Katha Quinn Award

USBWA Katha Quinn Award

This award is presented by the USBWA in memory of Katha Quinn, sports information director at St. John's University who died of cancer. It is given to recognize those in college basketball who have rendered a special service to the USBWA and sportswriters who cover college basketball.

2022: Bill Behrns, Loyola (Ill) University: In the his 21st season at Loyola University (Chicago), Bill Behrns was been named the U.S. Basketball Writers Association's Katha Quinn Award winner for 2022. He was presented the award at the Final Four in New Orleans. Behrns played a key role in helping bring recognition to Loyola's 1963 national championship team, which competed in the "Game of Change," as it became the first team inducted into the National College Basketball Hall of Fame in Kansas City. With care and sensitivity, Behrns also has helped share with the world one of basketball's most iconic and beloved figures: Sister Jean.

2021: Doug Vance, CoSIDA/University of Kansas: Doug Vance, who is the executive director of CoSIDA, was selected for the award given annually in recognition of the recipient's work in serving the media. Without a doubt, Vance's upbringing and diverse background has molded his philosophy and style. His father Kyle was a Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter for the Associated Press and Louisville Courier Journal, and three uncles and a cousin were also in the newspaper business. Vance's brother David, whom he calls one of his mentors and biggest supporters, was an SID at Eastern Kentucky and public relations director – and later general manager – for the Kentucky Colonels of the ABA. Vance's stellar career has included stops as a newspaper reporter, school public relations official at Austin Peay, SID at Murray State and Kansas, executive director of the Kansas Parks and Recreation Association and his current role at CoSIDA.

2020: Jim Haney, National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC): Jim Haney laughed at the thought that he was a media-friendly executive director of the National Association of Basketball Coaches. For 28 years, he contends, he was just doing his job. That meant always being available to the media, even for the most controversial issues. That also meant doing his best to bridge the gap that sometimes exists between the media and the coaches he represented. While it was assumed that he had his coaches' back, it always felt like he was watching out for reporters' best interests, as well. For those reasons and more, Haney was named the 2020 winner of the Katha Quinn Award, given annually in recognition of the recipient's work in serving the media.

2019: Mike Sheridan, Villanova University
Sheridan worked for 14 years at Eastern Basketball and its parent publication, Basketball Times, before coming to Villanova in 1998. The lessons he learned during that period were invaluable as he navigated the welcome but considerable challenges that came with being at a program that has won two NCAA championships in the last three years. Sheridan's patience, diligence, helpfulness and sunny personality have earned him the USBWA's Katha Quinn Award, which is given annually in recognition for the recipient's work in serving the media.

2018: Joe Castiglione, University of Oklahoma
Joe Castiglione, vice president for intercollegiate athletic programs at Oklahoma, was named the 2018 winner of the Katha Quinn Award for exceptional service to the media. Castiglione served as chair of the NCAA Division I men's basketball committee during the 2015-16 season and was involved in discussions about the possibility of having a USBWA representative observe the committee's deliberations. He becomes the third winner who was affiliated with the Georgetown basketball program, the biggest rival on the St. John's schedule when the Big East schools rose to the top of the national polls in the 1980s. Mark Asher of the Washington Post won the award in 2002 and former Georgetown sports information director Jim Marchiony was recognized in 2004.

2017: Bernie Cafarelli, American Athletic Conference

2016: Dave Worlock, NCAA
Dave Worlock, who serves as the primary media contact for the NCAA Division I men's basketball championship, has been selected to receive the Katha Quinn Award from the U.S. Basketball Writers Association for service to the media. Worlock, who has been with the NCAA since 2001, has served as director of media coordination and statistics for the NCAA tournament since 2013. He also oversees a 15-member staff responsible for providing media services and statistics for all of the NCAA's 90 championships. It is his work at the NCAA Final Four that has brought Worlock praise for his level of cooperation and attention to detail for the many services he provides the media.

2015: Tom Jernstedt, NCAA
Receiving an award is certainly nothing new for Tom Jernstedt. He has been presented with the John Bunn Award, the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame's highest honor short of induction; the Edward S. Steitz Award, USA Basketball's recognition for service to international basketball' and induction into the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame as a contributor. The USBWA would like to add to that impressive list with the 2015 Katha Quinn Award.

2014: Brian Morrison, Atlantic Coast Conference
Brian Morrison's willingness to consider – or reconsider – every facet of an issue and his easily accessible friendliness are merely two reasons why the USBWA named Morrison the 2013-14 recipient of the Katha Quinn Award for service to members, named for the St. John's sports information director who died from liver cancer at 35, in 1989.

2013: Greg Shaheen, NCAA
This April, at the 75th anniversary celebration of the Final Four in Atlanta, the Katha Quinn Award will be presented to Greg Shaheen, former vice president of NCAA championships and alliances. When the title jargon was dynamited, he was the man who ran the NCAA Tournament. And he ran it very well. Unfortunately he only ran it until the last one.

2012: Kenny Klein, University of Louisville
When the Louisville Cardinals play home games, the final person to leave the media work room is Kenny Klein. He's the Senior Associate Athletic Director of Media Relations at the school, and has been the Louisville basketball media contact for 29 years. He is the very deserving 2012 winner of the USBWA's Katha Quinn Award, given annually to someone in college basketball who has performed a special service to the media who cover the sport.

