Steve Byrnes

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Not to be confused with Steve Byrne or Steve Burns (disambiguation).
Steve Byrnes
Born Steven Patrick Byrnes
April 14, 1959
Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
Died April 21, 2015(2015-04-21) (aged 56)
Fort Mill, South Carolina, U.S.
Cause of death
Head and neck cancer
Alma mater University of Maryland
Occupation Television host
Years active 1982–2014
Employer Fox
Spouse(s) Karen (née Goins) (m. 1993–2015)[1]
Children 1

Steven Patrick "Steve" Byrnes (April 14, 1959 – April 21, 2015) was an American television announcer and producer.

He was born in Chicago, Illinois and raised in New Carrolton, Maryland, and graduated from the University of Maryland in 1981. He began his career after graduation as a sports producer, covering several NFL teams. In 1985, Byrnes began his involvement with auto racing, including most prominently, NASCAR; in 2001, Byrnes began working with Fox NASCAR as a pit reporter, and later became the host of Fox Sports 1's studio show NASCAR Race Hub.

In October 2014, Byrnes took a medical leave from Fox Sports after being diagnosed with a reoccurrence of head and neck cancer. Byrnes later died on April 21, 2015 at the age of 56 in Fort Mill, South Carolina.[2]

Early life[edit]

Steven Patrick "Steve" Byrnes was born on April 14, 1959 in Chicago, Illinois and raised in New Carrolton, Maryland.[1] He graduated from the University of Maryland in 1981. As a senior he served as an intern for WJLA in nearby Washington.[3]

Television career[edit]

Byrnes began his television career shortly after graduating college. He was first hired as a weekend sports producer where he covered the Washington Redskins, Washington Bullets, Maryland, Georgetown, the Baltimore Orioles, and other sports. In November 1982, he had his first opportunity to be an on-air personality, when he was hired at Sullivan’s Island, South Carolina-based WCIV. While employed there he was a sports reporter and weekend anchor for the NBC affiliate until January 1985.

Afterward, Sunbelt Video hired him, in which he hosted the NASCAR newsmagazine Inside Winston Cup with Ned Jarrett, which marked the beginning of producing and hosting NASCAR segments. He announced what was happening on pit road for World Sports Enterprises, and later worked for TBS, TNN (now Spike) and CBS. He was a backup pit commentator for Monster Jam on TNN. In 2006, he was given an extra assignment as one of the network's available play-by-play broadcasters for Fox's NFL broadcasts, joining Bill Maas for selected games when Fox had seven or eight games in a given week.[citation needed]

From 2001 until 2014, he was a pit reporter for NASCAR on Fox. Byrnes served as a fill-in studio host and lap-by-lap announcer for NASCAR on Fox whenever Chris Myers or Mike Joy, respectively, were not available. As of 2014, Byrnes was the co-host of Fox Sports 1's NASCAR Race Hub, and was expected to be the lead announcer for the Camping World Truck Series in 2015.[4]

Cancer diagnosis and death[edit]

In September 2014, Byrnes was diagnosed with a recurrence of stage 4 head and neck cancer; on October 9, 2014, Fox Sports announced that he had decided to take an indefinite leave of absence from work in order to focus on his treatment.[4]

On April 10, 2015, it was announced that, in coordination with Bristol Motor Speedway, Fox, and Stand Up To Cancer, the 2015 Food City 500 would be re-named the Food City 500 In Support Of Steve Byrnes And Stand Up To Cancer; the race would feature tributes to his legacy as a NASCAR broadcaster, along with his 56th birthday, which fell during the week prior to the race.[5][6]

Two days after the tribute race, Byrnes died in the early hours of April 21, 2015 of complications from his cancer in Fort Mill, South Carolina, and was survived by his wife Karyn and son Bryson.[2][7]


  1. ^ a b "Family announcement: Steve Byrnes passes away at age 56". Fox Sports. April 21, 2015. Retrieved April 21, 2015. 
  2. ^ a b "Fox announcer Steve Byrnes dies at 56". Yahoo! Sports. Retrieved April 21, 2015. 
  3. ^ "Steve Byrnes profile". 1959-04-14. Retrieved 2010-12-08. [dead link]
  4. ^ a b "Steve Byrnes steps aside from NASCAR on FOX to focus on health". Fox Sports Interactive Media. Retrieved April 21, 2015. 
  5. ^ "Steve Byrnes Celebrates Every Day As a Birthday". Retrieved April 22, 2015. 
  6. ^ Pennell, Jay (April 10, 2015). "April 19 Bristol race renamed to honor FOX Sports' Steve Byrnes". Fox Sports Interactive Media. Retrieved April 10, 2015. 
  7. ^ We Say Goodbye to a FOX Sports Legend