Bagnato, Pflipsen Take Next Step

Andy Bagnato and Kristen Pflipsen, long-time FWAA members, have formed Bagnato Pflipsen Communications LLC, a full-service communications consulting firm in the Phoenix area.

“After writing the successful bid for Arizona’s 2016 College Football National Championship Game last fall, we both felt a sense of closure,” they wrote in a press release. “We had seen the Fiesta Bowl organization through its crisis and needed a new challenge. As the Fiesta Bowl went through its reorganization, the timing could not have been better.”

The Phoenix Final Four, an attempt to land an NCAA men’s national basketball semifinals, was their first client.

“Working on the Phoenix Final Four bid has given us an opportunity to expand our reach and work within both the sports and tourism industries,” they wrote. “Although there is always uncertainty starting a new business, we have been energized by working on a variety of projects.  Our website,, will launch soon.”

More Comings and Goings

Arnie Sgalio of  ESPN and ERT  has retired after 19 years. … Christopher Walsh is now a beat writer/columnist for Saturdays Down South. … Stewart Mandel has moved from Sports Illustrated to … Tony Barnhart has switched from CBS Sports to the SEC Network. … Gina Mizzel has traveled from The Daily Oklahoman all the way to Oregon to cover Oregon State for the Oregonian. … Ryan Autullo has moved from the Toledo Blade to the Austin American-Statesman. … Mat Kanan has left his SID position at Western Michigan to become Director of Communications for Athletic Development at Oregon State. … Lindsay Schnell, the former Oregon State football beat writer for The Oregonian, is now a college football writer for Sports Illustrated. … Brian Hamilton, formerly of the Chicago Tribune, now has a college basketball writing position with Sports Illustrated. … Mark Blaudschun has joined the ranks of Bleacher Report as a national college football writer. … Ashley Braun has left the Fiesta Bowl for a job in the Colorado Sports Information Office. … Chris Yandle is the new football SID at Georgia Tech…Zanna Ollove is the new football SID at Boston College. … Cathy Bongiovi is the new football SID at Akron. … Eddie Morelos is the new football SID at New Mexico State. … Austin Meek has left the Topeka Capital-Journal to cover Oregon for the Eugene Register-Guard. … Ryan Thorburn now also covers Oregon for the Eugene Register-Guard. … Steve Kornacki is now writing for He’s the first feature writer for the University of Michigan Athletic Department.

FWAA Donations

Donations to the Susan Reed McGonigal Tree and Bench Memorial Fund have reached the goal of $25,000. Notre Dame officials will decide where to place Susan’s bench and tree in the near future. The FWAA contributed to the fund for Susan, who was a great friend of the media. She handled media credentials for Notre Dame football before passing away in March, 2013. …The FWAA also has made a contribution to the Richard Durrett Family Fund.  Durrett, 38, an FWAA member who worked for ESPN Dallas , suddenly passed last June of a brain aneurysm, leaving behind a pregnant wife and two children.