MARCO ISLAND, Fla. -- Chances are Dan McDonald did not enter sports information because of the money. Undoubtedly, he made a difference.
In 26 years as an SID, McDonald did more than just perform all the necessary functions in the most professional and productive manner. He taught those who worked with him and â€“ more importantly â€“ inspired them to go forward and become industry difference makers in their own right.
Itâ€™s in large part because of those people that McDonald will be honored with the highest award that the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) bestows this Tuesday night. He will be inducted into the CoSIDA Hall of Fame during the Hall of Fame Induction Gala at the Marriott Beach Resort in Marco Island, Fla., site of this yearâ€™s annual CoSIDA convention.
Hall of Fame honors go to SIDâ€™s who have made outstanding contributions in the field of college sports information, and only members of the CoSIDA Hall of Fame vote on new inductees.
Even before he was named a 2011 CoSIDA Hall of Fame inductee, McDonaldâ€™s legacy was assured through the legion of his former assistants and students who are currently prominent figures in all levels of college athletics and beyond.
Those who benefited first hand from McDonaldâ€™s passion and compassion include: Herb Vincent, the Associate Vice Chancellor for University Relations and Senior Associate Athletic Director at LSU; Doug Ireland, the Sports Information Director at Northwestern State (La.) and Chairman of the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame; Pat Murphy the head softball coach at the University of Alabama; and Joe Lynch, the Executive Director of Alumni Relations at Gettysburg College (Pa.).
There are so many others. It is a group as broad and diverse as McDonaldâ€™s own talents, which were apparent at an early age and which have been recognized repeatedly throughout his professional life.
As a student at Northwestern State, he was the student assistant SID under Pesky Hill, spent two years on the campus newspaper and was part of the group that founded the schoolâ€™s first radio station, KNSU, in 1974. All the while he relentlessly pursued his degree, which he earned in three years.
After one year in the newspaper industry, Northwestern State hired him â€“ at 22 years old â€“ to be the head SID of its Division I athletics department. After four years, he went to then-Southwestern Louisiana (now Louisiana-Lafayette), where he spent the next 19 years.
He won numerous CoSIDA awards for writing and media guides and served two years on the CoSIDA Board of Directors. He enhanced his profile during that time as a member of the U.S. Olympic Committee media relations staff for two Olympic Games (Seoul, 1988 and Atlanta, 1996) and six U.S. Olympic Festivals. He also served two years as president, after a two-year term as vice president, of the Louisiana Sports Writers Association and remains a member of that groupâ€™s Executive Committee and Hall of Fame Committee.
He left USL to become senior sports writer at the Lafayette Daily Advertiser and over the next nine years won 31 writing awards from the Louisiana Sports Writers Association, including three â€˜Writer of the Yearâ€™ awards in a five-year span.
Today he serves as vice president of McD Media, Inc., a marketing and public relations firm in Lafayette founded by his wife, Mary Beth. They have a daughter, Kristi, son-in-law Mike and three grandchildren.
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