June 30, 2006
Longtime Butler University sports information director Jim McGrath will be honored by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) with a 25-Year Award at the organization's annual Workshop July 5 in Nashville. McGrath, who has actually been at Butler since 1981 and a sports information director since 1971, is one of eight recipients being recognized.
The award is given annually to CoSIDA members who have served the profession for at least 25 years. He was nominated for the award in 2005, but could not attend the Workshop and chose to receive the honor this year.
McGrath has been the first and only SID at Butler University since 1981. He assumed the title of associate athletic director in 1989 after four years as an assistant athletic director. He oversees the media responsibilities and publicity efforts for Butler's 21 athletic teams.
"Jim has been a tireless ambassador for Butler over the past 25 years," said Jon Hind, Butler's interim athletic director. "He's one of the best at what he does and brings a tremendous amount of attention to detail and enthusiasm to his work. We've become accustomed to his efforts over the years, so it's nice to pause and praise him for earning this well-deserved honor."
He began his SID career in 1971 at Augustana (Ill.) College, where he was also publicity director of the College Conference of Illinois (1976-81). McGrath served as press officer for the 1984 Summer Olympics and the 1987 Pan American Games, as well as three U.S. Olympic Festivals. McGrath's 30 CoSIDA publication citations include ten Best-in-Nation Awards. A two-time USBWA Region SID of the Year, he has served as media coordinator for 12 NCAA Division I Men's Basketball events, including Indianapolis Men's Final Fours on four occasions and the 2005 Women's Final Four. McGrath's SID career is among the top 15 tenures of active sports information professionals.
McGrath arrived at Butler after a 10-year stint as sports information director at his alma mater, Augustana College (Rock Island, Ill.). A 1971 graduate of Augustana, McGrath and his wife, Judy, have three sons, Chad, Scott and Christopher.
St. Cloud State University's Annie Abicht, Carole Grills of Smith College, Gary Johnson of the NCAA, Jamie Klund of the University of Nevada, Illinois State University's Tom Lamonica and Dennis O'Donnell of the University of Rochester will each receive a similar award in Nashville.