Mike Golic Jr. isn’t afraid of a family shadow.
If he was, the 300-pound offensive lineman wouldn’t have chosen to play football at Notre Dame — just like his dad. He wouldn’t have tried his hand in the NFL, either.
He certainly wouldn’t be embracing the next branch of the family business, set to debut a show on ESPN Radio on Jan. 30.
From the outside, it’d be easy to note that his father, Mike Golic Sr., also played at Notre Dame, where he was a defensive end from 1981 to 1984 and a team captain in his final season. That he also played professionally. That he also made the jump to ESPN Radio, where Mike & Mike has been a staple for nearly two decades.
It’d be easy to see all that and wonder, what did Mike Golic Jr. ever earn? How far has a famous first and last name carried him?
Golic Jr. is no stranger to that perception, nor is he intimidated by the challenge to prove people wrong.
“That’s something I’ve had to deal with my whole life, because of the career path I put myself on from an early age,” Golic Jr. said. “When I got to Notre Dame, you heard a lot of those things. When you’re trying to play pro ball after that you hear a lot of those things. There will always be those people, no matter what I wanted to do, that will say I got something because of my last name.
“When it comes to the radio gig, certainly the opportunity was there for me in large part because of my last name and who I’m affiliated with. But as I’ve said time and time again, like football, this is a performance-based industry. When you’re put in a position to be on air, if you don’t get in there and know what you’re doing and figure it out quickly, you won’t be doing it for very long.”
Of course, the common path treaded by one Golic and the next is far from a coincidence. Mike Golic Sr. set a lofty example, a bar his eldest son has reached for ever since.
“Everyone grows up with heroes, and he was always mine,” Golic Jr. said of his father. “From the time I was young, there were so many things about him that I wanted to emulate. It was just sort of that natural pull. ‘All right, this is what turned him into the man that he is. These things can help me do the same.’ That was part of the drive.
“Him and my mom met at Notre Dame, so wanting to go out there, that was something unique and special that I’ve really grown up around, and really was brainwashed since birth to be honest. I was never pressured into anything, but those were the things I gravitated towards, because these were the things that made (my parents) become the people they are.”
Rothenberg, Wallace & Golic Jr. will launch on Sat., Jan. 30, where the show also featuring ESPN NBA reporter Mike Wallace and ESPN New York’s Dave Rothenberg will fill the 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. time slot on ESPN Radio. This comes after Golic Jr. stuck his foot in the door throughout the 2015 football season, co-hosting ESPN Radio’s Fantasy Focus on Sunday mornings.
As for the style he’ll bring to the show, Golic Jr. doesn’t promise hot takes or trending topics. Instead, he’ll follow his father’s advice (and example):
Be authentic. Be transparent. Be uniquely, unapologetically yourself.
To read more visit the Notre Dame Insider where this article was originally published