Celebrating the girls of the game
#WomenInNFL

Meet Gayle Sierens: First woman to call play-by-play for an NFL game

As part of our #WomenInNFL blog series, we showcase the incredible females who led the way for women in the league, and this week I’d like you to meet Gayle Sierens.

Who is Gayle Sierens?

Gayle Sierens was an American broadcast journalist and television news anchor on WFLA-TV. Her career started when she joined the Tampa NBC affiliate in 1977 as a weekend sports anchor and reporter after working with WFSU in Tallahassee while she was attending Florida State University.

Gayle became the first female sportscaster in the Bay Area. She always got the big story and interviewed the top professional sports players despite being a woman.

How it all started?

In 1987, through a short stint with NBC Sports, Gayle became the first woman to do play-by-play for an NFL regular season football game when she called the December 27 game between the Seattle Seahawks and the Kansas City Chiefs. She was originally to be a regular play-by-play announcer for the season, but a contract dispute with WFLA prevented her from continuing in that role beyond her lone game.

What is she up to now?

Well, Gayle retired from the channel in 2015 after having spent 38 years in the broadcast journalism industry. However, she still keeps busy, and is now on the board of directors for Village Partners International, an advisory board for the Boys’ and Girls’ Clubs of Greater Tampa, serves as chairperson for the Big Brothers/Big Sister’s annual “Bowl for Kids’ Sake” fundraiser, and is a member of the board of directors of the Judeo-Christian Health Clinic.

Photo credit: Dirk Shadd, The Times.

Article written by:

Liz has covered the NFL for five seasons, and currently serves as Managing Editor for Ninety-Nine Yards and for her own website, NFLGirlUK.com. Since launching the website in 2014, she has made regular appearances on the TalkSport2 ‘All American Sports Show’ with Nat Coombs and in 2016 was ranked No.37 (of 400+) in the “Super Bowl: Top 50 UK Influencers” by marketing software producers Analytica for “igniting conversations” between fans.

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