DALLAS (FWAA) – Pat Harmon, longtime Cincinnati
Post sports editor and current historian for the National Football
Foundation and the College Football Hall of Fame, has won the 2004
Bert McGrane Award.
Harmon was selected as the winner by a panel of previous McGrane
Award winners. He will receive a plaque and special recognition
during a breakfast at the College Football Hall of Fame in South
Bend, Ind., this coming August.
The Bert McGrane Award, which serves as the Football Writers
Association of America Hall of Fame, was established in 1974. The
award honors an FWAA member who has performed great service to the
organization and the game of college football. It is named after
McGrane, who was the executive secretary of the organization from
the early 1940s until 1973.
Harmon, a father of 11 children, was president of the FWAA in
1984. He has had an illustrious career as a sports writer and editor
and covered such greats as Vince Lombardi, Pete Rose, Casey Stengel,
Arnold Palmer, Eddie Robinson, John Wooden, Bear Bryant, Jack Nicklaus,
Woody Hayes, Paul Brown and Joe Louis.
Harmon's career started when he was a young sports writer in
Illinois. Harmon began covering events at age 17 at the Freeport
(Ill.) Journal Standard during the Depression era of the early
1930s. He would hitchhike to games, sleep on wrestling mats in gyms
of teams he covered, and also break into the food lines of the teams.
But he will be forever remembered for inaugurating the selection
of the Illinois all-state high school football and basketball teams.
Harmon moved to the Champaign (Ill.) News-Gazette in 1934
when became a student at the University of Illinois. And he stayed
in that central Illinois town, married his wife Anne, and built
a strong reputation before spending four years at the Cedar Rapids
(Iowa) Gazette from 1947-51.
Harmon went to Cincinnati in 1951 and served as a sports editor
and columnist for the Post for 34 1/2 years. After retiring and
traveling for a year, Harmon settled in his current job as historian
Harmon's name also will be placed on a plaque in the rotunda
of the College Football Hall of Fame with the previous McGrane Award
• Bert McGrane Award