PHOENIX, Arizona, May 3. SWIMMING World is proud to announce its fourth annual Sports Information Director of the Year award. For the second year in a row, a pair of athletics communications professionals was so outstanding that the award is shared. Indiana's Melanie Schneider and Florida's Kelly Reynolds are the 2010 honorees of the award.
SIDs are the professionals who often make life so much easier for media members within the sporting community. This type of public relations professional is even more necessary in sports like swimming that don't get the usual amount of media attention that football, baseball or basketball do at the national level. The great SIDs are the ones that are always finding ways to make sure that their constituents get the credit they deserve.
With these concepts in mind, Swimming World considered not only how well SIDs facilitated our own media requests throughout the year but also how they expended incredible amounts of energy to promote their own programs in ways outside of Swimming World.
Over the past year, Schneider really took IU swimming and diving media relations to another level. Having fully embraced many of the new services and technologies available to sports information professionals, Schneider routinely had video interviews of her student-athletes and coaches available at IUHoosiers.com shortly after events. She also served as a photographer and reporter for the Hoosiers throughout the year. Schneider also enjoyed the chance of working directly with IU's first women's swimming NCAA titlist in Kate Fesenko.
Indiana head swimming coach Ray Looze:
Since arriving at Indiana, Melanie has quickly become an outstanding authority regarding elite level swimming. What really separates Mel from the rest is her work ethic. There have been many a night she has patiently waited until midnight to write an insightful article about our swimmers or team. This is truly an honor well deserved.
Indiana head diving coach Dr. Jeff Huber:
Melanie has done a great job for us. Besides always being professional and dependable, I have come to appreciate her responsiveness particularly to time-sensitive issues. She is someone I have come to rely on and trust and that I think is important for establishing a positive working relationship between an athletic program and the sports information department.
Indiana Assistant Athletics Director for Media Relations J.D. Campbell:
Melanie is outstanding at what she does, and very deserving of this recognition. She always goes the extra mile and brings professionalism to every task she is assigned.
The other winner of this year's award is Florida's Kelly Reynolds. She's definitely grown into her role with the Gators after taking over the team's public relations duties a year ago.
This year, Reynolds had what is likely one of the hardest situations to encounter as a sports information professional outside of a death or life-altering issue – unexpected success. No one picked the Florida Gators to win the 2010 NCAA Division I Women's Championship, and heading into the final day it looked to be a battle between Stanford and Georgia. Florida, however, had potentially the best final day in the history of the women's meet and pulled off the upset. Reynolds handled the unexpected rush of media requests with grace. One might expect that she would have been wiped out by the next week when the men's meet started. That was not the case, as Reynolds returned to work with the same level of grace and energy as the week before. This is a rare ability within the sports information field.
Florida head swimming coach Gregg Troy:
She has been outstanding for the past two years. Her commitment and true understanding of not only the sport but the athlete has been dynamic. Kelly has been tireless in making sure that the sport, program and the athletes are recognized. We need more like her involved with swimming. Kelly is very deserving of this award. Her efforts have been outstanding.
Florida head diving coach Donnie Craine:
Kelly is the best SID we have had in the last 10 years. She deals with all of the athletes and coaches like she has been here for the last 10 years not two.
Florida Assistant Athletics Director for Communications Fred Demarest:
This honor speaks volumes of the job that Kelly has done for the University of Florida, not just this year, but over the past two years. Her work ethic, organizational skills and creativity have helped drive coverage of UF swimming and diving to new heights and I'm extremely proud of her. She is truly worthy of this recognition.
Other SIDs were named honorable mention for the award based on their strong professional work.
Niall Adler (Stanford), Steven Colquitt (Georgia), Jerry Emig (Ohio State), Travis Feldhaus (Texas), Paul Goldberg (Southern California), Blake Grimsley (Arizona), Justin Kischefsky (Navy), Kendra Lee (Auburn), Doug Meffley (Northwestern), Catherine Palmer (Virginia), Derek Satterfield (Purdue), Zach Stipe (Tennessee).
National Governing Body Ranks:
Jamie Fabos Olsen (USA Swimming), Erin Greene (USA Swimming), Yana Ivanova (Swimming South Africa), Karen Linhart (USA Swimming), Jennifer Lowery (USA Diving), Greg Mescall (USA Water Polo), Taylor Payne (USA Synchro), Martin Richard (Swimming Canada), Lachlan Searle (Swimming Australia).
SID of the Year: Chris Harrell, Texas A&M; Justin Kischefsky, Navy
Matt Crouch (Auburn), Travis Feldhaus (Texas), Paul Goldberg (Southern California), Brad Marquardt (Texas A&M), Doug Meffley (Northwestern), Kelly Reynolds (Florida), Derek Satterfield (Purdue), Melanie Schneider (Indiana), Zach Stipe (Tennessee), Gary Thorne (Auburn).
National Governing Body Ranks:
Jamie Fabos Olsen (USA Swimming), Erin Greene (USA Swimming), Ian Hanson (Swimming Australia), Yana Ivanova (Swimming South Africa), Karen Linhart (USA Swimming), Jennifer Lowery (USA Diving), Greg Mescall (USA Water Polo), Taylor Payne (USA Synchro), Martin Richard (Swimming Canada), Cameron Schuh (NCAA).
Click here for 2009 announcement.
SID of the Year: Travis Feldhaus, Texas
Matt Crouch (Auburn), Paul Goldberg (Southern California), Chris Harrell (Texas A&M), Jeremiah Hergott (Michigan), Jeff Keiser (Minnesota), Justin Kischefsky (Navy), Kendra Lee (Ohio State), Chris Macaluso (Purdue), Doug Meffley (Northwestern), Jessica Raber (Washington), Casey Self (Tennessee), Jakob Skipper (William & Mary), Ryan Sosin (Michigan).
National Governing Body Ranks:
Jamie Fabos (USA Swimming), Erin Greene (USA Swimming), Ian Hanson (Swimming Australia), Yana Ivanova (Swimming South Africa), Karen Linhart (USA Swimming), Martin Richard (Swimming Canada).
Click here for 2008 announcement.
SID of the Year: Doug Meffley, Northwestern
Honorable Mention: Travis Feldhaus (Texas), Paul Goldberg (Southern California), Chris Harrell (Texas A&M), Jeff Keiser (Minnesota), Justin Kischefsky (Navy), Kristie Le (Atlantic Coast Conference), Jakob Skipper (William & Mary).
Click here for 2007 announcement.