DALLAS (FWAA) – Edward Aschoff was always easy
to spot in a press box – not just because of his dapper suit, his
unique socks or trademark lapel pin – but also because of his infectious
smile, his laugh, and his pure love for whatever assignment he was
Aschoff, a beloved ESPN college football reporter, died on
Christmas Eve – his 34th birthday – from previously undetected Stage 4 non-Hodgkin's
lymphoma in his lungs. He was a bright light in our industry, one
the FWAA hopes to honor through an annual Edward Aschoff
Rising Star Award.
Each year, the FWAA will recognize one promising journalist no
older than 34, who has not only the talent and work ethic it takes
to succeed in this business, but also the passion to make it better.
Aschoff, a 2008 graduate of the University of Florida, loved people,
and even as his career at ESPN escalated, he still guided and befriended
younger journalists along the way.
"He was someone I always looked forward to seeing when our paths
crossed in a random SEC press box or elsewhere, someone who always
encouraged me as a younger journalist trying to navigate my way
through this business and life, someone I always admired – both
for his work and his zest for life – and someone I could always
count on for a laugh," said Tom Green, who was a student at Florida
when he met Aschoff in 2010 and is now the Auburn beat reporter
for AL.com/Alabama Media Group. "I'll always be grateful for his
friendship, his advice and his respect, because I know I'm better
for having known Ed. We all are."
Aschoff moved to Los Angeles in 2017 to begin a more expanded
national role that included television coverage. Over the past three
seasons, he reported from campuses across the country for ESPN.com,
SportsCenter, SEC Network and ESPN Radio, and he worked as a television
and radio sideline reporter during college football games.
Jordan McPherson, a student reporter at Florida from 2013-17
who is now covering the Miami Marlins for the Miami Herald, said
Aschoff helped him on several occasions.
"He was a pro's pro and touched my life with just a few brief
interactions that he didn't have to make," McPherson said. "His
positivity was infectious, his ability to mentor through simple
conversation was second to none. He will be missed, but always be
Last month, the University of Florida's College of Journalism
and Communications established the Edward Aschoff Memorial Fund,
which will provide support for students involved in sports journalism.
"Edward was one of our stars – not just because he was so
talented as a journalist and storyteller, but also because of everything
he did to help people around him. He always had a good word of advice
for young journalists, he was always willing to give back, and he
always made people smile," said Ted Spiker, chair of the department
of journalism at the University of Florida who taught Edward in
several classes at UF.
During the 2015 college football season, Aschoff and ESPN.com colleague Adam Rittenberg were
winners in the FWAA's annual best writing contest for their enterprise
piece, "The racial impact of Eric Striker." Contest judge
Michael Weinreb called it, "An eye-opening, surprisingly frank
and timely examination about how college football is affected by
issues of race and identity."
Aschoff inspired us through his storytelling, brightened our
lives with his gregarious personality, and uplifted our spirits
with his energy. The FWAA hopes to honor his memory and his commitment
to aspiring journalists with this award.
"Edward epitomized everything you want in a sports journalist:
He knew how to build relationships, to gain trust, to break stories
but also to tell stories," said ESPN.com's Andrea Adelson. "And
he did it all with a flair that made you want to watch his television
pieces or read his written stories right away. His dogged determination
and relentless work ethic allowed him to rise to the top at ESPN,
and all his exemplary qualities serve as a model for young journalists
everywhere about what truly can be achieved if you go after what
To submit nominations for this award, please send a paragraph
or two about the nominee, including why you are nominating him or
her, and three links of work samples to Heather Dinich at
Please include your name, job title, and a phone number. A panel
of FWAA members will choose the winner. Entries should be submitted
by June 1.
Founded in 1941, the Football Writers Association of America consists of 1,400 men and women who cover college football.
The membership includes journalists, broadcasters and publicists, as well as key
executives in all the areas that involve the game. The FWAA works to govern areas
that include game-day operations, major awards and its annual All-America team.
For more information about the FWAA and its award programs, contact Steve Richardson
Give to the Edward Aschoff Memorial Fund at the University of Florida
The racial impact of Eric Striker