PORTSMOUTH, VA – FWAA member Jack Bogaczyk, an award-winning sports reporter and columnist in Roanoke, has been named to the Virginia Sports Hall of Fame
Bogaczyk spent 28 years in the sports media business in Roanoke, nearly 27 of those in the newspaper business, first at The World-News and then The Roanoke Times after the merger of the two daily papers. At the Roanoke newspaper, Bogaczyk was a beat reporter, general assignment reporter, senior writer and lead columnist. He also wrote the newspaper’s Sports TV/Radio column for 19 years — one of the first in the nation to do that on a weekly basis. Bogaczyk won 13 national writing awards and 35 state honors in a daily newspaper career that started in 1966 while he was in high school.
While in Roanoke, Bogaczyk’s work focused mostly on major college athletics, and he was the beat reporter covering Virginia Military Institute and then Virginia Tech in a period from 1979 to 1988. His award-winning, 35-part series on Hokies athletics in 1985 contributed to administrative and culture changes in the Tech program.
That same year, he won the Virginia Horse Council’s media award for a series on the equine business in the Commonwealth. In his career, Bogaczyk covered the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, the Super Bowl, the World Series, multiple Daytona 500s, 11 NCAA Final Fours, 28 NCAA basketball tournaments and 15 different college bowl games (31 total). The conference basketball tournaments he has covered include the ACC, Big East, Metro, Colonial, Southern, Atlantic 10, Big South, ODAC and WVIAC.
- Beth Anders, a former field hockey coach who spent 30 years at Old Dominion University and led them to 28 NCAA tournament appearances.
- Dre Bly, a three-time All-American football player at the University of North Carolina, Super Bowl XXXIV Champion and a two-time Pro Bowl selection.
- Bimbo Coles, a former Virginia Tech basketball standout who enjoyed a 14-year NBA career.
- Kim Hamilton Anthony, a former gymnast on the U.S. National Team, who was a six-time All-America selection at UCLA.
- Claudio Reyna, a three-time All-American soccer player at the University of Virginia and captain of the U.S. National Team.
- C.J. Woollum, a former Director of Athletics at Christopher Newport University and basketball coach who transformed CNU into a Division III powerhouse.
The 46th Annual Induction Banquet will take place on Saturday, April 29 at the Renaissance Portsmouth-Norfolk Waterfront Hotel in Portsmouth as the headline event of Hall of Fame weekend. Tickets are now on sale. For more information, call (757) 393-8031 or visit www.vshfm.com.
About the Virginia Sports Hall of Fame & Museum:
Since 1972, the Virginia Sports Hall of Fame & Museum has been proud to honor Virginia’s contributions to the world of sports. The Virginia Sports Hall of Fame & Museum is the Commonwealth’s official hall of fame, and one of only 16 throughout the nation. Their mission is to honor athletic excellence and serve as a nonprofit educational resource centered on health, math, science and character development programs, while inspiring visitors through sports history and interactive entertainment.
Edwin Pope, who covered South Florida sports for decades as a columnist for the Miami Herald and was named winner of the FWAA’s prestigious Bert McGrane Award in 2001, died Thursday in Okeechobee, Fla. He was 88.
By Malcolm Moran | @malcolm_moran
The stories usually had to do with work. Of course they did. For Steve Ellis seemed to be in a perpetual state of work.
He documented the dramatic rise of the Florida State Seminoles for the Tallahassee Democrat, not just with distinction, but with a relentless attention to detail that was rarely seen in the pre-digital, 24/7 era. Now that I think about it, Steve Ellis may have invented 24/7 college football coverage. If not, he may have come very close to perfecting it.
Don’t think so? His friend Mark Anderson, now of the Las Vegas Review-Journal, recalled Monday morning that Ellis spent part of his honeymoon finishing and filing a Florida State notebook.
“I don’t recommend that, by the way,” Anderson said, and there was a room full of laughter.
If only his friend could have shared in that laughter.
