Celebrity Drive: ESPN’s Mike Golic

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Quick Stats: Mike Golic ESPN host, “Golic and Wingo”
Daily Driver: 2017 Toyota 4Runner (Mike’s rating: 9 on a scale of 1 to 10)
Other cars: see below
Favorite road trip: Cleveland to South Euclid, Ohio
Car he learned to drive in: Oldsmobile Delta 88
First car bought: 1985 Chevy Camaro IROC Z28

Signing off after 18 years with ESPN’s iconic Mike and Mike, host Mike Golic is now on the same show as his son Mike Jr. in Golic and Wingo. The father-son duo also commute separately to work in 2017 Toyota 4Runner TRD Pros.

“It’s a cement color. There’s only supposed to be a few hundred of them. It’s pretty cool,” Golic says. “My son Jake, who found them for us, has the exact same car but in white, so all three of us have the exact same car.”

This isn’t Golic’s first foray with the 4Runner. He had one when he first started his football career, as well as a 2016 4Runner, though his previous vehicle before that was a Ford F-150 Raptor.

“I just didn’t really need it anymore” Golic says of the Raptor. “My wife and my son Jake are the car people, so I let them pick a car for me. Jake was hot on these new 4Runners. I had gotten a regular 2016 4Runner, Jake’s like, ‘They’ve got these new ones—there’s only a few of them made in that color.’ I said, ‘If you can find me one.’ Some dealerships were only getting one of them, so I traded my regular 4Runner for that. I’m past the ‘I need a lot of horsepower and pick up’ and all that, it’s just a really good, good-looking car. Reliable. It’s got enough bells and whistles on it to keep me happy.”

Golic gives his 4Runner a 9 on a scale of 10. “I love it. I don’t know if there’s a perfect car. I like it a lot, I really, really do,” he says. “The only thing is there’s no sunroof. I usually like a sunroof. I usually keep it open.”

Car he learned to drive in

Golic learned to drive in his dad’s Oldsmobile Delta 88 in Willowick, Ohio. Although he doesn’t remember the model year, it was earlier than 1977, the year he learned how to drive.

“My dad would take us out and teach us,” he says. “He always took us out when we were 15. Parking lot first, learned the in’s and out’s and on the street—completely illegal, but that’s how he rolled with teaching us. Back when I was doing this, you had to take classes, but he taught me to drive before I could take them.”

His dad’s example of teaching him to drive was passed on to Golic. “I remember him taking me out and driving the streets,” he says. “I didn’t get into an accident or anything. I certainly have a vivid memory of him teaching me. I did the same for my kids. I took them out before they were old enough to do the classes. He was definitely strict, any loosey goosy driving, hands 10 and 2—he taught me the right way to go about everything.”

It was easy to learn how to drive in the neighborhood where Golic grew up. “It was one of those where it was suburban streets, and then when he felt I was good enough to do it, then you start to go on the highway a little bit and gradually improve on things, but we weren’t driving in downtown New York or anything.” Golic says.

Golic’s dad sold the Delta 88 to a senior at his high school. “I remember going into the parking lot to school, and I saw it in there and it had a number 88 on the side of it spray painted and circled. My high school number was 88, and I knew the kid, and he was using it in demolition derbies,” he says. “That was pretty funny. It was my jersey number. That was cool.”

First car bought

When Golic got drafted to the NFL’s Houston Oilers, he bought a new 1985 Chevy Camaro IROC Z28. “The old T tops, like the sunroof, it was on the driver’s side and passenger side,” he says of his car.

Photo: Melissa Rawlins/ESPN

The IROC was a splurge car for Golic. “I never had my own car,” he says. “We took even the bus to high school and public transportation. The school bus to high school and after sports, the school buses weren’t running so we would take public transportation home. So I never had a car until I could afford to buy one and that was my rookie year. I was 21 and in the NFL, so it was a fast sports car. But it was fun. It was definitely a splurge, no doubt about it. I certainly dug it.”

