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Tom Rinaldi is a reporter for ESPN and ABC based in New York. He has contributed to ESPN's golf coverage, SportsCenter, Outside the Lines, College GameDay and Sunday NFL Countdown. He also did features for the horse racing telecasts.
In 2017, Rinaldi served as a sideline reporter for the NBA playoffs on ESPN.
Rinaldi joined ESPN in May 2003 following a four-year stint as a reporter for CNN/SI from 1998-2002. He has also worked as a reporter for KATU-TV in Portland, Oregon from 1996 to 1998 and for WNDU-TV in South Bend, Indiana from 1993 to 1996. Prior to his career in journalism, Rinaldi was a high school English and English as a Second Language teacher in addition to being a handball coach at Morris High School in the Bronx, New York.
Rinaldi has won three Regional Emmy Awards, three Associated Press Awards and a USA Today Feature-of-the-Year Award. After transferring from Fordham University, he earned his undergraduate degree from the University of Pennsylvania before going on to receive his graduate degree at Columbia University. Rinaldi grew up in Cresskill, New Jersey and lives in nearby Tenafly. In 2016, he wrote a book called The Man in the Red Bandanna, about Welles Crowther, who saved many people before he was killed when the World Trade Center collapsed after the September 11 attacks.
Since 2006, Rinaldi has been the lead interviewer and feature reporter for ESPN and ABC's coverage of golf. In this capacity, he has been praised for many of his essays, especially those following the conclusion of major events. Rinaldi conducted the first interview of Tiger Woods after the incident on November 27, 2009 which led to Woods' public disclosure of his extra-marital affairs. He also was the first person to interview Manti Te'o after he had been catfished.
- Kramer, Peter D. " 9/11: Man in the red bandanna's finest hour", The Record (Bergen County), September 6, 2016. Accessed September 7, 2016. "This week will find Tom Rinaldi pingponging from his home in Tenafly, New Jersey — less than a mile from the Cresskill home he grew up in — to the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing, Queens, to cover the U.S. Open."
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