Ley in March 2010
March 16, 1955 |
Newark, New Jersey, U.S.
|Education||Seton Hall University, (1976)
|Title||Outside the Lines host, SportsCenter anchor, soccer broadcaster|
Bob Ley (//; born March 16, 1955) is a sports anchor and reporter for ESPN. A multiple Emmy Award-winner, he is the longest tenured on-air employee of the network, having joined ESPN just three days after the network's 1979 launch.
Early life and education
Ley grew up in Bloomfield, New Jersey, where he attended Bloomfield High School. He got his start in broadcasting as a sportscaster and program director at WSOU at Seton Hall University, and interned as a production staffer at WOR-AM in New York City. After graduating magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications, Ley worked several minor broadcasting jobs, including public address announcer with the New York Cosmos soccer team, before landing his first major position with ESPN just three days after the network's launch in 1979.
Ley currently hosts ESPN's investigative program Outside the Lines. He did host SportsCenter for much of his career at ESPN, returning on August 9, 2004 to host an "old school" edition with longtime broadcasting partner Charley Steiner. He is the primary studio host for ESPN's telecasts of major international professional soccer tournaments such as the 2010 FIFA World Cup, the 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup, and the 2012 UEFA European Championship.
During the Night of 1000 Stars, Grantland.com's Men in Blazers, Michael Davies and Rog Bennett presented Ley with the first Men In Blazers Golden Jacket  for lifetime services to American Soccer.  During the presentation of the Golden Blazer Jacket, the Men in Blazers showed footage of Ley anchoring "SportsCenter" and presenting highlights of the United States men's national soccer team qualifying for the 1990 FIFA World Cup in Italy. It was the first time the USMNT qualified for the FIFA World Cup since 1950.
On September 7, 2014, in recognition of ESPN's 35th anniversary as a cable network, he was honored as one of 19 "ESPN Originals", employees who have been with the network from the beginning. Chris Berman is the only other on-air personality on that list. Ley has earned 11 Emmy Awards and three CableACE Awards as cable's top Sports Informational Series for his work as the host of both “Outside the Lines” and “SportsCenter”. Over more than three decades at the network, Ley has delivered the many hard-hitting news stories including the Boston Marathon bombings, ESPN’s first coverage after the September 11 attacks, Magic Johnson's AIDS announcement, Pete Rose's lifetime suspension by Bart Giamatti, and the earthquake that hit San Francisco during the 1989 World Series, among many others. He has also interviewed U.S. presidents Gerald Ford, Bill Clinton, George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush.
- 1987 - Bloomfield High School Athletic Hall of Fame
- 1995 - Northeastern University Center for Study of Sport and Society and School of Journalism Excellence in Sports Journalism Award
- WSOU-FM Hall of Fame Member
- Eight Sports Emmy Awards for Sports Journalism
- Three CableACE Awards for Sports Information Series
- Four CableACE Awards (with Suburban Cablevision, East Orange, New Jersey)
- 2008 - Commencement Speaker for the University of Hartford (West Hartford, Connecticut)
- 2013 - Golden Blazer of Fame
for services to soccer in the United States.
- Bob Ley signs with Octagon, octagon.com; accessed May 8, 2015.
- Sandomir, Richard. "TV SPORTS; Disney Making a Commitment to Complete Soccer Coverage", The New York Times, June 7, 1998; accessed December 25, 2007. "The American games are important, said Ley, who became a soccer enthusiast when he attended Bloomfield High School in New Jersey during the North American Soccer League's heyday."
- Orr, Conor. "Bloomfield native Bob Ley will be the face of the World Cup for ESPN", The Star-Ledger, June 9, 2010; accessed July 18, 2011. "Unfortunately for Bob Ley, he was the first of the two team managers to show up at Bloomfield High’s soccer practice on that fall afternoon in 1971. His best friend and co-manager Bob Longo disagrees on the circumstances, but remembers vividly the sight of the future ESPN anchor in a compromising position after the team’s players stuffed Ley into the wire equipment cart and rolled him straight into the pond near the field."
- Quindt, Fritz. "A cease-fire in the bracket wars", Sporting News, March 11, 2002; accessed July 18, 2011. "(In 1980, Bob Ley hosted the first selection show ever. It was on ESPN.) Upon getting the 1982 Tournament, CBS was handed the List of 64 and guarded it like a final Survivor vote."
- 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup Commentators – ESPN MediaZone.
- 2012 ESPN’s Studio Team for UEFA EURO 2012 – ESPN MediaZone.
- Men in Blazers Night of 1000 Stars
- Grantland.com Podcenter
- Biodata, espn.go.com; accessed ay 8, 2015.
- Board of Regents for Seton Hall University, shu.edu; accessed May 8, 2015.
- Profile, espnmediazone3.com; accessed May 8, 2015.