UTEP Media Relations Team Garners National Honors

Last Updated on July 10, 2017 at 12:00 AM

Originally published July 10, 2017

By UC Staff

UTEP Communications

The UTEP Athletics media relations office was recently honored by the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA) with a “Super 11” award, given annually to the best performing sports information departments in the Football Bowl Subdivision. This year’s awards, the eighth annual, were presented for the 2016 season.

The recognition was related to the work the team did specifically for football. The UTEP vs. Army game September 17, 2016 was just one of the games the team provided information for.

UTEP joined Air Force, Arkansas State, Miami (Ohio), Oklahoma State and Tennessee as first-time winners. Also on the list were Clemson, Colorado, Navy, Nebraska and USC.

“Our organization believes this award is one of the most important tasks that we do each year,” said Tim Griffin of Cox Communications, the FWAA's 2010 president and the head of the Super 11 committee. “There are many outstanding SID staffs across the country. But these 11 departments we are honoring are consistently exemplary beyond expectations. We hope these awards help to showcase them.”

"I would like to congratulate our media relations staff for this tremendous honor and thank them for all their hard work," said UTEP Director of Athletics Bob Stull. "In particular, I would like to recognize Director of Media Relations Denise Mata and Assistant Director Drew Bonney, who do an exceptional job heading up the media relations effort for football. The media relations staff puts in long hours on gameday, arriving a few hours before kickoff and staying for a few hours after the clock runs out. We appreciate their dedication to consistently providing outstanding service."      

Criteria employed in determining the winners not only included how press boxes and media operations were operated, but also the quality and timeliness of information provided. Also judged was the amount of information presented and appropriately updated on websites, and personal responsiveness to media inquiries as well as the accessibility of a program's players, coaches and assistant coaches. The ratings considered those departments that went the extra mile in servicing the media.

“It’s an honor to be recognized by the Football Writers Association of America as one of the top sports information departments in FBS,” said Mata. “I’m extremely proud of my team for all their hard work. This group is asked to work long hours and is always prepared to take on any task that is asked of them.” 

The Football Writers Association of America, a non-profit organization founded in 1941, consists of more than 1,300 men and women across North America who cover college football for a living. The membership includes journalists, broadcasters and publicists, as well as key executives in all the areas that involve the game. The FWAA works to govern areas that include gameday operations, major awards, a national poll and its annual All-America team.