190920_JCA_MariaTaylor

ESPN college sports analyst Maria Taylor gives an interview on Sept. 20, 2019 on Myers Quad in Athens, Georgia. Taylor is a University of Georgia alum. (Photo/Julian Alexander, jalexander@randb.com)

Maria Taylor, an ESPN reporter and University of Georgia alumna, will deliver the undergraduate commencement address on May 8 at 7 p.m. at Sanford Stadium, according to a UGA Today news release.

While at UGA, Taylor played NCAA volleyball and basketball, according to the release. She was named to the All-SEC volleyball team for three years and was a member of the USA A2 National Volleyball team.

Raised in Alpharetta, Taylor graduated from the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication with a degree in broadcast news in 2009, according to the release. Taylor is in her seventh season as an analyst, host and reporter for ESPN. In 2013, she returned to UGA to receive her master of business administration.

Before 2012, she worked for Learfield IMG College at UGA and appeared on the studio shows “Dawg Report,” “SEC Men’s Basketball Tonight” and “SportsNite,” the release said.

In 2013, she was the sideline reporter on ESPN2’s Saturday night prime-time college football telecast, according to the release. She was also an analyst on the NCAA Women’s Basketball Selection Show and the NCAA Women’s Basketball Preview Show, as well as on ESPN’s coverage of the NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament and Women’s Volleyball National Championship for the two years previous.

Taylor was the first African American female to co-host College GameDay Built by The Home Depot in 2017, the release said. She reported from the sideline of the 2018, 2019 and 2020 College Football Playoff and National Championship games for ABC’s “Saturday Night Football.”

Taylor is also the co-founder of Winning Edge Leadership Academy, a nonprofit that improves networking opportunities for women and people of color who want careers in the sports industry, the release said.

Tickets are not required for the commencement ceremony. UGA’s Clear Bag Policy will be in effect, according to the release.

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