Ellis died more than seven years ago, at the age of 54, after suffering a heart attack. Another work story: Even as Ellis was in the hospital, he was reporting a story about former Florida State defensive coordinator Mickey Andrews.
On Monday, for the first time, the Football Writers Association of America annual award for outstanding beat reporting was named for Ellis. When the 76-year-old organization approaches its centennial season, regardless of what the sports journalism industry looks like then, another generation of talented, committed young reporters will learn about someone whose work stopped appearing much too soon.
“He did what he did because he loved it so much,” his wife, Karen Ellis, said.
His arrival on the Florida State beat became an abrupt, and sometimes confrontational, transition in a place that had once been known for much more supportive, forgiving coverage. Former Seminole coach Bobby Bowden, unaccustomed to this new type of scrutiny and urgency, was heard to say, “Dadgumit!” more than a few times. But Bowden, to his credit, came to understand that the popularity of college football was entering a new era of unprecedented exposure, and the scrutiny was just part of the deal.
My admiration extends beyond Ellis’ professional commitment and the quality of his work. There is this odd, often-awkward mating dance that takes place when a high-profile college football team attracts nationwide attention. National reporters parachute in, searching for instant insight and understanding that can help them produce stories that justify the expense of the trip. Local reporters, wary of an outsider that might come across valuable information and agitate the boss, can become protective of their turf.
As a competitor, the thought of Steve Ellis on Twitter makes my head hurt.
I became a regular in Tallahassee as The New York Times grew more interested in the Seminoles. For a long while, the Florida State-Miami game was the first one I would circle on my autumn calendar. Years before the high energy of the digital era, the week-long buildup to the No. 1 vs. No. 2 Florida State-Notre Dame game at South Bend in 1993 remains as electric as any matchup in the modern era.
With all that going on, although Ellis was as competitive as anyone in the press box, he was always willing to volunteer just enough information to allow an outsider to think he or she actually knew what was going on. He was a consultant for distant reporters. He was a mentor for students. “He was honest with them,” Karen Ellis said. “He said, ‘It’s a tough job. You’re not going to make a lot of money, but if you love it, go for it.’”
She is already thinking about becoming part of the next presentation, a year from now in Atlanta, on the morning of another championship game. For one former occupant of the press box in Doak Campbell Stadium, there is just one wish: When we gather to celebrate the work of another gifted reporter, there’s some way that Bobby Bowden – Dadgumit! – can be in that room to offer one more story, one more laugh, one last quote for Steve Ellis.
DALLAS (FWAA) — The 16th annual Football Writers Association of America Freshman All-America Team, presented by Sound Mind Sound Body camps, was announced Monday and includes one player who will appear in the College Football Playoff National Championship later Monday — Clemson defensive lineman Dexter Lawrence.
“Dexter is obviously very gifted from the standpoint of the physicality it takes to play inside,” said Tigers’ defensive line coach Dan Brooks, the AFCA assistant coach of the year.
“We opened the season at Auburn and threw him in the mix, and he had our first sack of the season. Dexter is a very coachable young man with a great attitude who is mature beyond his years.”
The SEC and Big Ten each placed six players on the 34-member team, while the Pac-12 and ACC had five players from their respective conferences.
Other 2017 College Football Playoff participants on the Freshman All-American team are Taylor Rapp (safety, Washington), Mike Weber (tailback, Ohio State), Dre’Mont Jones (defensive lineman, Ohio State) and Michael Jordan (offensive lineman, Ohio State).
The First Year Coach of the Year Award had co-winners for the first time since its inception 15 years ago, with Virginia Tech Justin Fuente and USC’s Clay Helton sharing the award.
Helton, in his first full season as the Trojans’ head coach, led USC to nine consecutive victories to close the season, including a stirring 52-49 Rose Bowl victory over Penn State.
Fuente was selected as the ACC Coach of the Year, guiding the Hokies to the ACC Championship Game for the first time since 2011.
A 12-person panel of nationally prominent writers represented each of the FBS conferences along with independents in the selecting the team.
