How And When Did Michael Irvin Hang His Cleats And Who Is His Wife?

Just as other retired sportsmen like Michael Strahan, Shaquille O’Neal, and Dwayne Johnson managed, Michael Irvin proceeded to pursue a career in show business after hanging up his cleats. The three-time Super Bowl champion, who was nicknamed The Playmaker due to his ability to come up with big plays in the most important games of his career, first moved to become a sports commentator before proceeding to try his hands in acting.

Thanks to his achievements on the field of play, Irvin certainly needs no introduction, however, there are still interesting tidbits about the Hall of Famer that aren’t as well known to the public.

How Michael Irvin Launched His Career

Michael Irvin first attended Piper High School in Sunrise, Florida before transferring to St. Thomas Aquinas High School where he became a football star. As a young athlete, his raw talent was something of a marvel. This was evident for everyone to see in his senior year as he helped his team go the entire season undefeated on their way to win the state championship.

Michael Irvin

As a result of this, Irvin unsurprisingly attracted a lot of attention for his extraordinary athletic abilities. He ended up agreeing to attend the University of Miami to play for the Miami Hurricanes who were one of the most prestigious college football programs in the country.

During his time at the University of Miami, Michael Irvin set university records for most career catches, receiving yards, and touchdown receptions. He then went on to win the 1987 National Championship before making himself available for the 1988 NFL Draft. Irvin was subsequently drafted by the Dallas Cowboys as the 11th pick in the first round of the draft.

Achievements as a Professional Footballer

As a member of the Dallas Cowboys, Michael Irvin became the first rookie receiver in team history to start a season opener in twenty years. He scored his first professional touchdown in his debut game. His talent was, however, not enough for him to turn the misfortunes of the team around in his first two years as a pro.

Nevertheless, things started to improve in 1990 with the addition of other talents. The Cowboys finished that season with a 7-9 record before posting an impressive 11-5 record in 1991. Irvin was considered a major reason for their success that season as the team made the playoffs with Irvin himself finishing with 93 receptions, 1523 receiving yards, and 8 touchdowns while setting a franchise record of seven 100-yard games.

Michael Irvin made the All-Pro team in 1991 and was selected to the first of five consecutive Pro Bowls. After 1991, the Cowboys upward trend continued with Irvin recording 1000-yard seasons in all but one year between 1991 to 1998. In that time, he was a key part of many of the team’s successes, including being one of the main reasons they went on to win Super Bowl XXVIII and Super Bowl XXX. The famed American footballer went on to win a total of three Super Bowls with the Dallas Cowboys before calling time on his career. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame on August 4, 2007.

The Circumstances Surrounding His Retirement

Michael Irvin’s retirement from the game he loved so much was unplanned and certainly caught him off guard. After recovering from a previous collarbone injury, the wide receiver went on to have two very successful seasons in 1997 and 1998. Sadly, during the fifth game of the 1999 season, which was against the Philadelphia Eagles, he sustained a cervical spinal cord injury that required him to hang up his cleats.

Since his retirement, Irvin has worked as a broadcaster for ESPN’s Sunday NFL Countdown. He has also worked as an analyst for the NFL Network. He has further moved on to have a career in the entertainment industry. As an actor, he appeared opposite Adam Sandler and Chris Rock in 2005’s The Longest Yard as well as in the 2011 comedy film, Jack and Jill. He has then served as the host of 4th and Long, a football-themed reality series on Spike TV.

Details of His Marital Life

Sandy Harrell and Michael Irvin
Sandy Harrell and Michael Irvin: Image Source

Michael Irvin has been married to his wife Sandy Harrell for almost three decades. The couple has remained together all through the years despite Irvin having faced a number of run-ins with the law. This includes multiple sexual assault allegations that were either later proven to be untrue or settled out of court.

The couple tied the knot on June 23rd, 1990 and have three children together; a daughter named Chelsea and two sons named Michael Jr. and Elijah. Irvin’s wife is also a stepmother to Michael’s daughter Myesha Beyonca from his relationship with a former girlfriend named Felicia Walker.

Obianuju Okafor
Obianuju Okafor
With over 4 years of experience as a lifestyle and celebrity news content developer, Obianuju keeps her insights fresh by following up on the latest pop culture news and trends. When she's not working, she's likely still reading or watching the most interesting stuff online


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