CANTON -- Wally Johnson, Director of Athletic Media Relations at St. Lawrence University in Canton will receive the Pete Nevins Award for Distinguished Achievement at the 2012 ECAC-Sports Information Directors Association Workshop in Pittsburgh.
The award was approved by the ECAC-SIDA Executive Board in 2007. That year, Pete Nevins, the long-time sports information director at East Stroudsburg University, who was a legend in the industry for more than three decades, passed away.
The award is presented to an individual in recognition of his or her advancement of the field of athletic communications and advocacy for intercollegiate athletics. The winner must have served at least 25 years in the sports information field, and be either a current or former member of ECAC-SIDA. The award is presented at the discretion of the ECAC-SIDA board, and only one winner can be named per-year.
Now in his 38th year at St. Lawrence, Johnson was named Director of Athletic Media Relations in 1999 and has been the University's sports information contact since 1975.
A native of St. Albans, Vt.; and a 1971 graduate of the University of Vermont, Johnson was the assistant sports editor of The Burlington Free Press prior to joining the staff at St. Lawrence. He was also a sportswriter and columnist for The Vermont Sunday News and St. Albans Messenger and worked as a commentator on University of Vermont basketball broadcasts. He currently does the radio color commentary on Saints' hockey games in addition to providing home and away articles for various North Country newspapers.
The 2001 recipient of the College Sports Information Directors of America Warren Berg Award and the 1995 winner of the ECAC-SIDA Irving T. Marsh Award for contributions to the field of sports information, as well as the 1971 Vermont Sportswriter of the Year, Johnson is an active member of CoSIDA and ECAC-SIDA. He served 25 years on the ECAC-SIDA board and also completed a long tenure as chairman of the CoSIDA Workshop Exhibits Committee.
Johnson has worked with the St. Lawrence Division I men's ice hockey team since his arrival at the university and is the longest tenured sports information director in ECAC hockey. He served as host SID for the 1984 and 1988 NCAA Division I men's hockey championships, the 1982 NCAA Division I ski championships at Lake Placid and the 2003 NCAA Division III men's soccer semifinals and championship in Canton.
Johnson has also worked with teams that participated in NCAA championship competition in football, field hockey, men's soccer, men's and women's track and field, men's and women's basketball, men's and women's swimming, men's ice hockey, men's and women's golf, men's and women's lacrosse, and baseball during his SLU career. He also covers St. Lawrence's nationally prominent riding program and the men's and women's squash teams.
Johnson has served on the University's Athletic Hall of Fame committee since its inception and was St. Lawrence's NCAA Compliance Officer until the start of the 2000-01 academic year. An avid golfer and reader, Johnson also provides photography for the St. Lawrence athletics website.