Haygood grew up in San Antonio, Texas. He earned a bachelor's degree in journalism and broadcasting technology at Southwest Texas State University in San Marcos in 1986. He began his career as a reporter and weekend anchor at KMID in Midland, Texas, then was hired as sports director for a station in Lubbock, Texas.
Haygood moved to Alabama to take a job with WHOA-TV in Montgomery. He was brought on board at WBRC in 1994.
In 2020 Haygood announced that he had been diagnosed with Crohn's disease and prostate cancer.
- Haygood, Sheldon (February 19, 2020) "'I am going to beat this’: WBRC reporter Sheldon Haygood announces he has prostate cancer" WBRC.com