Kirk Herbstreit’s Wife: The Buckeye Cheerleader Turned Super Mom
AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack

Kirk Herbstreit wears many hats. For college football fanatics, the ESPN College GameDay stalwart is known as a color commentator calling the biggest matchup every Saturday night in the fall. To his sons, Herbie is a leader and role model who never fails to deliver all-time dad moments.

But when you visit the Sports Emmy Award-winning analyst’s social media profiles, the very first word you read is the most important: Husband.

Who Is Kirk Herbstreit’s Wife Allison?

Aaron M. Sprecher via AP

Kirk met Allison Butler when the pair attended Ohio State University. Kirk was the starting quarterback and senior co-captain of the 1992 Buckeyes that finished 8-3-1 and reached the Citrus Bowl. Allison was a cheerleader roaming the sidelines of Columbus’ Ohio Stadium. The star football player and cheerleader were married in June 1998.

Guess those coming-of-age movies were right after all.

“My wife is such a blessing,” Herbstreit told The Columbus Parent. “She’s so understanding of my schedule. As much as we kid about it being my turn with the kids (when I get home), she’s really not like that at all. I don’t know how she does it. I have no idea.”

On the whole, little else is known about Herbie’s significant other. That fact is surprising when you consider the spotlight and public scrutiny he’s received over nearly three decades on television programs. After the Herbstreit family moved from their home in Ohio to Nashville, Tennessee, back in 2011, it was rumored to be caused by the immense scrutiny Ohio State Buckeye fans were giving their famous alumni.

Herbstreit cited how “the time was right” in an interview with The Oklahoman:

“We didn’t get chased out of town by Ohio State fans at all. There were a few isolated incidents where we just thought about things and family and their safety and decided it was probably in the best interest of our family to move.”


The former Ohio Gatorade Player of the Year at Centerville High School makes it a priority to find time for weekend dinners with Allison. One perk of being a college football analyst is a December trip to New York City for the annual Heisman Trophy presentation, where the couple see a Broadway show and soak in Manhattan’s holiday season.

But after Herbie’s fully-loaded fall as a studio analyst ends with the College Football Playoff national championship game, it’s back to being a husband and father.

“I’m on whatever schedule [Allison] tells me,” Herbstreit joked.

Allison and Kirk Herbstreit’s Sons

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The couple share four sons. Identical twins Jake Herbstreit and Tye Herbstreit are the oldest, and both currently play for Dabo Swinney’s Clemson Tigers. Zak Herbstreit is a Class of 2021 tight end at Montgomery Bell Academy in Nashville; He’s announced several scholarship offers via his Twitter account that include Dayton, Tennessee Tech and University of Tennessee-Martin.

The youngest son is Chase Herbstreit, who you might remember from his cameos on the set of ESPN’s College GameDay alongside Rece Davis, Desmond Howard, and the great Lee Corso.

The family is rounded out by two more good boys, golden retrievers Ben and Theo.


When Jake, Tye and the Clemson Tigers met Ohio State at the 2019 Fiesta Bowl, a national championship berth was on the line. Naturally, Herbie’s professionalism as an American analyst couldn’t publicly choose sides with he and Chris Fowler calling the college football game. Chase is a die-hard fan of the Ohio State football team and took no issue trash talking his big brothers.

As for Allison Herbstreit? She dawned the orange and white and joined Clemson’s family section to cheer on her sons against her alma mater.

Good choice, mom.

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John Duffley About the author:
John joins the FanBuzz team with five years of experience freelancing as a sports writer for and A graduate of Penn State University, John currently lives and works in Austin, Texas. He is also a member of the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA).
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