Skip Bayless Biography

Skip Bayless: Life, Bio, Interests, Career and Awards

Skip Bayless, a well-known commentator is appreciated widely for his work. Bayless is an American sports columnist and a host for television sports opinion and debate shows. He became popular with his show named First Take broadcasted on channel ESPN 2. He hosted this show along with Stephens A. Smith and after this, he debuted his new show Skip and Shannon on Fox Sports 1. He is a writer as well as a producer known for Rocky Balboa, Skip, and Shannon: Undisputed and High-Flying Bird.

Bayless’s Bio and Early Life

Skip Bayless took birth on December 4, 1951, in Oklahoma City. He was born as John Edward Bayless II as the son of John Sr. His parents called him Skip and that is the reason his real name John was never recognized. He was referred to as Skip and it soon became his legal name. His parents were the owner of a Barbecue specialized restaurant named Hickory House. But Bayless never chose it as his career. His brother Ricky Bayless became a chef, restaurateur, and television personality continuing the tradition. He is married to Ernestine Scalfani Bayless in July 28,2016.  He also has a younger sister and brother in law.

Bayless’ Interests

Skip Bayless developed his interest in sports at an early age. He played basketball and baseball. He was also a two-year member of the National Honour Society and the President of the school’s Fellowship of Christian Athlete. He was also an officer of lettermen. Bayless secured his position being the primary sports columnist for the school newspaper. Bayless represented Northwest Classen at Oklahoma Boys State.  He completed his further studies at Vanderbilt University.

Bayless’ Career

Skip Bayless is a man with different talents. His career is expanded to different fields like journalism, television, acting, hosting, etc.

Bayless as an actor

Bayless had a cameo role in a 2006 film Rocky Balboa along with ESPN colleagues Woody Paige and Jay Crawford. The three are seen on their “First and 10” segment in which they discussed a possible fight between a retired Balboa and Mason Dixon who is a heavy weight champion.

He performed his role in ESPN 30 for 30 films, Pony Excess in the year 2010. This film was about the Southern Methodist University Football Scandal that involves gross violations of NCAA rules and regulations. Bayless also covered the Mustangs and wrote both The Dallas Morning News and The Dallas Times Herald. His appearance was recognized in the 2011 ESPNU documentary, Herschel which is about the University of Georgia running back Herschel Walker.

Bayless in journalism

Bayless wrote his sports features in The Miami Herald. He was recognised and took a position in Los Angeles Times in August 1976. He was then well appreciated for investigative stories on the Los Angeles Dodgers’ clubhouse. He also won an award for his outstanding writing in newspapers in the year 1977 for his Seattle Slew’s Triple Crown Victory. He was hired by The Dallas Morning News, Dallas Times Herald, The Wall Street Journal. Bayless was voted Texas sportswriter of the year by the National Sports casters and Sportswriters Association three times. In 1998, Bayless became the lead sports columnist of Chicago Tribune. His work also appeared in various national sports publications including Sports Illustrated.

Bayless as Television personality

In the year 1989, Skip joined ESPN’s The Sports Reporters as a panelist.  In 1992, Bayless became a member of a debate team on NFL Prime Monday’s “Knights of the Roundtable”.  In 1999 and 2000 he was a commentator for the Golf channel.  In 2001 and 2002, Bayless appeared on Fox Sports Net’s show The Last Word. He became a fixture on Rome is Burning in the year 2003.  In 2004, ESPN hired Bayless for “First and Ten”. In 2016, He appeared in First Take was on June 21, 2016. Bayless debuted Skip and Shannon: Undisputed. 

Bayless in Radio Talk Show

Bayless began hosting a sports talk radio show in the year 1991. In 1994, he was among the top original investors in the Fort Worth radio station KTCK. In mid-1990, he became the frequent guest on ESPN Radio’s first national weekday show. In Chicago, he appeared regularly on Chef Coppock’s show on the Sporting News Radio. He became the guest of syndicate radio program The Jim Rome Show. While in the year 2004, Bayless moved full time into television.

Bayless as Author

Bayless worked as author and wrote few books.

God’s Coach: The Hymns, Hype, and Hypocrisy of Tom Landry’s Cowboys, Simon and Schuster,1990.

The Boys: The Untold Story of the Dallas Cowboys’ Season on the Edge, Simon and Schuster, 1993.

Hell-Bent: The Crazy Truth About the “Win or Else” Dallas Cowboys, Harper Collins Publishers, 1996.


Bayless was selected to the Oklahoma City Wall of Fame and he was recognized as outstanding alumni of Oklahoma City public schools.

He was nominated for Sports Emmy Awards.

Bayless was the co-recipient with DJ Steve Porter