Four-time Sports Emmy Award winner Michele Tafoya will work her final NBC Sunday Night Football game at Super Bowl LVI on February 13th.
Tafoya, who began her sports media career in 1993, is the most-honoured national television side line reporter in U.S. sports (four Emmy Awards for Outstanding Sports Personality-Sports Reporter) and is also the only finalist for the honour in each year of its existence (since 2011).
“My time with NBC Sports has been the most satisfying of my career. I’ve had the good fortune of collaborating with a team that is amongst the best at what they do, and the support I’ve received in this position has been unparalleled,” Tafoya said.
“The list of people to thank is incredibly long, but for now, I will say I am immeasurably grateful to Fred Gaudelli, Drew Esocoff, Al Michaels, and Cris Collinsworth. They are the backbone of the Sunday Night Football family.
“Some may consider me crazy to walk away from one of the more coveted roles in sports television, and I do not doubt that I will miss many aspects of the job. But for some time, I have been considering other areas I would like to explore both personally and professionally. I couldn’t ignore that little voice anymore after what we have all endured over the last few years. There’s no better way to walk away from covering the NFL than with one more Super Bowl!”
Tafoya will work her fifth Super Bowl (and 327th NFL game) at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, California – less than 10 miles from where she grew up in Manhattan Beach, Calif.
Tafoya joined NBC Sports and Sunday Night Football in 2011, and in her first year with NBC, she was awarded the Sports Emmy for Outstanding Sports Personality – Sports Reporter. She earned the honour again following the 2013, 2018 and 2020 NFL seasons.
In addition, the American Women in Radio and Television honoured Tafoya twice with a Gracie Award: in 2014 for “Outstanding On-Air Talent in a Sports Program” for her work as a side line reporter on Sunday Night Football, and in 1997 for “Outstanding Achievement by an Individual On-Air TV Personality” for her WNBA work with Lifetime.
Tafoya has covered a wide range of sports beyond the NFL. At the Tokyo Olympics and Rio Olympics, she was assigned to the swimming venue, providing reports and conducting interviews with athletes including record-setting Olympic champions Michael Phelps, Katie Ledecky and Caeleb Dressel.
Fred Gaudelli, NBC Sunday Night Football Executive Producer, said; “No one has performed the sideline reporter role better than Michele in my professional lifetime. She’s as good at her job as Al and Cris are at theirs. Her contributions to Sunday Night Football have been significant and I know she’ll be successful at whatever she chooses next.”