PASADENA, Calif. (FWAA) – John Junker, Tostitos
Fiesta Bowl president and chief executive officer, has been named
the 2006 recipient of the Football Writers Association of America's
Bert McGrane Award, it was announced during the FWAA annual
awards breakfast on Jan. 4.
The McGrane Award, symbolic of the association's hall of fame,
is presented to an FWAA member who has performed great service to
the organization and/or the writing profession. It is named after
McGrane, a Des Moines, Iowa, writer who was the executive secretary
of the FWAA from the early 1940s until 1973.
The Fiesta Bowl has sponsored the FWAA's Eddie Robinson Coach
of the Year Award for the past eight years, all during Junker's
reign. The sponsorship has provided money for the trophy and presentation
banquets and receptions. Proceeds have gone to the Eddie Robinson
Foundation as well as to the Volney Meece academic scholarship for
a deserving son or daughter of an FWAA member. This season, the
Tostitos Fiesta Bowl also sponsored the FWAA's National Team of
the Week award.
In addition, the Fiesta Bowl has been a model for press operations
and media relations, under Shawn Schoeffler, director of media operations.
Junker will be honored next August during the National Football
Foundation's Hall of Fame induction weekend in South Bend, Ind.,
and his name will be placed in the College Football Hall of Fame's
Junker has helped the Fiesta Bowl become a member of the Bowl
Championship Series, expand the growth of one of the nation's leading
civic celebrations and increase the popularity of the community-based
and volunteer-driven festival of 50 year-round events. Junker is
also responsible for moving the Insight Bowl from Tucson to Phoenix,
where it has flourished.
Junker became the Executive Director of the Fiesta Bowl in 1990
and was named the President and Chief Executive Officer in January
2000. Since 1990, the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl has hosted three national
championship games – 1996 (Nebraska vs. Florida), 1999 (Tennessee
vs. Florida State) and the most recent double-overtime thriller
between Ohio State and Miami on Jan. 3, 2003.
Junker, who possesses more than 20 years of college football
bowl experience, was named the seventh most powerful person in college
football by Sports Illustrated in 2003. His leadership and
active participation in maintaining the health of college football
continues to be acknowledged and praised by community leaders, conference
commissioners and university presidents nationwide.
• Bert McGrane Award