PHOENIX, Arizona, April 4. NOT many people in the general population of the sports community truly understand the integral part that media relations contacts and sports information directors (SIDs) play in sports coverage. Swimming World Magazine, however, wishes to change that at least within the swimming community as we introduce the inaugural Swimming World Magazine SID of the Year award. Northwestern's Doug Meffley garnered our initial award by being the quintessential swimming and diving SID.
SIDs are those people that are assigned within each university to interact with any media requests for their respective sports. They tirelessly research small nuggets of information, produce top-flight press releases about anything and everything for their sports and set up interviews with their teams' student-athletes, among a variety of other behind-the-scenes event management and administrative duties.
With this in mind, the staff at Swimming World Magazine took into consideration how quickly different SIDs worked with our numerous requests for interviews and images as well as how well they each promoted their own institutions.
This past year, Meffley stood head-and-shoulders above the rest as he routinely took care of our requests as Mike Alexandrov and Matt Grevers put together special dual-meet seasons throughout the year as well as ended the season with great efforts at the NCAA Championships. Meffley also went above-and-beyond by volunteering his time and effort to help produce our NCAA Championship Resource Packets.
All sports information offices also have students they rely heavily on to help with the workload, and Meffley credits Northwestern senior Eric Dyrdahl for a lot of what he has been able to do. Over the last four years, Dyrdahl has assisted in running meets and writing recaps, bios and features for NU swimming, while also representing Northwestern on-site at the last two NCAA Championships held in Minnesota.
Other SIDs that earned honorable mention for the award based on their incredible efforts on behalf of their respective swimming and diving teams were: Travis Feldhaus (Texas), Paul Goldberg (Southern California), Chris Harrell (Texas A&M), Jeff Keiser (Minnesota), Justin Kischefsky (Navy), Kristie Le (Atlantic Coast Conference) and Jakob Skipper (William & Mary).
We will also be awarding a Media Guide of the Year and Media Guide Cover of the Year awards in future releases.