This award is presented by the USBWA in memory of Katha Quinn, sports
information director at St. John's University who died of cancer. It is
given to recognize those in college basketball who have rendered a special
service to the USBWA and sportswriters who cover college basketball.
2011: Oliver Pierce,
Oliver Pierce, in his 23rd year as assistant athletics director and
sports information director for Gonzaga University, has been named
winner of the U.S. Basketball Writers Association's Katha Quinn Award
for outstanding service to the media.
Gonzaga's growth into a major national program in men's basketball has
led directly to expanded media interest, regular national television
appearances and dramatically increased demands upon Pierce and the
Gonzaga sports information office. In addition to handling media
relations during Gonzaga's current run of 12 straight NCAA men's
basketball tournament appearances, Pierce directed the media campaign
that led to Adam Morrison sharing the USBWA Oscar Robertson Trophy with
Duke's J.J. Redick as national player of the year in 2006.
2010: Chris Fallon,
National Invitiation Tournament
Chris Fallon is the media coordinator for the National Invitation
Tournament, for the last 30 postseason events and every one of the 25
preseason editions. She has run the press room for the Garden for its
college basketball games during that time. That means she has seen the
best of teams in November as the NIT Season Tip-Off has become one of
the best early season tournaments, the gamut of college teams from the
top of the polls to Division III matchups during the regular season, the
always sold-out and power-packed Big East Conference tournament and the
best of the rest in the NIT.
2009: John Paquette, Big East
|John Paquette receives the 2009 Katha Quinn
Award from Jim O'Connell. Big East commissioner Mike Tranghese joined
When Mike Tranghese became the Big East commissioner in 1990, his first
hire was John Paquette. They had so much in common, it was a natural. They
understood the role of the media. They wanted to make it as easy as possible
for us to do our jobs. And they knew Katha Quinn. It was 1989 when Katha,
the beloved St. John's sports-information director, died of cancer. Paquette
could not attend the funeral because he was out west attending to the media
needs during Seton Hall's run to the national-title game. It was 2001 when
the USBWA honored Tranghese with our Katha Quinn Award. The winner is defined
as somebody who, like Katha herself, "has either excelled at servicing the
media or provides an inspiration to those in the sports journalism profession."
Tranghese and Paquette now have one more thing in common. They are Katha
Quinn Award winners. In Tranghese's final year as commissioner, we honor
the man he brought with him when he got the job.
2008: Josh Krulewitz and Mike
|Andy Katz presents the 2008 Katha Quinn Award
to Mike Soltys and Josh Krulewitz of ESPN.
Mike Soltys and Josh Krulewitz have played major roles at ESPN during their
respective careers, working with the media and promoting men's and women's
college basketball on the ESPN family of networks. Soltys serves as Vice
President, U.S. Network Communications, responsible for strategic planning
for publicity for ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN Classic, ESPNEWS, ESPNU and ESPN on
ABC. Krulewitz serves as Vice President, Public Relations for College, News
and Networks Information. He oversees publicity efforts for college sports,
ESPNU, SportsCenter, ESPN Radio and ESPNEWS network and is one of ESPN's
primary contacts with the media for men's and women's college basketball
and for numerous public issues ESPN faces on a wide range of sports and
2007: Joe Mitch
Joe Mitch has been the USBWA's Executive Director since 1983. Under Mitch's
watch, the USBWA has, among other things, grown from 200 members to over
800, started a Hall of Fame, and initiated a sportswriting seminar at the
Final Four. He has overseen an increase in membership benefits, added the
USBWA Player of Year and Coach of Year events at the men's Final Four and
developed a new and improved relationship with the NCAA. Mitch began his
association with the USBWA as editor of The Tipoff in 1980 and was named
executive director 1983.
2006: Wayne Duke
As Walter Byers' assistant at the NCAA, Duke was assigned the task to write
the USBWA constitution and spearhead efforts to organize an association
of sports writers to promote college basketball. Duke was voted into the
USBWA's Hall of Fame as a charter member in 1988.
2005: Steve Kirschner
North Carolina sports information director since 2000 who is widely known
for his efforts to help the media cover one of the highest profile college
basketball programs in the country, particularly the hiring of Roy Williams
as head coach and the handling of Dean Smith's retirement.
2004: Jim Marchiony
Worked at the NCAA national office in various communications roles dealing
with television and media relations for over 17 years, including the last
five as media coordinator for the NCAA tournaments. Now an associate athletics
director at Kansas after serving in a similar capacity at Connecticut.
2003: Jack Watkins
Assistant commissioner at the Missouri Valley Conference who persevered
with his duties servicing the media while dealing with the lifelong illness
and death at age 6 of daughter Kate.
2002: Mark Asher
Noted sports writer for the Washington Post who continued to cover major
sporting events while battling serious health problems for close to 20 years,
many stemming from diabetes and kidney and pancreas transplants.
2001: Mike Tranghese
A former sports information director at Providence College who worked his
way up the ranks from league PR director to commissioner of the Big East
Conference and chair of the NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Committee.
Always has been regarded as a friend of the media as a college athletics
2000: Tim Tolokan
Sports information director at Connecticut for over 20 years and a favorite
among the media covering the Huskies. "A lot of places, when you call the
SID office, you almost hope that you get the voice mail," said AP basketball
editor Jim O'Connell. "But at Connecticut, you're hoping you get to talk
1999: Bill Hancock
Director of the NCAA Division I men's basketball tournament and former assistant
commissioner and service bureau director of the Big Eight Conference. Hancock
started his career as assistant SID at Oklahoma and later spent four years
working with his brother on a family-owned daily newspaper before joining
the Big Eight. He has been with the NCAA since 1989, overseeing all aspects
of the NCAA tournament, including the Final Four.
1998: Al Shrier
Longtime sports information director at Temple University retired in 1995
after 42 years in sports information at Temple. He received numerous honors
from CoSIDA for his brochures and media guides.
1997: Craig Miller and Amy Early
USA Basketball publicists, who, through tireless efforts, assisted many
basketball writers in their coverage of the "Dream Team" in the 1996 Olympic
Games in Atlanta.
1996: Rick Brewer
Former sports information director at North Carolina. His easy-going, yet
professional, style made the business of covering Tar Heels' basketball
much easier than it might have been.
1995: George Raveling
Former head coach at Washington State, Iowa and USC was an accessible and
thoughtful individual in his dealings with the media during his career.
1994: Marvin "Swede" Johnson
Vice president of corporate affairs at Coors Brewing Co. and person responsible
for Coors' continued involvement and sponsorship of the Most Courageous
Award. Johnson initiated the idea of producing a video of the most courageous
recipient for the USBWA's annual awards brunch at the NCAA Final Four.
1993: Roger Valdiserri
Sports information director for many years at Notre Dame and a man who,
in the view of many, was the best ever in his business. His skill at assisting
writers who were assigned to cover Notre Dame and ability to make the task
much easier is legendary.
1992: Tom Frericks
Former athletic director at Dayton and also chairman of the NCAA's Division
I Basketball Committee who was especially attentive to the needs of writers.
1991: Marvin "Skeeter" Francis
Longtime service bureau director for the Atlantic Coast Conference.
1988: Katha Quinn
Sports information director at St. John's University.