Sage Steele

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Sage Steele
Sage Steele Oct 2014 (cropped).jpg
Steele at the 10th Annual CoachArt Gala Fundraiser on October 16, 2014
Born Sage Marie Steele
(1972-11-28) November 28, 1972 (age 43)
Panama Canal Zone
Education Indiana University-Bloomington
Occupation Sportscaster
Notable credit(s) SportsCenter
Title Host, reporter
Spouse(s) Jonathan Bailey (m.1999)

Sage Marie Steele (born November 28, 1972) is an American television anchor who hosts the Friday, Saturday & Sunday editions of NBA Countdown on ESPN and ABC. For 5 years prior to the NBA assignment, Steele was a full-time co-host of SportsCenter, ESPN's flagship show, and has previously contributed to ESPN First Take, Mike & Mike in the Morning, and SportsNation. Steele hosted SportsCenter's daytime coverage of the NBA Finals in 2012 and 2013.

Early life[edit]

Sage Steele was born in 1972, of African-American and Irish/Italian descent into an American Army family living in the Panama Canal Zone. The Army stationed Steele's family in several different states and countries, including Greece and Belgium, before moving back stateside to Colorado Springs, Colorado in 1984 for her seventh grade year. After attending Thomas B. Doherty High School in Colorado Springs for two years, she moved to Carmel, Indiana and attended Carmel High School as a senior, graduating in 1990. [1][2][3]

She graduated from Indiana University Bloomington in 1995 with a Bachelor of Science degree in sports communication. Exactly 20 years later, she was the commencement speaker at the 2015 Indiana University undergraduate commencement, which she considers the greatest honor of her career.[4][5]

Broadcasting career[edit]

Steele's first television sports reporting job was at WSBT-TV, the CBS affiliate in South Bend, Indiana, as a news producer and reporter from 1995 to 1997.

Steele then worked at CBS affiliate WISH-TV in Indianapolis, Indiana, from 1997 to 1998 as the weekend morning sports anchor and weekday reporter. Her reporting duties included the Indianapolis Colts, Indiana Pacers, Indianapolis 500 and Brickyard 400 auto races, and local college and high school sports.

Steele worked at ABC affiliate WFTS in Tampa, Florida, from 1998 to 2001, where she was a sports reporter with former WFTS sports director and current SportsCenter host Jay Crawford and current "NFL RedZone" host Scott Hanson. She also worked at Fox Sports Florida as a reporter, continuing to cover teams throughout Central Florida such as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Orlando Magic, Tampa Bay Lightning and University of South Florida Bulls.

She then worked at Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic in Bethesda, Maryland, where she was an anchor and reporter for the network's nightly local sports news program, SportsNite, covering all sports in the Washington, DC/Baltimore region. Steele was one of Comcast SportsNet's original personalities, joining that network when it launched in 2001. During her six years at CSN Mid-Atlantic (2001–2007), she was a main anchor and also the beat reporter for the Baltimore Ravens.

Steele then joined ESPN and debuted on March 16, 2007, on the 6:00 p.m. ET edition of SportsCenter. In an interview with Awful Announcing, she mentioned that she was actually offered a job with the network in 2004, but turned it down while pregnant with her second child.[6]

On July 28, 2013, she drove the pace car for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Brickyard 400. During the pace laps at the beginning of the race, she was bumped in jest by 6-time Sprint Cup champion Jimmie Johnson. Beginning in the 2013–14 NBA season, Steele became the host of NBA Countdown on ESPN and ABC.[7]

Steele created controversy when cutting off Canadian and Arcade Fire front man Win Butler during his MVP speech at the NBA All-Star Game in Toronto as he urged American voters to think carefully during 2016's presidential election.[8]

Steele will co-host the Miss America 2017 pageant with Chris Harrison.[9]

Personal life[edit]

Steele is the daughter of Mona and Gary Steele, who was the first African-American to play varsity football at West Point during the mid 1960s.[10] Steele was inducted into the Army Sports Hall of Fame in 2013 for his standout career on the Black Knights football and track & field teams. Steele has two brothers, Courtney and Chad, who is the Vice President of Media Relations for the NFL's Baltimore Ravens.[11] She is married to a former personal trainer, Jonathan Bailey.[12] She and her husband have three children.


  1. ^ Briggeman, Brent (June 4, 2015). "Sage Steele's time in Colorado Springs helped steer her life toward ESPN". Colorado Springs Gazette. Retrieved June 14, 2015. 
  2. ^ Agness, Scott (February 11, 2011). "ESPN’s Sage Steele shares stories and advice with avid IU students". Vigilant Sports. Retrieved June 14, 2015. 
  3. ^ Jaffe, Harry (September 2002). "She knows the score". Washingtonian. Retrieved June 14, 2015. 
  4. ^ Morris, Lena (March 25, 2014). "Steele recounts obstacles in path of becoming host of ESPN’s top shows". Indiana University Journalism. Retrieved June 14, 2015. 
  5. ^ "Alumna Sage Steele to speak at Indiana University Bloomington undergraduate commencement". Indiana University Bloomington. April 8, 2015. Retrieved June 14, 2015. 
  7. ^ "ESPN Gives Up on No-Host Format; Steele to Anchor NBA Countdown"
  8. ^ "ESPN reporter stops Arcade Fire frontman from dissing USA". New York Post. February 15, 2016. 
  9. ^ Chris Harrison Will Return to Host the Miss America Competition with First-Time Host Sage Steele of ESPN
  10. ^ Nerves of Steele St. Petersburg Times, June 9, 2000
  11. ^ People - Front Office Baltimore Ravens
  12. ^