Although Golic says his teammates had sports cars too, his IROC got stolen three times in Houston. Each time Golic’s IROC got stolen, the cops would find it. “It maybe had the tires off, it was never in a bad enough situation where I had to trash it, so I got it back,” he says. “The third time, I just said, ‘If you find it, if it’s towable or driveable, tow it to a dealership, I’m selling it.’ I was tired of it. I traded it in and got a light blue Wrangler. The Jeep was cool. I liked the Jeep. I knew it wasn’t a sports car, so it probably wouldn’t get stolen.”

Favorite road trip

“The drive that we did the most was from my house in Cleveland, Ohio, to Notre Dame,” Golic says. “It was a four and a half hour drive. My brother Bob was a freshman in 1975, and we drove to every home game his four years. My brother Greg went the year after Bob graduated, so we drove there more, and the year after that, I went to Notre Dame, so my parents went to all those home games. There was a lot of driving. That was the drive.”

Golic says it was good that his dad taught him to drive at an early age because it came in handy for one of the road trips in May of 1977 from Notre Dame back to their Cleveland home. He was 15 and his brother Greg, who was about to turn 17, took their parents car to Notre Dame to pick up their brother Bob at the end of the school year.

Photo: Joe Faraoni/ESPN

“We were going to get his stuff, throw it in the car, and drive back. It was the last night of school, so everybody went out and Bob and Greg over-indulged,” he says. “The next day we had to drive home, and they were in no condition to drive. I did not have my drivers license, but my dad had taught me to drive. Bob started driving home, and Greg was in back seat asleep or passed out, and I was in the passenger seat and Bob looked tired.”

It would be a four and a half hour drive, and they weren’t even 20 minutes into the drive when Golic had to take over. “I looked over at Bob and said, ‘You are way too tired, you got no sleep last night, do we just go back to school and wait?’ He said, ‘Why don’t you just drive? Dad taught you to drive.’ It was all highway, it was an easy drive. I got in the driver’s seat. I started to drive. Bob stayed awake as long as he could, which was 15 minutes, and he said, ‘Just stay on this road until you see a sign that says ‘Cleveland.’”

About four hours later they arrived safely home, with a 15-year-old Golic piloting their parent’s car. “It was all highway, and I woke him up and he jumped back in the driver’s seat and that was that,” Golic says.

ESPN’s “Golic and Wingo” launched Nov. 27

After 18 years of Mike and Mike, the two popular hosts Mike Golic and a former Celeb Drive Mike Greenberg went their separate ways at ESPN in November.  Golic’s new show is now Golic and Wingo, with Trey Wingo, and he’s also joined by his son Mike Jr.

“Trey does all the NFL shows for ESPN. We did shows together for a number of years,” Golic says. “It’s just different people, so there’ll be new personalities. It’s the same time slot. It’s morning radio, so we’ll have some morning radio fun, bits and things like that. It’ll be informative. There’ll be sports talk, social talk, like movies, fun stuff.”

This show marks a new chapter for Golic, who fans got to know on Mike and Mike over the years. “I’ve been doing one thing for 18 years, so just mixing it up a little bit and having a chance to working with my son is very, very cool,” Golic says. “It’s been a long time with one partner, so everything comes to an end. It’s an exciting new start to a new show with people that I know—Trey who I’ve worked with and my son who’s just getting into this business.”

Golic says the transition to this new show with Wingo was easy. “Having worked with Trey for many years made the launch of Golic and Wingo go that much smoother.  We’ve known each other for a long time, so sitting with him four hours a day has been fun as we continue to develop what we truly believe will be destination radio each morning. Throw in the opportunity to sit next to my son on the other side of me, and this show has been a true pleasure to develop.”

Golic and Wingo airs 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. EST on ESPN radio, as well as ESPN2, and SiriusXM channel 80.

Photo: Joe Faraoni/ESPN

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