MINNEAPOLIS — Award-winning sports reporter Michele Tafoya says she's officially leaving NBC Sports after appearing on the sidelines one last time for Super Bowl LVI.
Tafoya, who calls Minnesota home, said on a conference call with reporters Tuesday that the decision to leave the company and the sidelines was entirely hers and has been in the works for a couple of years.
“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 among the best at what they do, and the support I’ve received in this position has been unparalleled,” Tafoya said in a statement.
Tayfoya began her sports career in 1993, and in 2011 took on a prominent sidelines presence with NBC Sports and Sunday Night Football. She's won four Emmy Awards for sports reporting and as of Super Bowl Sunday, Feb. 13, will have covered 327 games - the most national primetime TV games, both regular and preseason - by an NFL sideline reporter.
In 2020, Tafoya talked with KARE 11 about her decade-long career covering a broad range of sports for NBC, and offered a strong message for women in the sports broadcasting industry and beyond.
"Don’t think of yourself as a woman competing with men. Think of yourself as a human competing with humans. Because that’s what you are," she said in 2020. "You’re as entitled to any job, anywhere, as anyone."
Tafoya first came to Minnesota by way of local sports talk radio station KFAN-AM, where she was a host and sideline reporter for the Minnesota Vikings from 1994-1998. She also worked Minnesota Timberwolves games and was a play-by-play commentator for Big Ten women's basketball and volleyball.
In 1995, Tafoya made her way to WCCO-TV in Minneapolis, where she worked as sports reporter and anchor.
Tafoya said in Tuesday's conference call that she will continue to live in Minnesota with her husband and two children, but she isn't quite sure what she'll do next.
“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," a statement from Tafoya said. "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."
This will be Tafoya's fifth time reporting from the Super Bowl.
"There’s no better way to walk away from covering the NFL than with one more Super Bowl!" she said.
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