Mark Schwarz, ESPN’s longest-tenured reporter, is retiring Monday after 32 years at the sports network. The two-time Sports Emmys winner had last signed a multi-year deal in 2018 and of late had been a fixture on the 6 p.m. SportsCenter, reporting on the news of the day on the “SC Report” segment.
In addition to SportsCenter, Schwartz appeared frequently in reports for Outside the Lines, College GameDay, NFL CountDown, NBA Countdown and other studio shows.
“Schwarz brought a sense of storytelling and hard news reporting,” said Norby Williamson, ESPN EVP Event and Studio Production & Executive Editor, in announcing the news on ESPN’s Front Row. “He was versatile, and in many ways, set a very high standard for reporters at ESPN.”
Schwartz joined the network in July 1990 after stints as a local sports reporter/anchor Salt Lake City, Tulsa and Jacksonville, FL, and has been on the front lines of many of the biggest sports events of the past three decades. In a recent profile, he discussed some of his most memorable assignments including covering the O.J. Simpson trial, and knocking on Al Cowlings’ door at midnight; the 1997 Mike Tyson-Evander Holyfield fight in which Tyson bit off a piece of Holyfield’s right ear; and Super Bowl XXXVII, the one immediately following the September 11 terrorist attacks.
He also covered high-profile stories like Joe Paterno’s last days at Penn State, the Tonya Harding case and the impact of the Flint, MI water crisis on young athletes.
The reporter, who eschewed social media and was known for asking straightforward questions, said Friday that he knew his 2018 contract would be his last.
“Using a sports cliché – I’ve put it all out on the field,” he said. “I have plenty more to give, and I’m a young guy in good health, but there’s a lot more in my life that I’m looking to do right now, and I just want to enjoy the freedom that retirement offers.”
He added: “It’s just so great in a business like this where there’s so much turmoil and so much turnover, to have been given the opportunity to put together this type of run with this company is extraordinary And I’m grateful and honored to have done it.”
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