FWAA Accepting Edward Aschoff Rising Star Nominations

Ed Aschoff

DALLAS—The Football Writers Association of America (FWAA) is now accepting nominations for the Edward Aschoff Rising Star Award.

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 work samples in Microsoft Word File attachments to 2024 FWAA First Vice President Bill Bender of the Sporting News at bill.bender@tsn.com and copy FWAA Executive Director Steve Richardson at tiger@fwaa.com

Please include your name, job title, and a phone number. The birthdate of the individual who is being nominated also should be included. Only those nominees who are 34 or under during the 2023 football season will be considered.

 A panel of FWAA members will choose the winner. Nominations should be submitted by June 1, 2024.

Aschoff, a beloved ESPN college football reporter, died on Christmas Eve, 2019 – his 34th birthday – from previously
undetected Stage 4 non-Hodgkin's lymphoma in his lungs.

He was a bright light in our industry, who the FWAA now honors with this award--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. A 2008 graduate of the University of Florida, Aschoff loved people, and even as his career at ESPN escalated, he still guided and befriended younger journalists along the way.

In 2017, Aschoff moved to Los Angeles to begin a more expanded national role that included television coverage. 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. 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, a fellow Florida graduate. "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 you want."

David Ubben of The Athletic was named the first recipient of the award in 2020; Grace Raynor, also of The Athletic, was the second winner in 2021;  Richard Johnson of Sports Illustrated became the third recipient in 2022: and Wilson Alexander of The Advocate, in 2023, was the fourth recipient.

What the previous recipients had to say about Edward Aschoff: 

"Rising star only begins to describe Ed," Ubben,  the FWAA's 2022 President, said. "Like he did, I want to pass down what I have learned, make this profession better and do what I can to make sure there are plenty of other Ed Aschoffs writing about college football in the decades to come.”

“Unfortunately, I never met Ed, but I feel like I've gotten to know him through my friends and colleagues who were lucky enough to spend time with him,” Raynor said. “In every story I've ever heard about him, I have learned that in addition to being an incredible reporter, Ed was a model for us about how to treat people. I've heard so many stories about his kindness, his big smile, the way he made people feel and how he would do anything to help a young reporter coming up in our industry."

"Ed is a prime example of how representation matters," said Johnson, a Florida graduate like Ed. "There are unfortunately too few Black people covering the sport, and for as long as I'd known him, seeing Ed on television or his byline on the website, was proof positive that he had made it in this industry and that I could too. You could say I basically followed his blueprint from UF's journalism school to covering the Gators all the way to ESPN."

"I unfortunately never met Ed, but I always admired his work,” Alexander said. “His passion and care for other people came through in his stories, and whenever I saw him on television, there was an obvious joy in his reporting. I feel deeply honored to receive an award named in his honor and follow three winners who I look up to in the industry.”

Founded in 1941, the Football Writers Association of America consists of 1,300 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 at tiger@fwaa.com.