Notre Dame has become a family affair for ESPN sportscaster Mike Golic, co-host of “Mike and Mike in the Morning,” 5-9 a.m. weekdays on ESPN2 and ESPN radio. His sons, fifth-year senior Mike Jr. and senior Jake, play on the Irish football team. He made it to the big football game Saturday night in Norman after watching his daughter, Sydney, a freshman on the Notre Dame swim team, compete at a meet Friday in Auburn, Ala. His older brothers Bob, a three-time NFL Pro Bowler, and Greg also played on the Irish football team. He even met his wife, Christine, while at Notre Dame; she was a student at neighboring St. Mary's College.
When Bob made Notre Dame his college choice, I think I was 11 years old. What was cool was I got to see Notre Dame in a kid's eye, meeting the Joe Montanas and the Ross Browners and the Willie Frys, those kind of guys. I was kind of wide-eyed. It was a cool thing. When my brother Greg went there, I was only a year behind him. Now I saw all those same people at Notre Dame as more like my age. I could fit in here and I could do this as well. I was recruited by a lot of places across the country, but that was the only place I wanted to go.
After I spent my time there, it led to the kids going through their recruitment and such. I tried to tell them, “Don't go there because I went there. You got to go where it's right for you.” They were like, “We get that,” and as soon as Notre Dame offered, they took it. My daughter was an excellent swimmer and that was her thought as well. It's truly a family affair there now. Mike is the starting right guard and he started about five or so games at center last year. Jake (a tight end) has unfortunately had some injury issues. He dealt with a broken arm and surgery on his back last year and he rebroke the arm this year.
It's a very, very pressure-packed job to coach at Notre Dame. You're independent. You don't have to deal with any conferences, but you're on your own. It's all on your shoulders and you got to get it done. It's a national school. You want to make sure you're on the West Coast every year, either playing USC or Stanford. I think that adds to the pressure of it. It's kind of on the lines of the Yankees, like the Dallas Cowboys. There has always been that you either love them or hate them. There's not a whole lot of in-between with Notre Dame. People watch them because they love them or people watch them because they hate them and want to see them lose. When I used to go on road games, there would be thousands of people waiting when we got to the hotel. You go to the stadium and there are thousands of subway alums, as we call them, all over the place.
I was team captain as a senior. That was truly an honor. My brother Bob was a captain as well. Unfortunately, my years didn't go that well. I think my best year was 7-4. If I had to pick a game, it was probably on the road my sophomore year. We played against Pittsburgh. They were No. 1 in the country and 7-0. Dan Marino was the quarterback and just about their entire offensive line ended up in the NFL. We went to Pittsburgh and we beat them. It was a huge win for us. We got back to Notre Dame and there were thousands of people lining the streets, waiting for us to come home. It was truly like, wow, a big-game experience. Unfortunately in my years, those were a little too far apart.
Most of my NFL career was with the Philadelphia Eagles. Unfortunately, there again as well, every time we made the playoffs, we lost in the first round. That was a shame. I never made any Pro Bowls. I was your average player. I played nine years. It was a nice career. I certainly enjoyed it and wouldn't trade it for anything.
I didn't go to school for broadcasting; I was a business major. I always was pretty friendly with the media, giving them quotes here or there. Sometimes in a tough game they knew they could get a quote out of me. I knew they had a job to do. Eagles quarterback Randall Cunningham had a TV show, and I did a little three-minute bit on it every week, kind of a humorous look at the upcoming opponent. It was called “Golic's Got It.” It was kind in the right place at the right time, it won like a local Emmy. ESPN actually called me while I was still playing and they said, ‘Hey in the offseason, would you like to come and do some stuff with us?' When I retired, I started doing some other stuff with them, calling some college games, doing some pieces. That was in 1995 and it has kind of evolved to where I am today.
The morning show actually started with me and a different co-host (Tony Bruno) in October 1998. Greeny (Mike Greenberg) and I took over for good right at the beginning of 2000. We're basically in on our 13th year together. We absolutely have great chemistry, that's something you can't fake. He's a guy who grew up as a sports fan, then went to journalism school at Northwestern. I was an athlete. So we really come at things from a different perspective. We do get along. I'm a family guy. He's a family guy. His kids are a lot younger than mine, but it's a family show. We don't cross the line. We don't get real blue. We're not into that. We like talking about our wives and kids on the air.
I can't complain at all about my career. I played sports all my life. I get to talk about sports and I get to watch my kids play sports. My wife is way into sports. It's been an incredible path. I've been very, very lucky.