Football Writers Association of America Jan. 5, 2006
For Immediate Release
Contact: Steve Richardson
Tostitos Fiesta Bowl executive honored for service to the FWAA

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 rotunda.

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.

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Bert McGrane Award