Joining me in the Huddle this week is Michele Tafoya. Since 2011, she has been a reporter for NBC Sports, primarily as a sideline reporter for NBC Sunday Night Football. We find out that her love for sports came from the passion her dad had for sports, a die-hard San Francisco 49ers fan. Her father Orlando Tafoya grew up in San Francisco and attended many games at Kezar Stadium. Michele describes her parents as compassionate and inspiring role models; she gives them much credit for her success.
By the time Michele was 27, she had earned her Bachelors in Mass Communications from the University of California, Berkeley, and a Masters Degree in Business Administration from the University of Southern California. During her time at graduate school, she really thought about exactly what it was she wanted to do. What she knew was, she loves sports and she loves journalism. She thought if she could marry the two together she would never work a day in her life. There was no shortage of inspiration for her dreams. She admired the works of Lesley Visser and Robin Roberts and felt confident that she could do what they do.
She landed her first gig in her professional broadcasting career; she moved to Minneapolis, Minnesota, and started covering games not only for the NFL Vikings but the University of Minnesota women’s basketball team as well. From there she accepted an offer in Charlotte, North Carolina. She was a color analyst for the men’s basketball team for the University of North Carolina; in 1993 she was the first woman to hold that position. As Michele became more recognized she also became more sought after. From 1994 to 1999 she co-hosted “CBS Sports Spectacular”. In 1996 she positioned herself as the first woman to call television play-by-play of an NCAA Tournament game.
Michele quite frequently works several jobs at a time. She is of course humbly proud of her accomplishments, but she credits hard work and dedication for her success. In the new millennium, Michele spent the next decade with ABC and ESPN, in 2004 she was allowed to report side by side with Al Michaels and John Madden for ABC’s Monday Night Football. By 2011 Michele had earned so much respect she was offered a position of sideline reporter for the most-watched weekly game. She was back with Al Michaels for NBC’s Sunday Night Football. With her outstanding sports personality, she won two Emmys; one in her first year with Sunday Night Football and the second in 2013. And in 2014 Michele won her second Gracie Award for her work on Lifetime again, but with the Sunday Night Football syndicate.