The Summer Olympics bring excitement to American living rooms once every four years. It’s a time to watch track and field, research wrestling rules, discover a new favorite swimmer, and listen to Mike Tirico.
Err, okay. Mike Tirico is a new addition to the Olympic tradition. Replacing Bob Costas during the last Olympics, Tirico is no stranger to American sports fans. He’s called everything from the NFL to the NBA to the NHL to NCAA college basketball, jumping from ESPN to NBC Sports in the process.
All the while, his personal life has remained remarkably consistent. Married for three decades with two children to show for it, the 54-year-old Mike Tirico is at least partially a product of his wife.
Who is American sportscaster Mike Tirico, and who is his wife, Debbie?
Mike Tirico’s Broadcasting Career
Michael Todd Tirico was born and raised in Queens, New York. The only child of a single mother, Tirico’s ethnicity is somewhat of a mystery. Although many viewers thought he was Black, Tirico says he’s white as far as he knows.
His father, Donald Tirico, left Maria Tirico before Mike can remember. Mike has only seen pictures of his estranged father, who Tirico says is Italian and as white as a refrigerator.
?The only contact I had growing up was with my mom?s side of the family. And they are all as white as the refrigerator I?m standing in front of right now,? Tirico told the Post-Standard in 1991. ?I know the story sounds like a lot of bull, but it?s the truth. Does it matter to me? Yeah, I?d like to find out the truth at some point, so I can answer questions for my kids. But me? I?m living, I?m working, I?m leading an upstanding life. I don?t worry about it.?Advertisement
Tirico graduated from Bayside High School before attending the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University in Syracuse, New York. ESPN offered Tirico a job right out of college after spending time as sports director of Syracuse CBS affiliate WTVH. That’s when young Mike Tirico got into a bit of trouble.
Accused by six women of sexual harassment and misconduct in the workplace, Tirico was suspended from the Worldwide Leader for three months in the early ’90s, ordered to seek counseling. The allegations are disturbing and affected female co-workers ranging from a lowly production assistant to a senior producer.
The incidents remain the only stain on Tirico’s record. The accusations all occurred before Tirico was married. After the suspension and counseling, Tirico’s broadcasting career took off.
Tirico has been a regular broadcaster on “Sportscenter,” ABC, ESPN’s Monday Night Football and has appeared on ESPN’s “Monday Night Countdown.” He’s called football games alongside broadcasting partners Tony Dungy, Jon Gruden, and Kirk Herbstreit.
Tirico has subbed in for Michael Wilbon on “Pardon the Interruption,” Al Michaels on the Sunday Night Football “Football Night in America” and replaced the legendary Bob Costas on NBC’s Olympics coverage. In 2007, he hosted his own show called “The Mike Tirico Show” on ESPN Radio alongside co-host Scott Van Pelt.
Tirico has been a play-by-play announcer for a wide range of games. He’ll do anything from college football to golf coverage.
Over his professional career, you could hear the primetime host offering insight into the 2014 FIFA World Cup, UEFA Euro 2016, Indianapolis 500, Summer and Winter Olympics, Notre Dame football team, “Thursday Night Football,” the Triple Crown, and NBCSN’s “Wednesday Night Hockey.” Tirico is the primary studio host for NBC’s coverage of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
Mike Tirico has put together a storied broadcasting career that isn’t slowing down anytime soon. His longevity is in part due to his support system. Meet Mike Tirico’s wife of three decades, Debbie Tirico.
Mike Tirico’s Wife, Debbie Tirico
Deborah Gilbert Gibaratz is a former two-sport athlete from Trenton, Michigan. An all-state softball player at Trenton High School, Debbie chose the gymnasium over the diamond in college.
Debbie was a basketball player at Syracuse University when she met her future husband. With brains and brawn, Debbie was a Big East All-Academic. She graduated magna cum laude from the Syracuse School of Management. She went on to earn an MBA from the NYU Stern School of Business.
Mike and Debbie Tirico have been married since 1991. They have two children?Jordan and Cammi Tirico. The family lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan, home of the University of Michigan. Despite their Wolverine neighbors, the Tiricos continue to sport orange over blue. Debbie Tirico reportedly works for non-profit organizations in the area.
“My wife, Debbie Gibaratz, is a former all-state softball and basketball player from Trenton in the late 1980s. We kind of moved back to be near her folks. We are sort of the proudest Syracuse alums in Ann Arbor, and we have many friends here. I joke with my daughters, ?You can wear that Syracuse jersey to the Big House anytime you want!'”
The Tirico Family could comfortably retire in Ann Arbor today if they wanted, with a reported net worth near $6 million. Tirico has more than 13,000 followers on Instagram, but he chooses not to post about his family on social media.
Chances are, Mike Tirico will call a few more Olympics before he calls it quits. Though he’s no Costas, Team USA fans hope to see the host of NBC’s Olympic coverage call the Olympics for many years to come.