Joe Tessitore is best known for his television work on college football at ESPN and ABC. One of the most versatile broadcasters at the network, in 2016 Joe was named the lead play-by-play broadcaster for ESPN's Saturday Night Primetime Game and College Football Playoff in the booth alongside Todd Blackledge. Prior to that he served in the play-by-play role for ESPN's Thursday Night Football, and host of SEC Nation paired with Tim Tebow and Paul Finebaum, and also hosted ESPN's College Football Final. Joe can be seen working ESPN College Basketball, Triple Crown Horse Racing and Boxing. Joe's presence has been a big part of the BCS bowls and now the New Years Six. He has been the broadcaster of multiple Orange Bowls, the Peach Bowl, the Sugar Bowl broadcast team and has worked play-by-play for the BCS Championship on ESPN 3D and was the lead broadcaster for ESPNs megacast of the Jan. 13, 2016 National Championship Game. He's long been a fixture on ESPN's presentation of the Heisman Trophy.
Tessitore has produced documentaries for ESPN's award winning 30 for 30 series. In 2011 Tessitore was the executive producer of the ESPN Film Roll Tide, War Eagle. In 2012 he was the consulting producer on ESPN's 30 for 30 featuring Bo Jackson. Joe spent many years anchoring ABC/ESPN Horse Racing presentations including The Belmont Stakes and The Breeders’ Cup World Championships. Joe is also a popular longtime blow-by-blow boxing broadcaster on ESPN’s Friday Night Fights and has hosted College Football's annual signing day coverage.
In August 2012 Joe was the subject of an extensive feature story titled, 'Tessitore becoming major voice of college football, one upset at a time," written by Stewart Mandel. http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2012/writers/stewart_mandel/08/06/joe-tessitore/index.html
For five years Tessitore was the host of ESPN’s live New Year's Eve specials including RedBull New Year, No Limits and the debut of ESPN's Year of the Quarterback.
Joe has broadcast some of the most thrilling games in recent college football. In 2013 he was the broadcaster of Penn State's upset of unbeaten Michigan in four overtimes. He also broadcast the Ole Miss last second upset of #6 LSU, as well as #21 South Carolina's double-overtime upset of previously unbeaten #5 Missouri. He had the dramatic call of Iowa State's double-overtime win of #2 Oklahoma State, as well as RGIII's last second TD pass for Baylor's stunning last second victory over #5 Oklahoma. In 2010 Joe also was the play by play host for two of the biggest upsets of the year. On November 26, 2010 he was ESPN's play-by-play broadcaster for #19 Nevada's overtime upset of #4 Boise State. October 2010 Joe had the call of LSU's dramatic last second win over Florida. Joe also was ESPN's host/anchor when Zenyatta's unbeaten streak was stopped. The champion race horse was defeated in the Breeders' Cup Classic by Blame. In College Basketball he was the ESPN broadcaster for Illinois' last second come from behind victory over #1 Indiana.
In addition to his regular duties of football, horse racing and fights Joe has covered a wide array of sporting events for ESPN and is also a featured contributor for ESPN.com.
Tessitore has been honored for his on air work. Sports Illustrated's Richard Deitsch has twice named him a finalist for Sports Media Person of the Year. On January 18, 2010 he accepted an Eclipse Award on behalf of his ESPN production team for their Belmont Stakes broadcast on ABC. On June 4, 2010 the Boxing Writers of America presented Tessitore with the prestigious Sam Taub award for Broadcast Excellence. The Connecticut Boxing Hall of Fame included Tessitore in their 2010 class of inductees.
Since 2004, Tessitore has been the voice for the top selling Fight Night video game series produced by EA Sports. Joe is considered an expert in many of the fields he covers. He is part of Ring Magazine’s rankings panel as well as a voter for the Heisman Trophy. On April 3, 2010, Joe was the lead host and ringside broadcaster for HBO PPV's Bernard Hopkins victory over longtime rival Roy Jones Jr on pay-per-view.
Tessitore’s distinct voice-over work has been used in several feature films, including Annapolis and The Breakup, plus numerous TV programs. He has also appeared in the TV drama The Dead Zone acting as himself in an episode.
Tessitore's broadcasting career began 1991 at KXAS-TV, an NBC affiliate in the Dallas–Fort Worth metroplex. In 1994 he briefly moved to WRGB (CBS) in Albany, New York before joining WFSB-TV (CBS) in Hartford, Connecticut in 1995. Tessitore took over the primary sports anchor role in 1997.
In February 2002 began calling boxing on ESPN as part of "Tuesday Night Fights" and "Friday Night Fights." In 2003 ESPN made Tessitore full-time, replacing Bob Papa on Friday Night Fights, plus college football and college basketball broadcasts. Tessitore had previously done local broadcasts of UConn Huskies football.
Tessitore graduated from the Carroll School of Management at Boston College with a degree in Marketing. For his college preparatory studies, Tessitore graduated from Christian Brothers Academy in Albany, NY.
Tessitore is a member of the National Italian-American Foundation. He is on the board of Directors for the Connecticut Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. Tessitore founded the annual Sportscasters' SuperBall for CF Research.
- Howell, John (May 21, 2003). "Tessitore Going To ESPN". Hartford Courant. Retrieved September 29, 2013.
- Amore, Don (April 25, 1997). "Tessitore Is On Scene 5 More Years". Hartford Courant. Retrieved September 29, 2013.