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Susanne Lesley "Suzy" Kolber (born May 14, 1964, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvaniamarker) is a football sideline reporter, co-producer, 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, but rejoined ESPN in late 1999.

Biography

Early life

She is a 1982 graduate of Pennsylvania's Upper Dublin High Schoolmarker. She graduated from the University of Miamimarker in 1986.

Career before ESPN

Kolber came to ESPN from WPEC-TVmarker in West Palm Beachmarker, Floridamarker, where she was a weekend sports anchor and weekday feature reporter since December 1991. In 1991, Kolber's freelance assignments included work as a reporter/producer for Breeders' Cup Newsfeed in Greenwichmarker, Connecticutmarker; a field producer for Inside Edition in New Yorkmarker; a sports specials producer for WCIX-TV in Miamimarker, and a producer/director for NFL Films. From 1989-90, she freelanced as a specials producer for WPLG-TVmarker in Miamimarker. In addition, she produced two magazine shows, Cowboys Special Edition in Irving, Texasmarker (1990-91) and Greyhound Racing America in Miamimarker, Florida (1988-90). From 1985 to 1989, she produced the 5:30 p.m. ET sportscast at WTVJ-TVmarker in Miami, winning a local Sports Emmy in 1988.

Kolber graduated from the University of Miamimarker in 1986 with a bachelor of arts degree in telecommunications. While an undergraduate, she worked at Dynamic Cable in Coral Gablesmarker, Florida as a sports director (1984-86). After graduation, she worked at CBS Sports in New Yorkmarker as a videotape coordinator (1986).

ESPN

Suzy Kolber has covered a variety of assignments for ESPN from the National Football League to X Games and Grand Slam tennis events. She is most recognized as a sideline reporter on ESPN’s Monday Night Football with Michele Tafoya, where she brings viewers closer to the players, coaches and game action on the field. In 2007, she was also a host for ESPN’s pre-race NASCAR Countdown program.

Kolber joined ESPN’s MNF team during its inaugural year in 2006 after five previous seasons on ESPN's Sunday Night Football (2001-05). As a member of the MNF team, Kolber helped the longtime franchise became the most-watched program in cable television history.

Kolber worked the ABC Sports broadcast of Super Bowl XL in Detroitmarker 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 and was named to Sports Business Daily’s 2004 list of the 10 favorite sports TV personalities of the past 10 years.

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 Match-Up. She also previously contributed “Backstage” segments to Monday Night Countdown.

During the NFL off-season, Kolber serves as an anchor on Sports Center and as an on-site and studio host for ESPN’s tennis coverage at the French Openmarker (since 2004-2006) and Wimbledonmarker (since 2003-2006/2009-present). In 2000 and ’01 she hosted the 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.

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 ’96. Kolber also hosted ESPN2's SportsFigures, which uses sports celebrities and analogies to teach math and physics.

Fox Sports

She left ESPN for Fox Sports in November 1996, where she anchored a nightly sports news program and reported from NFL games, among other duties. She served as the lead reporter for network's coverage of the NFL on Fox teaming up with the network's No.1 announce team of Pat Summerall and John Madden 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. She would eventually return to ESPN in August 1999.

Monday Night Football

Following 5 years as a sideline reporter on Sunday Night Football with Mike Patrick, Joe Theismann, and Paul Maguire, 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.

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." 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 (ISBN 0-67003-329-4).

NASCAR Countdown

In the two prior weeks to Kolber's arrival, Brent Musburger had mysteriously been 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. She has since been replaced by Allen Bestwick as host of NASCAR Countdown.

Endorsements

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. The re-release of the game, 1eXtreme removed all of her videos, and any reference to ESPN.

Personal life

On March 5, 2008, Kolber gave birth to a baby girl, Kellyn.

Notes

  1. Philly.com, "ESPN's Suzy Kolber becomes a Mom. Grandpa mum on paternity", 3/06/2008.


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