Ari Wolfe (born 1971) is a play-by-play announcer, reporter and anchor. He currently calls games for CBS Sports Network, ESPN, Root Sports and NBC Sports. Additionally, he serves as an anchor and reporter for the NFL Network. He is a two-time Emmy award winner. He won his first Emmy for his work calling Louisville Football and Basketball in 2005, he earned his 2nd Emmy award in 2014 for his work as a play-by-play announcer on Mountain West College Football games on Root Sports.
Early life and career
Wolfe was born in Philadelphia and raised in Madison, Wisconsin. He currently resides in Los Angeles. Wolfe graduated from Emory University in 1994. He later earned his master's degree at USC. As a student Wolfe did both play-by-play and color commentary for the Trojans' basketball, football, and baseball teams on KSCR (104.7 FM) in Los Angeles. He also hosted the sports talk show, Blackjack and the Wolfe Attack.
Before moving into commentary, Wolfe worked out of Los Angeles as Highlight Coordinator, creating highlight packages of NFL football games for FOX NFL Sunday. He held similar responsibilities for Fox’s coverage of the NHL and MLB.
Since graduating from USC in 1997, Wolfe has called games in college and professional sports. He currently calls games for NFL Network, ESPN, NBC Sports and Campus Insiders. He also serves as an anchor and reporter for NFL Network. He is a two-time Emmy winner.
In 1998, Wolfe began his play-by-play career as the voice of the Albany Firebirds. He would serve in that role for six seasons. When the Firebirds left the AFL, Wolfe was hired to be the play-by-play voice for the Philadelphia Soul, where he would remain until 2008. Wolfe has always been synonymous with the Arena Football League. Leading up to this season Wolfe called arena games for OLN, ESPN, Versus and NFL Network. This season Wolfe is one of two play-by-play men for the Arena League on CBS Sports Network and ESPN.
While Wolfe has built up his play-by-play talent with the Arena League, it is his college work that began to get him noticed. From 2005 to 2009 Wolfe was the play-by-play man for Louisville Cardinals football and men's basketball games. It was while working with the Cardinals in 2005 that Wolfe won his first Sports Emmy for Outstanding Play-by-Play and his overall composite work. In addition to play-by-play at Louisville, Wolfe also hosted Courtside with Rick Pitino and Kickoff with Coach K.
Wolfe's impressive resume lead ESPN to hire him as the play-by-play man for the Madden Challenge in 2007, shown on Super Bowl Sunday on ESPN2. He was also hired as one of their a play-by-play men the Big East Conference.
In 2009 Wolfe was hired by Universal Sports. Wolfe was hired to be the voice of many events. These events included the World Cup of Rowing, the Women's World Ice Championships, and the World Table Tennis Championships. His work at Universal led NBC Sports to use him as their play-by-play man for table tennis at the 2012 Summer Olympics. Wolfe returned in 2016 to call Table Tennis for the Rio Olympics, this led to him calling the Women's Table Tennis World Cup on ESPN in the fall of 2016.
2009 also marked the beginning of Wolfe's work for the Mtn. and BTN. Wolfe would serve as play-by-play for football, and men's basketball games. . Wolfe would leave BTN after the 2010 season, but Wolfe's work with the Mountain West Conference continued until the network ceased operations in 2012. Wolfe currently calls Mountain West football games for Root Sports and the Mountain West Network. Wolfe won his 2nd Emmy calling Mountain West football on Root Sports in 2014.
Wolfe's work is so popular, that he is one of a very few number of announcers to have worked for 4 major sports networks in one year. During 2014, he worked for NFL Network, ESPN, CBS, Root Sports, Time Warner Cable Sports Net, Campus Insiders and the Mountain West Network.
For the 2014 NFL preseason, Wolfe called games with Kurt Warner for NFL Network broadcasts. Wolfe called college football for Root Sports in the fall of 2014 and his work earned the network an Emmy for a live broadcast. He also called Minnesota Vikings preseason games with Mike Mayock for five seasons after serving in the same capacity for the Philadelphia Eagles for one season. He also was the sideline reporter for Sports USA's coverage of the NFL as well as college football play-by-play.
- "NFL Network: Ari Wolfe, On-Air Talent".
- "AFL, CBS Sports Network Announce On-Air Talent Lineup for 2013 Season". Arena Pigskin. 2013-03-12. Retrieved 2013-03-12.
- "The Pinkie Interviews Former U of L Broadcaster Ari Wolfe". Strait Pinkie. 2010-03-17. Retrieved 2010-03-17.
- "Sports Day with Bob Wolfey". Milwaukee Wisconsin Journal Sentinel. 2010-03-17. Retrieved 2012-08-02.
- "Ari Wolfe- Football Play-by-play". Comcast SportsNet. 2010-03-17. Retrieved 2012-08-02.