Skip Bayless’ Wife Will Always Take a Back Seat to His Job
Screenshots from YouTube

All sports fans know who Skip Bayless is. Whether you love him or absolutely hate him, his opinions are trending every time you turn around. It has been this way for years and his voice is louder than ever. Knowing what he’s like outside of the sports media space, however, has certainly been a little bit of a mystery.

From his days as a sports columnist to now as a television personality and social media warrior, Bayless’ life has been consumed by sports. It’s the biggest part of his identity and a jaw-dropping net worth proves he’s been quite successful throughout his career.

When the camera is on, Bayless is the king of scorching takes. When the camera is off, the 68-year-old enjoys his time with his wife Ernestine Sclafani. Needless to say, it’s been a tough balance because his job has always been his top priority. He even admitted that on their first date.

Skip Bayless’ Dating History

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John Edward Bayless II — known by all as Skip Bayless — grew up in Oklahoma City, loves the Dallas Cowboys, and has churned out an impressive career in sports. After graduating from Vanderbilt, he has been a sportswriter across the United States for the Miami Herald, Dallas Morning News, Dallas Times Herald, Los Angeles Times, and Chicago Tribune.

Bayless also hosted sports talk shows and even published books before his stardom in weekday television working alongside Stephen A. Smith at ESPN on “Cold Pizza” and “First Take” before teaming up with Shannon Sharpe for “Skip and Shannon: Undisputed” on Fox Sports 1.

Love always seemed to escape him early in his career, though.

Bayless was married once before to his high school sweetheart before the couple separated years later. He was also in four long-term relationships that didn’t work out. Then, one day at ESPN, he met Ernestine Sclafani, and the rest is history.

Skip Bayless Wife: Who is Ernestine Sclafani?

How Skip and Ernestine Sclafani Bayless met was as sweet as it was awkward. Working for a public relations agency at the time, Ernestine’s client was called to the set of“Cold Pizza.” Skip, of course, was the famous host of the ESPN2 show.


Bayless forgot some notes, however, and rushed back to his dressing room to retrieve them during a commercial break. That’s when Skip and Ernestine met, according to her book “BALLS: How to Keep Your Relationship Alive When You Live with a Sports-Obsessed Guy,” which is available on Amazon.

“He literally ran past the door of the green room, where we caught each other’s eyes,” Ernestine wrote, via Yahoo! Sports. “I guess I gave him a look of familiarity because he stopped and said, ‘Do I know you?’ …He later confided that he wasn’t sure what to say—he gets possessed during his show, just lost in how to win the next live TV debate. So now neither of us was thinking clearly.”

“I left my notes for our final segment in my dressing room. I had never done that, and I haven’t done that since,” Bayless added. “As I literally ran down the hall during a commercial break, I glanced sideways into the green room and caught the gaze of a woman I’d never seen before… We chatted awkwardly for maybe 45 seconds, and she gave me her card. You might call it love at first spark. There was just something startling to me about the way we instantly clicked.”

Sports has always been his life, however. Skip even told Ernestine on their first date that she would always be “1A to my job.” She decided to stick around.


Skip Bayless and Ernestine Sclafani, a New York native, dated for 11 years, including a six-year engagement, before tying the knot in 2016. She also appeared his FS1 show on a couple of occasions last year while debating the NBA and his favorite NFL team in Texas.

Being married to Skip Bayless has to be a full-time job by itself, but they make it work and she sticks by his side, no matter what.

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Brett Regan About the author:
With over 10 years of sports writing experience, Brett has covered some of the top local, regional, and national sporting events in the Heartland for both print and digital platforms. He is a graduate of Kansas State University and resides in Austin, Texas.
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