Ryen Russillo (born August 5, 1975) is an American sports host who for many years hosted a popular radio show on ESPN.[1] Russillo left ESPN in 2019 to join The Ringer.[2]

Ryen Russillo
Russillo in 2024
Born (1975-08-05) August 5, 1975 (age 48)
Alma materUniversity of Vermont
Notable credit(s)The Ryen Russillo Show (2017)
Russillo and Kanell (2015–2017)
SVP & Russillo (2009–2015)
ESPN Radio College GameDay (2008–2014)
The NBA Today Podcast (2009–2012)

From 2009 to 2017, Russillo was a host or co-host of the afternoon show on ESPN Radio.[3] From 2009 until 2015, Russillo co-hosted with Scott Van Pelt on what was originally titled The Scott Van Pelt Show and later became SVP & Russillo. The show was also briefly known as The Russillo Show following Van Pelt's departure but before Kanell joined. During the time that Danny Kanell was with the show, from 2015 to 2017, it was known as Russillo and Kanell.

Early life and career beginnings edit

Russillo spent most of his childhood in Connecticut, before his family moved to West Tisbury, Massachusetts when he was a teenager.[4] He has four younger siblings, all of whom have also gone into "non-traditional" jobs, including a metalsmith/jewelry maker and a musician. Russillo has previously praised his parents for encouraging his, and his siblings', artistic exploration. He is a 1997 graduate of the University of Vermont, where he was a member of Sigma Alpha Epsilon and was also an intern at WCAX in Burlington.[5] He was a play-by-play man for the Trenton Thunder for six months.[5] Additionally, he spent a short amount of time living in Jamaica as a DJ, and spent several years working as a bartender while living in Boston.

Before moving to West Hartford, Connecticut in the late 2000s, Russillo lived in Boston, Massachusetts, where he hosted The Die Hards (mid-2003 to 2005) with co-hosts Anthony Pepe, Jon Anik, Kevin Winter, and Mike Winn while working for the Sporting News Radio affiliate WWZN.[6] (Winter and Winn left the show relatively early on.)

Russillo did pre-game and post-game commentary for the New England Patriots on WBCN. He was let go after, and possibly as a result of, a personal conflict with John Dennis of WEEI, who had left him a threatening voicemail.[6][7]

ESPN and other work edit

Russillo hosted NBA Sunday, The Baseball Show, and ESPN Radio College GameDay during the 2008 season on ESPN Radio. He was also a regular host for GameNight and a fill-in host for The Doug Gottlieb Show and All Night with Jason Smith.

Sports Illustrated's Richard Deitsch named him Best Radio Voice of 2007 for his work on ESPN Radio. He praised Russillo's "reasoned approach and knowledge across sports."[5]

He appeared regularly on several shows on Comcast Sportsnet New England, including New England Sports Tonight with Gary Tanguay and Greg Dickerson, and was also a studio analyst for the Boston Celtics' television coverage.

During the NBA season, Russillo was the host of ESPN's The NBA Today podcast, the network's #2 most downloaded podcast series.[8] Contrary to popular belief, in December 2012, this show was not cancelled to be swapped out with NBA Lockdown featuring former NBA player Bruce Bowen.

In September 2015, Russillo welcomed former NFL player Danny Kanell as the new co-host for his Russillo Show, after Scott Van Pelt's departure from ESPN Radio. Kanell was laid off from ESPN in April 2017, leaving Russillo as the sole host again, with multiple guest co-hosts occasionally joining him on the show.

On December 20, 2017, Russillo announced he was leaving his ESPN radio show to pursue other opportunities, with his final radio show taking place on December 22.[9] Since departing his show, he has continued to produce a podcast with ESPN and has also been appearing across several ESPN platforms including on television with Get Up!. In late August 2018 he re-signed with ESPN.[10]

In June 2019 Russillo re-united with old colleague Scott Van Pelt on the "SVP & Russillo" podcast.[11][12]

On August 5, 2019, Russillo announced on his Twitter account that he would be leaving ESPN at the end of August and would be joining The Ringer as a full-time media personality.[13]

Russillo currently hosts The Ryen Russillo Podcast.[14]

Personal life edit

Russillo is a 1993 graduate of Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School.[15]

On August 23, 2017, Russillo was arrested in Wyoming for criminal entry, reportedly while nude and intoxicated.[16] He was suspended by ESPN.[17]

References edit

  1. ^ "Ryen Russillo biography, net worth, salary, wife, married". bijog.com.
  2. ^ Traina, J. (2019, September 11). Ryen Russillo explains why he left ESPN for The Ringer. Sports Illustrated. Retrieved from https://www.si.com/extra-mustard/2019/09/11/ryen-russillo-explains-why-he-left-espn-ringer-bill-simmons-si-media-podcast
  3. ^ "Ryen Russillo News, Videos, Photos, and PodCasts - ESPN". Archived from the original on 2013-01-30. Retrieved 2013-01-25.
  4. ^ "Ryen Russillo". espnmediazone.com. Retrieved January 25, 2013.
  5. ^ a b c "RYEN RUSSILLO '97 - Talking Sports". The UVM Connection > Vermont Quarterly. Burlington, Vermont: University of Vermont. Summer 2010. Retrieved 2010-08-09.
  6. ^ a b Finn, Chad (October 30, 2009). "Tenacious Russillo finds his voice at ESPN". Boston Globe. Retrieved 2010-08-09.
  7. ^ "Barstool Sports: John Dennis Voicemail for Ryen Russillo". Barstool Sports. September 7, 2005. Retrieved 2010-08-09.
  8. ^ "The Hoop Collective Show - PodCenter - ESPN Radio". ESPN Radio.
  9. ^ Traina, Jimmy (December 20, 2017). "Ryen Russillo Leaving ESPN Radio". si.com. Retrieved January 24, 2018.
  10. ^ Bupp, Phillip (August 24, 2018). "Ryen Russillo sets his future announcing new ESPN deal and a new podcast with The Ringer". Awful Announcing.
  11. ^ Newsdesk, Laughing Place Disney (2019-05-30). "Former ESPN Radio Hosts Scott Van Pelt and Ryen Russillo to Reunite for New Podcast". LaughingPlace.com. Retrieved 2019-06-18.
  12. ^ "ESPN Audio Sets June 3rd Debut For Reunited 'SVP & Russillo' Show As Podcast". All Access. Retrieved 2019-06-18.
  13. ^ Russillo (2019-08-05). "So...the news is out. I'm headed to @ringer want to thank @espn for the last 14 years. I grew up on @SportsCenter and then to be on the actual set, my name on a show...have to remind myself at times how cool that is. Excited to try and limit Celts talk to 30mins w/ @BillSimmons". @ryenarussillo. Retrieved 2019-08-07.
  14. ^ "The Ryen Russillo Podcast - The Ringer". www.theringer.com. Retrieved 2022-09-23.
  15. ^ "Ryen Russillo of West Tisbury takes over ESPN mike". Martha’s Vineyard Times. 1 July 2015.
  16. ^ Bodner, Brett (23 August 2017). "ESPN Radio host Ryen Russillo arrested after police find him drunk and naked in stranger's condo: report". New York Daily News.
  17. ^ Robert Jonathan (August 28, 2017). "ESPN Radio host Ryen Russillo suspended after police find him drunk and naked in stranger's condo: report". Inquisitr.

External links edit