Maria Taylor

Maria Taylor's career as a broadcaster along with her background as a college athlete is explored in this extensive biography.

11 Min Read

Maria Taylor has become one of the most prominent figures in sports broadcasting, bringing energy and charisma to her coverage of football, basketball, and more. Her versatility as a multi-sport athlete in college has translated into a multifaceted career in television. This extensive biography will provide key facts about Maria Taylor’s background, career, education, net worth, and impact. Get the full scoop on this rising star of sports media.

Quick Facts About Maria Taylor

  • Born in 1987 in Alpharetta, Georgia
  • Played basketball and volleyball for the University of Georgia
  • Was a member of the USA National A2 Volleyball Team
  • Began broadcasting career with IMG College at University of Georgia
  • Has worked for NBA TV, SEC Network, ESPN, and NBC Sports
  • Current host of NFL Live and NBA Countdown on ESPN

Who is Maria Taylor?

Maria Taylor is an American sports broadcaster and television personality. She was born in 1987 in Alpharetta, Georgia and grew up with a love of sports. She went on to become a two-sport athlete at the University of Georgia, excelling in both basketball and volleyball.

While at Georgia, Taylor’s broadcasting career began when she started working for IMG College doing radio broadcasts for various collegiate sports. This kickstarted her pathway into sports media, leading to various roles with major networks like NBA TV, SEC Network, ESPN, and NBC Sports.

Today, Taylor is one of the most prominent figures in sports broadcasting and a host of major shows like NFL Live and NBA Countdown on ESPN. She brings energy, charisma, and sharp analysis to her coverage across football, basketball, and more.

Where Did Maria Taylor Go to College?

Maria Taylor attended Centennial High School in Roswell, Georgia where she played volleyball, basketball, and track & field. After graduating in 2005, she enrolled at the University of Georgia in Athens.

Taylor studied broadcast journalism at Georgia and graduated in 2009 with a Bachelor’s degree. While at UGA, she was a standout two-sport athlete in volleyball and basketball. She played middle blocker for the Georgia Bulldogs volleyball team and guard/forward for the basketball team.

Some key highlights of Taylor’s stellar athletic college career include:

  • 3x All-SEC volleyball player (First Team 2006, 2007; Second Team 2005)
  • 4x SEC Academic Honor Roll selection (2005-2009)
  • NCAA Woman of the Year nominee for the state of Georgia (2009)
  • Competed with USA National A2 Volleyball Team in 2007

Her LinkedIn profile also lists additional coursework at the Newhouse School at Syracuse University in broadcast journalism and Fordham University in media management.

Net Worth of Maria Taylor

Thanks to her high-profile broadcasting career, Maria Taylor has amassed an estimated net worth of $5 million as of 2023 according to multiple reports.

  • Her annual salary at ESPN was estimated at $1 million per year as of 2021 according to Awful Announcing. This was a major increase from the $300,000 per year she was previously making.
  • In 2021, Taylor signed a contract with NBC worth over $10 million for 3 years according to the New York Post.
  • Additional income comes from partnerships, endorsements, and public appearances. Taylor has worked with brands like AT&TCisco, and Under Armour.

Overall, through her talent and rising notoriety in the sports world, Maria Taylor has built considerable wealth and income at the young age of 35. Her net worth is likely to grow even higher as her career continues ascending.

Maria Taylor’s Broadcasting Career

Maria Taylor’s broadcasting career began at the University of Georgia where she worked for IMG College doing radio coverage of various collegiate athletic events. While still a student-athlete, she gained valuable experience conducting interviews, handling play-by-play, and building sports broadcasting skills.

After graduating from Georgia in 2009, Taylor landed a full-time job with NBA TV as a studio host and reporter. She covered events like the NBA Draft, All-Star Weekend, and Finals. Taylor also became the host of NBA TV’s “The Warm Up” pre-game show in 2013.

In 2014, Taylor left NBA TV to join ESPN and the new SEC Network. She served as a sideline reporter for college football games on the network. Taylor also co-hosted “SEC Nation”, the SEC Network’s pre-game show similar to ESPN’s College Gameday.

