Skip Bayless is an American sports columnist and a writer and television personality. He became known as a commentator on the ESPN2 show First Take.
Skip Bayless Bio
Skip was not his birth name, but the name stuck after his father had called him that. His mother was also called that by her husband, at least hers refers to the captain of the ship, but for his, we don’t know the inspiration. What is a name to ask? Shakespeare asked the same question. Before we get into that, let’s take a look at the timeline of Skip Bayless.
He was born on December 4, 1951, in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, and named after his father John Edward Bayless II, his father being John Sr. The name stuck and he eventually legally changed his name to Skip. He grew up with two younger siblings, a brother, Rick, and a sister.
His parents were restaurateurs who owned and operated the Hickory House restaurant in Oklahoma City. He worked at the restaurant, which specialized in barbecue in his youth, but which he never considered a career path. He was more interested in sports, which he began to enjoy from an early age, playing baseball and basketball.
Information about his early education is not available, but we can make progress with what we have. Skip graduated from Northwest Classen High School in 1970 as a Salutatorian. He was a member of the National Honor Society for two years and chapter president of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes in his school.
The skip must have been a really good and smart student. He was an officer in the Letterman’s Club, and before he went to high school, he represented his school at Oklahoma Boys State. Because he is a sports enthusiast, he was the school paper’s sports columnist for both junior and senior classes.
His passion for sports and sports journalism earned him the Grantland Rice Scholarship from Vanderbilt University. He studied English and history and graduated cum laude in 1974. A member of the Phi Kappa Sigma Brotherhood, he served as the chapter’s sports director for two years. A passionate sportsman, he was also the sports editor of the student newspaper The Hustler.
What’s in a name? He became a skipper (captain) and gained success wherever he went. We will get to know more of them as we read on.
In the summer of 1969, he did an internship with sports editor Frank Boggs at The Daily Oklahoman. After graduating, he wrote for the Miami Herald for two years and gained experience as a sports journalist, which he incorporated into his resume. In 1976 he was hired by the Los Angeles Times to write investigative reports. He moved to The Dallas Morning News, where he wrote the leading sports column for three years. The Morning News rival, The Dallas Times Herald, poached him, and this prompted the Wall Street Journal to write an article about it.
He wrote his three books during his 17-year career at the Dallas Times Herald. The books were God’s Coach: The Hymns, Hype, and Hypocrisy of Tom Landry’s Cowboys (1990), The Boys: The Untold Story of the Dallas Cowboys’ Season on the Edge (1993), and Hell-Bent: The Crazy Truth About the “Win or Else” Dallas Cowboys (1996). These works document the rise and fall of the Dallas Cowboys, their victory in the Super Bowl in 1993, and for four consecutive seasons.
After Skip left Dallas in 1998, he became a leading sports columnist for the Chicago Tribune and left it in 2001.
Television / Radio Career
Whether as a guest, guest presenter or co-presenter, he has worked in radio before he switched to television as a full-time job.
He began in 1991 with a two-year stint at KLIF radio station in Dallas, where he hosted the sports talk show. From 1994 to 1996 Skip hosted his show The Skip Bayless Show on radio station Fort Worth, KTCK. He appeared regularly on Chet Coppock’s show Coppock On Sports on the Sporting News Radio Network. Skip became the principal guest host of the syndicated radio show The Jim Rome Show in 2001.
As a guest, he attended ESPN Radio’s first national weekday show, The Fabulous Sports Babe, in the mid-1990s. The extraordinary sports presenter later hosted a weekend show on the same station with Larry Bell until 2004, when he switched to full-time television.
Skip first appeared on television in 1989 as a panelist on ESPN’s The Sports Reporter. Jim Rome’s show on Fox News, The Last Word, The Best Damn Sports Show Period were some of his regular appearances.
In 2004, he became a full-time television personality hired by ESPN to write columns and work with Woody Paige in daily debate segments called 1st and 10th. The show was renamed First Take after the production was moved from New York to Bristol in May 2007.
His last appearance on the show was on 21 June 2016 and he switched to Fox Sports. Skip made his debut on Fox Sports 1 with his new sports talk show Skip and Shannon: Undisputed with Shannon Sharpe on September 6, 2016.
Skip Bayless has had several cameo roles in films including Rocky Balboa with Woody Paige and Jay Crawford, the ESPN film Pony Excess (2010), and the ESPNU documentary Herschel (2011).
Awards and Recognitions
You will agree with me that Skip Bayless is good at what he does and deserves a lot of applause and awards for his well-done work. He has certainly received a number of them over the years, and many more will follow.
In addition to his work, which has appeared in various national sports publications, including Sports Illustrated, he has also received a number of awards.
The 1977 Eclipse Award for Outstanding Newspaper Writing went to him for his coverage of the Seattle Slew triple crown victory. During his time at the Herald, he has voted Texas Sports Journalist of the Year three times (1979, 1984, and 1986) by the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association.
In his first year with the Tribune, he received the Lisagor Award from the Chicago Headline Club for excellence in sports column writing. A year before he left the Chicago Tribune, the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association named him Illinois Sports Journalist of the Year.
He was inducted into the 2009 Vanderbilt Student Media Hall of Fame as one of five members of the opening class of the 2009 Vanderbilt Student Media Hall of Fame.
Skip Bayless Wife, Brother
After his first marriage to his high school sweetheart, a decision he considers his biggest mistake as it ended in divorce, he met Ernestine Sclafani. Ernestine is a publicist and Vice President of Shandwick Public Relations.
The duo met on the ESPN show Cold Pizza when she brought actor Kevin Dillon to the set. They joined them and had dinner the same evening, where he told her that she would never be more important than his work. That was not an issue for her, because she loves her job, too. Their common interests, such as the resemblance to Woody Allen and the music of the ’60s united them. They had a private wedding – after they had been together for some years – among close relatives and friends.
She is just as hardworking as her husband, and maybe the love for her work kept them together. Maybe they do not perform together regularly in public, but they are still very much in love.
While Skip chose to do sports, his younger brother Rick kept up the family tradition and became a cook, restaurateur, and TV star. The two of them are now successful and widely recognized for their chosen professions.
Rick was born on November 23, 1953, and specializes in traditional Mexican cuisine with modern interpretations. He graduated from the University of Oklahoma and received his doctorate in anthropological linguistics from the University of Michigan. Rick studied Spanish and Latin American culture, and as a student, he expanded his interest to regional Mexican cuisine.
He is widely known for his PBS series Mexico: One Plate at a Time and has received many awards and prizes for his work. He is also an author who has written many books on traditional Mexican cuisine and has contributed to a number of magazines. The restaurant owner par excellence is married to Deann Bayless.
Skip Bayless Salary, Net Worth
Skip renewed his contract with ESPN in 2015, earning him $3 million in annual salary. However, he left the station in 2016 for Fox Sports, and it was reported that he would receive an estimated $5 million salary. Skip received a signing bonus of $4 million in 2016.
His net worth is estimated at between 7 and 13 million dollars.
The former sportsman and sports analyst stand at a height of 5’10” (1.78).