The following was originally published on cosida.com.
The class, which will be honored virtually this year, is comprised of three active CoSIDA members (former CoSIDA President Herb Vincent of the SEC, Mark Fleming of Moravian and John Kean of Missouri S&T), two selections from the veteran’s group (retired ESPN executive Rosa Gatti and Texas’ Chris Plonsky) and the late Chris Wenzler (formerly of John Carroll University).
The College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) will honor nearly 40 members, distinguished media and collegiate administrators with its 2021 Special Awards.
The Special Awards, announced throughout the week of Feb. 22-26, are presented for outstanding contributions to the organization. Those honors are usually presented at the in-person June convention, but CoSIDA’s 64th annual convention this June will be virtual, due to pandemic concerns.
The 2021 CoSIDA Hall of Fame class highlights the Special Awards. In addition to the Hall of Fame, other Special Awards recognize emerging leaders, community service, lifetime achievement, organization trailblazer, outstanding media contribution, and 25-Year service honors. They will be announced throughout the week.
CoSIDA is comprised intercollegiate athletic communications and media relations professionals from colleges, universities and athletic conferences at all divisions of competition in the United States and Canada.
“One of the proudest days, each year, for our profession is when CoSIDA announces its award winners,” stated CoSIDA President Sam Atkinson, Gallaudet University Associate AD/Communications. “On behalf of the CoSIDA Executive Board of Directors, we want to congratulate each and every one who were selected and will be honored in the coming months. They are all deserving of these awards, especially our accomplished and impressive Hall of Fame class.”
Highlighting the 2021 honorees are six new CoSIDA Hall of Fame inductees:
- Mark Fleming – Moravian College, Director of Athletic Communications
- Rosa Gatti – former ESPN Senior Vice President, Communications Counsel and Corporate Outreach (retired)
- John Kean – Missouri S&T, Sports Information Director
- Chris Plonsky – University of Texas, Executive Senior Associate Athletics Director/Chief of Staff
- Herb Vincent – Southeastern Conference, Associate Commissioner/past CoSIDA President
- Chris Wenzler – John Carroll, Assistant Athletic Director for Communications / Sports Information (deceased)
In March and April, feature stories on all Special Awards recipients will be posted on CoSIDA.com and on CoSIDA social channels. May is designated as CoSIDA (Video) Awards Month, when pre-recorded videos with the 2020 and 2021 Special Award winners will be showcased during that month (due to two years of virtual convention programming).
Each of these six CoSIDA Hall of Fame inductees will join their predecessors on the CoSIDA Hall of Fame plaques that are on permanent display at the NCAA Hall of Champions in Indianapolis.
Veterans Committee Hall of Fame inductees represent former sports information professionals of distinction from the past whose professional and personal deeds and accomplishments helped make possible the stature of the sports information profession today. The inaugural Veterans Committee selections were named on June 25, 2009 at the San Antonio Convention.
This year, Gatti and Plonsky are the two former SIDS selected as part of the Veteran’s Committee nominations.
“There is a reason we refer to these as ‘special’ awards,” noted CoSIDA Executive Director Doug Vance. “They are for some of really special people in our profession and its always a time of pride when we get to honor them. This is a week where we recognize achievement at the highest level throughout our profession and beyond. Congratulations to all of our recipients!”
Please refer to the schedule above for daily announcements of the 2021 CoSIDA Special Awards throughout the week of Feb. 22-26. (Note: The 2021 CoSIDA Academic All-America Hall of Fame Class and the 2021 Dick Enberg Award winner will be announced at a later date.)