Taylor’s talent and screen presence led to expanded roles at ESPN in the coming years. She hosted “NBA Countdown” pre-game and halftime shows and covered major events like the NBA Finals and Super Bowl. By 2021, Taylor had become one of ESPN’s most prominent personalities.

That same year, a contract dispute led Taylor to leave ESPN and sign a lucrative deal with rival network NBC Sports. She is now a host and contributor for “Football Night in America”, Notre Dame football coverage, and more. Taylor also covered the 2022 Winter Olympics and 2022 Super Bowl for NBC.

At just 35 years old, Maria Taylor has already become a versatile, prominent figure across major sports networks. Her career continues its upward trajectory as she cements herself as a must-watch personality for sports fans.

Additional Key Sections

Maria Taylor’s Impact on Sports Media

Beyond just her talent on air, Maria Taylor is having an important influence on sports media:

  • Representation – As a woman of color, Taylor brings diversity to a field long dominated by men. She provides representation and inspires young girls interested in sports careers.
  • Versatility – Calling different sports across different networks, Taylor shows her depth as a broadcaster. She seamlessly covers football, basketball, baseball, track & field, and more.
  • Star power – With charisma and camera presence, Taylor has become a bonafide television personality who attracts audiences. Her status continues rising.
  • Pay equity advocacy – By standing up for her worth, Taylor sets an example for women in sports media to fight for equal pay and treatment.

Overall, Maria Taylor is opening doors for a new generation of women in sports broadcasting through her excellence, versatility, stardom, and advocacy.

Maria Taylor’s Work Ethic and Mentality

Much of Maria Taylor’s success can be attributed to her determined work ethic and mentality:

  • As a two-sport college athlete, Taylor learned the importance of hard work and dedicating herself to improvement.
  • She hustled for every opportunity from college radio to landing gigs at national networks like ESPN and NBC.
  • Taylor prepares meticulously for every show and broadcast whether it’s the NBA Finals or Olympic curling.
  • She strives to continue growing and says she still feels “very early” in her broadcasting career despite her prominence.
  • Taylor has praised mentors like Maya Moore and Robin Roberts who pushed her to maximize her potential.
  • Despite her rising celebrity, she remains incredibly grounded and humble.

Maria Taylor’s unrelenting work ethic combined with humility and the desire to keep improving drives her continued success as a broadcaster.

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FAQs About Maria Taylor

What college did Maria Taylor attend?

Maria Taylor attended the University of Georgia from 2005 to 2009. She graduated with a degree in broadcast journalism and was a two-sport athlete playing volleyball and basketball.

How did Maria Taylor get started in broadcasting?

Taylor’s broadcasting career began at UGA where she worked for IMG College doing radio coverage of various collegiate sports. This led to her first tv job at NBA TV after graduating.

What shows does Maria Taylor work on now?

As of 2023, Taylor is a host for NBC Sports appearing on programs like Football Night in America. She also hosts pre-game coverage for Notre Dame football and other major events.

What was Maria Taylor’s contract dispute with ESPN about?

In 2021, Taylor was engaged in heated negotiations with ESPN seeking pay more equivalent to white male personalities at the network.Unable to reach an agreement, she left ESPN for a highly paid contract with NBC.

Is Maria Taylor married?

Yes, Taylor has been married to Rodney Blackstock since May 2014. Blackstock played basketball at the University of North Carolina and now works in real estate. The couple has a daughter named Josephine born in November 2017.

What is Maria Taylor’s net worth?

Estimates place Maria Taylor’s net worth at around $5 million as of 2023. Her contracts with NBC and previously ESPN pay her multi-million dollar annual salaries. Brand deals and appearances also contribute to her income.

How tall is Maria Taylor?

Maria Taylor is listed at 5 feet 11 inches tall, which is relatively tall for a woman. Her height was an asset when playing volleyball and basketball in college.

What makes Maria Taylor such a great broadcaster?

Taylor stands out through her charisma, energy, and smooth delivery on air. She also prepares extensively and develops strong rapports with athletes she covers. Her deep sports knowledge and passion helps her connect with viewers.