Both true freshmen (20 players) and redshirt freshmen (14 players) were considered for the team and are so noted on the list below.
There are six former Freshmen All-Americans involved in tonight’s game.
- Outland Trophy winner Cam Robinson (2014)
- All-SEC punter JK Scott (2014)
- Receiver Calvin Ridley (2015)
- Cornerback Marlon Humphrey (2015)
- All-ACC offensive lineman Mitch Hyatt (2015)
- Defensive lineman Christian Wilkins (2015)
2016 FWAA Freshman All-America Team
|Pos.||Name||School||Ht. / Wt.||Hometown|
|QB||Sam Darnold**||USC||6-4 / 225||Capistrano Beach, Calif.|
|RB||Mike Weber**||Ohio State||5-10 / 212||Detroit, Mich.|
|RB||Benny Snell*||Kentucky||5-11 / 220||Westerville, Ohio|
|RB||Justice Hill*||Oklahoma State||5-10 / 171||Tulsa, Okla.|
|WR||Ahmmon Richards*||Miami (Fla.)||6-1 / 192||Wellington, Fla.|
|WR||Demetris Robertson*||California||6-0 / 175||Savannah, Ga.|
|WR||Ty Lee*||Middle Tennessee||5-9 / 155||Moultrie, Ga.|
|TE||Isaac Nauta*||Georgia||6-4 / 246||Buford, Ga.|
|OL||Michael Jordan*||Ohio State||6-7 / 310||Canton, Mich.|
|OL||Jawaan Taylor*||Florida||6-5 / 340||Cocoa, Fla.|
|OL||Ryan Bates**||Penn State||6-4 / 305||Warrington, Pa.|
|OL||Thomas Shoaf **||BYU||6-5 / 280||Columbus, Ind.|
|OL||Ben Bredeson*||Michigan||6-5 / 310||Hartland, Wis.|
|OL||Zach Shackelford*||Texas||6-3 / 290||Belton, Texas|
|AP||Donnie Corley*||Michigan State||6-2 / 186||Detroit, Mich.|
|Pos.||Name||School||Ht. / Wt.||Hometown|
|DL||Ed Oliver*||Houston||6-2 / 290||Houston, Texas|
|DL||Dexter Lawrence*||Clemson||6-5 / 340||Wake Forest, N.C.|
|DL||Brian Burns*||Florida State||6-5 / 218||Fort Lauderdale, Fla.|
|DL||Dre’Mont Jones**||Ohio State||6-3 / 280||Cleveland, Ohio|
|DL||Reggie Walker**||Kansas State||6-2 / 239||Ponchatoula, La.|
|LB||Logan Wilson**||Wyoming||6-2 / 225||Casper, Wyo.|
|LB||Troy Dye*||Oregon||6-4 / 225||Norco, Calif.|
|LB||Leo Lewis**||Mississippi State||6-2 / 240||Brookhaven, Miss.|
|LB||Josiah Tauaefa**||UTSA||6-1 / 230||Corinth, Texas|
|LB||David Reese*||Florida||6-0 / 244||Farmington, Mich.|
|DB||Xavier Crawford**||Oregon State||6-1 / 182||Pittsburg, Calif.|
|DB||Javon Hagan**||Ohio||6-0 / 211||Jacksonville, Fla.|
|DB||Taylor Rapp*||Washington||6-0 / 202||Bellingham, Wash.|
|DB||Jessie Bates**||Wake Forest||6-2 / 200||Fort Wayne, Ind.|
|DB||Clifton Duck*||Appalachian State||5-10 / 175||Matthews, N.C.|
|Pos.||Name||School||Ht. / Wt.||Hometown|
|K||Rodrigo Blannkenship**||Georgia||6-1 / 191||Marietta, Ga.|
|P||Tom Sheldon*||North Carolina||6-3 / 200 Echuca,||Victoria, Australia|
|KR||Tony Pollard**||Memphis||5-11 / 200||Memphis, Tenn.|
|PR||Malik McGue*||Army||5-8 / 174||Johnson City, Tenn.|
* True Freshman
** Redshirt Freshman
Co-First Year Coaches of the Year
Coach of the Year semifinalist: Kalani Sitake, BYU.
