Molly Qerim knows her sports.
The moderator for ESPN’s First Take has previously worked for the NFL Network as the host of the station’s NFL a.m. and NFL Fantasy Live shows as well as a reporter and anchor on the CBS Sports Network and Fox Sports 1.
Here’s what you need to know about Qerim’s background and prolific TV career:
1. She’s From the Same Home Town as Brian Leetch, Brad Ausmus & James Van Der Beek
Qerim grew up in Cheshire, Connecticut, a New Haven suburb known in part for producing high-profile sports figures. The town also produced hockey Hall of Famer Brian Leetch and Detroit Tigers manager and former big league catcher Brad Ausmus.
Cheshire is on the border of Boston sports territory and New York sports territory, and Qerim told fans in an ESPN Sports Nation chat that she splits her sports loyalties between the two cities, rooting for the Yankees, Giants and Celtics.
2. She Went to UConn & Has a Master’s From Quinnipiac University
Qerim has degrees form two different Connecticut universities: A bachelor’s in communications from UConn with a minor in business administration, and a master’s from Quinnipiac University in Hamden.
She said in the ESPN chat that she counts UConn basketball and football among her favorite teams. She’s had plenty to cheer about there on the basketball front, the Huskies having national championships in men’s and women’s hoops in 2014. Not so much on the football front, where the Huskies fired the aforementioned Pasqualoni last year and are attempting to re-build under Bob Diaco.
3. She’s a ‘Female Pioneer’ in UFC Broadcasting
Qerim’s NFL Network bio describes her as a “female pioneer in the UFC broadcast industry” who’s covered the sport since 2007 for ESPN and VERSUS, including a stint as the host of UFC Live on ESPN. Watch a clip from the show in the video above.
She’s also co-hosted the MMA Awards show since 2007.
4. She Won an Emmy While at ESPN
Qerim began her career as a reporter and anchor for CBS Sports Network where she covered everything from college football to National Signing Day, the NCAA Tournament and the U.S. Open. While at the network she also hosted a variety of college-focused shows, including SEC Tailgate Show, Full Court Press and Bracket Breakdown.
It was at ESPN, however, that Qerim’s career truly took off.
In addition to her UFC duties, she co-hosted College Football Live and Fantasy Football Now and ESPNU’s Campus Countdown. She won an Emmy for her work on Fantasy Football Now.
After her stint at NFL Network, Qerim returned to ESPN in July 2015 as the host of First Take, replacing Cari Champion who left the show to become an anchor on SportsCenter.
5. She’s Been Named One of the ’10 Most Beautiful’ & ’20 Sexiest’ Sports Reporters
Querim frequently appears on lists of the most beautiful sportscasters. In 2012, Bleacher Report ranked her No. 14 on its list of the “20 sexiest sports reporters of the year.”
In 2011, therichest.com ranked her seventh on its list of the “10 most beautiful female sports reporters.”