The Fifth Down

Dodd named 63rd president of FWAA

Dennis Dodd of CBS SportsLine became the FWAA’s 63rd president during the association’s annual awards breakfast on Jan 4, 2006, in Los Angeles. He is the first sitting president to work for an internet outlet, signaling the beginning of a new era in the FWAA.

In this issue of The Fifth Down:
President's column: My platform? Access
Dodd named 63rd president of the FWAA
2005 Scripps Freshman All-America Team
Katie Wieberg wins Volney Meece Scholarship
Fiesta Bowl's Junker wins Bert McGrane Award
Notre Dame's Weis is Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year
Texas wins Grantland Rice Trophy
Tulane captures 2005 Courage Award

Dodd, 49, succeeds Alan Schmadtke of the Orlando Sentinel, who served as the 2005 FWAA president. Mike Griffith of the Knoxville News Sentinel becomes the first vice president, and Ron Higgins of the Memphis Commercial Appeal becomes second vice president.

Dodd has won or placed often in the FWAA Best Writing Contest in recent years and has been a member of the CBS SportsLine staff since 1998. He has been a fixture in college football press boxes from Chestnut Hill to Palo Alto during the last seven years and carries a passion for the game.

Known as a diehard St. Louis Cardinals and St. Louis Blues hockey fan, Dodd graduated from the University of Missouri School of Journalism after growing up in the St, Louis, Mo., area. His first full-time job was in Sherman, Texas, however.

After a brief stint there, Dodd then graduated to the Kansas City Star, where from 1981-89 he covered various sports and developed a love for college football despite the fact the three local schools, Kansas, Missouri and Kansas State, were at or near the bottom of the Big Eight standings during many of those years.

After Kansas City, Dennis became rather nomadic. He worked for the St. Louis Sun, The National (New York), Omaha World-Herald and SportsWriters Direct before joining CBS Sportsline in 1998. Dodd also found time to write a book about his alma mater’s basketball program, Tiger Handbook.

Born on Dec. 31, 1956, Dodd just missed out winning a washing machine or refrigerator for his parents as the first baby born in the New Year of 1957. But he made sure at least he was around for the next day’s bowl games. One of his ancestors, however, kicked around another kind of ball. Dennis’ grandfather, Daniel Barnard, was a legendary amateur soccer player in the St. Louis area in the 1920s. Later, Mr. Barnard worked for the railroad and shuttled fans from St. Louis to South Bend on Notre Dame football Saturdays.

Dodd flew solo until 1987 when he proposed to his wife, Janet, during the seventh inning stretch of the fifth game of the 1987 World Series between the Cardinals and the Minnesota Twins. Dennis and his wife Janet live in Overland Park, Kan., with their two children, Haley, 13, and Jack, 9, just a stone’s throw from the fairway of a golf course. So close, in fact, Dodd remains busy fixing broken windows in his house.

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