FWAA All-America selection committee:
TAMPA —The Cotton Bowl Athletic Association’s Charlie Fiss is in the unique position to accept a second Bert McGrane Award today at the FWAA’s Annual Awards Breakfast.
Only this Bert McGrane Award he gets to keep.
About 17 years ago, Fiss accepted the Bert McGrane Award on behalf of the late Field Scovell and then turned the plaque over to the family after he returned to Dallas from the presentation at the College Football Hall of Fame in South Bend, Ind.
Fiss, in his 33rd year working for the Cotton Bowl, becomes the fourth person from the CBAA to receive the Bert McGrane Award, which is presented annually to a member of the FWAA for distinguished service to the organization and college football. Wilbur Evans (1978), Jim Brock (1989) and Scovell (1999) are the other CBAA recipients.
“Charlie Fiss perhaps more than anyone has been part of the fabric of the FWAA for the last 30 years,” said FWAA Executive Director Steve Richardson, who made the introduction of Fiss in Tampa. “He nearly predates modern computers when it comes to putting together the FWAA Print Directory and mailing list.”
The Award was established in 1974 as a memorial to McGrane, long-time Des Moines Register-Tribune sports writer who was one of the founding members of the FWAA. He was the FWAA’s Executive Director from the early 1940’s until 1973.
“The FWAA and the Cotton Bowl share a special relationship,” Rick Baker, CBAA President/CEO, said. “Charlie has been a leader with his steadfast approach to our partnership with the FWAA. Through his extraordinary efforts over three decades, he’s made a lasting impact on the Cotton Bowl, the FWAA and college football. No one is more deserving. I’m proud that Charlie joins an illustrious group of Cotton Bowl representatives to win the Bert McGrane Award.”
Richardson added: “He is meticulous. Period. End of story. He stews over the mailing list and all parts of the directory he is responsible for and some that he is not. He has been a champion of the FWAA in terms of what is provided during his bowl week — access to players and coaches and maintaining strict standards of decorum in the press box itself.
“Charlie runs a model press operation at the Cotton Bowl. For years the Cotton Bowl has been an example of how it should be done. He puts together a bowl operations staff that is second to none. I think most people in the profession, whether it be writers, sports information directions or other bowl executives, know that, but it also needs to be said.”
His first Cotton Bowl was in 1984, during which time he was serving as the Assistant Director of Media Relations for the Southwest Conference from 1984-1993. In 1994, Charlie was hired by the CBAA to serve as the Vice President of Communications and became a fulltime member of the staff.
Through his 30-plus years with the Cotton Bowl, he has worked with six Heisman Trophy winners, including Boston College’s Doug Flutie in his very first Cotton Bowl game.
Charlie is a graduate of the University of Arkansas, where he served as the Men’s Media Assistant from 1976-1980, and then as the Women’s Athletic Director of Media Relations from 1980-1984. As an avid racehorse fan, Charlie still volunteers for the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs, where he has done so for more than 25 years.
In between trips to Great Britain to feed his Beatles’ craze, annual pilgrimages to Disneyland to pay homage to Walt and strumming the guitar, Charlie still runs the Cotton Bowl Media operations by commuting from Phoenix, where he resides.
“Whoever would have dreamed I would have even seen one Heisman Trophy winner much less work around six,” Fiss said. “I got to know Darrell Royal and Frank Broyles, all these people you read about in the sports pages, you know when you are growing up. … It really has been an interesting life. I have been blessed and pretty lucky to be involved in this business.
“We like to say in the Cotton Bowl we are in the business of making memories,” Fiss added. “If it wasn’t for the student athlete none of us would have jobs. I try to think of that every day. And I think when they are coming to the Cotton Bowl, they are just not thinking about playing in the Cotton Bowl, they are going to make memories which they are going to have forever.”