisa Salters was named the new full-time solo sideline reporter for Monday Night Football starting with the 2012–2013 NFL season, effectively ending Kolber's tenure as sideline reporter for the show, although both Salters and Kolber continue to co-produce the show in some capacity.

NASCAR Countdown

In the two weeks prior to Kolber's arrival in 2007, Brent Musburger was mysteriously absent from his position as lead host of NASCAR Countdown on the ABC/ESPN network. On the week of the race on May 19, ESPN gave no reason for his absence but announced Kolber as the new host of Nextel Cup and Busch Series studio programming.[21] She was subsequently replaced by Allen Bestwick as host of NASCAR Countdown.

Monday Night Countdown

After substituting for the then-ailing Stuart Scott during most of the 2014 NFL season, Kolber took over Scott's role permanently as an on-site host of Monday Night Countdown, starting with the 2015 NFL season, after Scott died on January 4, 2015.[22]

Fox Sports

Kolber left ESPN for Fox Sports in November 1996, where she anchored Fox Sports News for the fledgling Fox Sports Net and reported from NFL games, among other duties. She served as the lead reporter for the network's coverage of the NFL on Fox teaming up with the network's No. 1 announcer team of Pat Summerall and John Madden for one game in 1998. She also covered horse racing. She served as studio host for the network's coverage of the NHL on Fox, including both the 1999 Stanley Cup Finals and the Playoffs. In March 1999, Kolber co-hosted a Fox non-sports presentation with Maury Povich, Opening the Lost Tombs: Live From Egypt, an archaeological event that promised to "unveil five-thousand year old mysteries." Fox's TV cameras showed the first live excavation on Egypt's ancient Giza plateau; Kolber reported live from the tomb.[23] She returned to ESPN in August 1999.


Kolber's football broadcast narrative is featured on Sega's video game, ESPN NFL Football for Microsoft's Xbox and Sony's PlayStation 2.

Kolber also is a national television spokesperson for Chevrolet and Pepsi-Cola commercials.

In 1995's ESPN Extreme Games for PlayStation, she has multiple video sequences hyping up the player, introducing levels, and hinting at secret areas.[24] The re-release of the game, 1Xtreme, removed all of her videos, and any reference to ESPN.


  1. ^ Jackson, Barry (September 11, 2006). "Kolber Continues Ascent". The Miami Herald. p. 6C. After five years of distinguished work on Sunday night NFL games, Kolber, 42, tonight joins Michele Tafoya as sideline reporters on MNF...
  2. ^ Charry, Rob. "Sideline Star". The Forward. No. March 24, 2006.
  3. ^ Makhnovetsky, Alina. "ESPN's Suzy Kolber: Game Day Girl". Suburban Life Magazine. No. February 2010.
  4. ^ a b "Suzy Kolber". ESPN Media Zone Bio.
  5. ^ "Suzy Kolber Biography". MySportDab. Retrieved November 17, 2020.
  6. ^ Foster, JJ. "Your Favorite Sportscasters: Where Are They Now?". Ninjajournalist. Retrieved August 6, 2019.
  7. ^ Halberstam, David J. "ESPN's Suzy Kolber, a pro's pro and NFL fixture, talks life, her career and Joe Namath: "He's a good person"". Sports Broadcast Journal. Retrieved July 27, 2019.
  8. ^ Shea, Jim. "SMITH, CHANNEL 3 HAVE 1-YEAR DEAL". The Hartford Courant. Retrieved August 3, 2019.
  9. ^ "Suzy Kolber Makes NASCAR Countdown Debut on ESPN at Dover". Washington Examiner. Retrieved July 18, 2019.
  10. ^ "Suzy Kolber - MIT Sloan Analytics Conference". MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference. Retrieved July 24, 2019.
  11. ^ "Kolber to receive PAB's Gold Medal Award". Retrieved July 24, 2019.
  12. ^ a b "Monday Night Football Reporter Does Double-Duty on NASCAR Countdown". Washington Examiner. Retrieved August 3, 2019.
  13. ^ "Suzy Kolber - ESPN Press Room". Retrieved August 6, 2019.
  14. ^ Sarni, Jim. "ALL WIMBLEDON, ALL THE TIME". Sun-Sentinel. Retrieved July 24, 2019.
  15. ^ Smith, Michael David (May 2, 2011). "After making Mark Ingram cry, Suzy Kolber takes some criticism". ProFootballTalk. VIP. Retrieved May 2, 2011.
  16. ^ Petchesky, Barry (May 2, 2011). "How ESPN Engineered Mark Ingram's Magic Moment". Deadspin. Retrieved May 2, 2011.
  17. ^ "ESPN, NFL agree to eight-year deal". ESPN. September 8, 2011. Retrieved September 15, 2011.
  18. ^ Griffith, Bill (December 23, 2003). "Namath Incident Not Being Kissed Off". The Boston Globe. Retrieved April 24, 2010.
  19. ^ Kriegel, Mark (2004). Namath: A Biography. New York: Viking. ISBN 0-670-03329-4.
  20. ^ Cimini, Rich (May 7, 2019). "Namath: Drinking kicked my butt for a long time". ESPN.
  21. ^ "Suzy Kolber Makes NASCAR Countdown Debut on ESPN at Dover". The Washington Examiner. Retrieved July 24, 2019.
  22. ^ "Suzy Kolber Named Full-Time Host of ESPN's MONDAY NIGHT COUNTDOWN Pre-Game Show". Wisdom Digital Media. Retrieved July 13, 2019.
  23. ^ McDonough, Kevin. "CAN'T A MUMMY REST IN PEACE?". Retrieved July 24, 2019.
  24. ^ "ESPN's Extreme Games (1995)". Retrieved July 24, 2019.