If you grew up watching ESPN or Monday Night Football, there's a good chance you know about sideline reporter Suzy Kolber. Over the years she's become an absolute staple in the ESPN Universe, so much so that it's hard to picture a MNF broadcast without her. Whether you know her from TV or not, we're going to give you the low down on Kolber from her early days on SportsCenter, to her life off the set. In photos, here's what you need to know about Suzy Kolber and her rise to NFL sideline fame.
Growing up in Pennsylvania, Kolber always loved sports. When she was eight, she dressed up as a football player for Halloween. When she turned 10, she tried out for the boys' football team and earned a spot on the roster. While today, it is more common for girls to join boys sports teams, back in the day it was almost unheard-of. After parents from other teams complained, she quit the team.
When she was in high school she played basketball, tennis and ran track. Kolber credits her love of sports to her grandfather, who she would listen to baseball games on the radio with. Despite facing backlash for being a girl on a boys' football team, Kolber didn't let that deter her from chasing her dreams later on.
After graduating from the University of Miami in 1986, Kolber landed a job with CBS Sports as a videotape coordinator. Similar to making the boys' football team as a young girl, breaking into the sports media industry as a woman back in the day was no easy feat. This time, with no angry parents to get in her way, nothing was going to stop Kolber from pursuing her dreams.
Kolber received her first sign of success as a reporter for a local Miami news station, winning a Sports Emmy in 1988. From then on, Kolber freelanced as a producer, covering just about every sport from greyhound racing to tennis. After various projects, NFL Films hired Kolber as a director and producer. She then worked as a sports anchor in Palm Beach, Florida before finally getting hired by ESPN in 1993.
Her start at ESPN
Kolber made her start at ESPN as a co-host alongside Keith Olbermann on ESPN 2's SportsNight. The show, which no longer exists, was pitched as a SportsCenter for the younger crowd. While most people know her as an NFL reporter, Kolber has covered just about every sport for ESPN. From the X-Games, to tennis, to NASCAR, she has proved that she can do it all.
Although ESPN became her home over the years, she did at one point leave the Worldwide Leader for FOX Sports. While at FOX she covered football, hockey, horse racing and worked on a non-sports production with Maury Povich. FOX filmed a special event in which Kolber reported live from a tomb in Egypt. After three years, she made her way back to ESPN.
Kolber's return to ESPN to now.
In 1999, Kolber returned to ESPN as the host of NFL Live and hasn't looked back. Since her return she has hosted SportsCenter, NASCAR Countdown, College GameDay, Sunday Night Football, Monday Night Football, the NFL Draft, all three horse races that make up the Triple Crown, the X-Games and shows such as SportsFigures and NFL32, which no longer exist. In 2011 Kolber joined the Monday Night Football crew as a sideline reporter.
Today, you can see her every Monday night during the NFL season. As a mainstay on ESPN's, Kolber has become one of the most-successful reporters in the business. During the NFL offseason you can find her on the set of SportsCenter.
Family life and net worth
Kolber is married to Eric Brady. The couple met in 2005 and have been together since. After a few years of dating, Kolber and Brady married and later gave birth to a daughter. Although she is very much in the spotlight, Kolber's family life is kept relatively private.
After over 20 years in the business, Kolber has climbed the ranks and done just about everything a sports reporter can do. With experience and success came the big bucks as Kolber has a reported net worth of $18 million dollars.
On top of reporting on just about every sport, Kolber also made money as a spokesperson for Pepsi and Chevrolet. Her experience as a sports reporter also landed her endorsements in video games ESPN NFL Football and ESPN's Extreme Games from both Sega and Playstation.
Awards and accomplishments
Kolber has hosted some of the biggest events in sports. From the Super Bowl to the Stanley Cup, to each leg of Horse Racing's illustrious Triple Crown to the biggest events in tennis, she has done it all. While the sideline is her first home, she also excels on the red carpet at events such as the NFL Draft and The ESPY's.
She brings her A-game season after season and for that she has been noticed. From being named to Sports Business Daily’s Top 10 Favorite Sports TV Personalities list in 2004, to being the first woman to receive the Maxwell Club Sports Broadcaster of the Year Award, it's safe to say that Kolber has been recognized for her efforts.
Suzy Kolber today
At the age of 56, Kolber is still working with ESPN. Every Monday night of the NFL season, Kolber brings energy, enthusiasm and professionalism to Monday Night Countdown. Although nothing is certain in the sports media world, we have a good feeling Kolber we'll be seeing Kolber on Monday nights for years to come.
While we couldn't locate a roster for the boys' football football team that Kolber quit when she was 10 years old, we'd be surprised if any of her former teammates made it as close to an NFL field as she did.
Although she's not an athlete, Suzy Kolber is another example of a woman in sports who overcame gender barriers and paved the way for others. Back in the early 90s when she was on the come up, the amount of women working in sports media was a fraction of what it is today. Kolber is not just one of the best women reporters in sports history, she's one of the best reporters in the history of sports period.