2011: Oliver Pierce, Gonzaga University
Oliver Pierce, in his 23rd year as assistant athletics director and sports information director for Gonzaga University, has been named winner of the U.S. Basketball Writers Association's Katha Quinn Award for outstanding service to the media.
Gonzaga's growth into a major national program in men's basketball has led directly to expanded media interest, regular national television appearances and dramatically increased demands upon Pierce and the Gonzaga sports information office. In addition to handling media relations during Gonzaga's current run of 12 straight NCAA men's basketball tournament appearances, Pierce directed the media campaign that led to Adam Morrison sharing the USBWA Oscar Robertson Trophy with Duke's J.J. Redick as national player of the year in 2006.

2010: Chris Fallon, National Invitiation Tournament
Chris Fallon is the media coordinator for the National Invitation Tournament, for the last 30 postseason events and every one of the 25 preseason editions. She has run the press room for the Garden for its college basketball games during that time. That means she has seen the best of teams in November as the NIT Season Tip-Off has become one of the best early season tournaments, the gamut of college teams from the top of the polls to Division III matchups during the regular season, the always sold-out and power-packed Big East Conference tournament and the best of the rest in the NIT.


John Paquette receives the 2009 Katha Quinn Award from Jim O'Connell. Big East commissioner Mike Tranghese joined the presentation.

2009: John Paquette, Big East Conference
When Mike Tranghese became the Big East commissioner in 1990, his first hire was John Paquette. They had so much in common, it was a natural. They understood the role of the media. They wanted to make it as easy as possible for us to do our jobs. And they knew Katha Quinn. It was 1989 when Katha, the beloved St. John's sports-information director, died of cancer. Paquette could not attend the funeral because he was out west attending to the media needs during Seton Hall's run to the national-title game. It was 2001 when the USBWA honored Tranghese with our Katha Quinn Award. The winner is defined as somebody who, like Katha herself, "has either excelled at servicing the media or provides an inspiration to those in the sports journalism profession." Tranghese and Paquette now have one more thing in common. They are Katha Quinn Award winners. In Tranghese's final year as commissioner, we honor the man he brought with him when he got the job.

2008: Josh Krulewitz and Mike Soltys, ESPN
Mike Soltys and Josh Krulewitz have played major roles at ESPN during their respective careers, working with the media and promoting men's and women's college basketball on the ESPN family of networks. Soltys serves as Vice President, U.S. Network Communications, responsible for strategic planning for publicity for ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN Classic, ESPNEWS, ESPNU and ESPN on ABC. Krulewitz serves as Vice President, Public Relations for College, News and Networks Information. He oversees publicity efforts for college sports, ESPNU, SportsCenter, ESPN Radio and ESPNEWS network and is one of ESPN's primary contacts with the media for men's and women's college basketball and for numerous public issues ESPN faces on a wide range of sports and topics.

Andy Katz presents the 2008 Katha Quinn Award to Mike Soltys and Josh Krulewitz of ESPN.

2007: Joe Mitch
Joe Mitch has been the USBWA's Executive Director since 1983. Under Mitch's watch, the USBWA has, among other things, grown from 200 members to over 800, started a Hall of Fame, and initiated a sportswriting seminar at the Final Four. He has overseen an increase in membership benefits, added the USBWA Player of Year and Coach of Year events at the men's Final Four and developed a new and improved relationship with the NCAA. Mitch began his association with the USBWA as editor of The Tipoff in 1980 and was named executive director 1983.

2006: Wayne Duke
As Walter Byers' assistant at the NCAA, Duke was assigned the task to write the USBWA constitution and spearhead efforts to organize an association of sports writers to promote college basketball. Duke was voted into the USBWA's Hall of Fame as a charter member in 1988.

2005: Steve Kirschner
North Carolina sports information director since 2000 who is widely known for his efforts to help the media cover one of the highest profile college basketball programs in the country, particularly the hiring of Roy Williams as head coach and the handling of Dean Smith's retirement.

2004: Jim Marchiony
Worked at the NCAA national office in various communications roles dealing with television and media relations for over 17 years, including the last five as media coordinator for the NCAA tournaments. Now an associate athletics director at Kansas after serving in a similar capacity at Connecticut.

2003: Jack Watkins
Assistant commissioner at the Missouri Valley Conference who persevered with his duties servicing the media while dealing with the lifelong illness and death at age 6 of daughter Kate.

2002: Mark Asher
Noted sports writer for the Washington Post who continued to cover major sporting events while battling serious health problems for close to 20 years, many stemming from diabetes and kidney and pancreas transplants.

2001: Mike Tranghese
A former sports information director at Providence College who worked his way up the ranks from league PR director to commissioner of the Big East Conference and chair of the NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Committee. Always has been regarded as a friend of the media as a college athletics administrator.

2000: Tim Tolokan
Sports information director at Connecticut for over 20 years and a favorite among the media covering the Huskies. "A lot of places, when you call the SID office, you almost hope that you get the voice mail," said AP basketball editor Jim O'Connell. "But at Connecticut, you're hoping you get to talk to Tim."

1999: Bill Hancock
Director of the NCAA Division I men's basketball tournament and former assistant commissioner and service bureau director of the Big Eight Conference. Hancock started his career as assistant SID at Oklahoma and later spent four years working with his brother on a family-owned daily newspaper before joining the Big Eight. He has been with the NCAA since 1989, overseeing all aspects of the NCAA tournament, including the Final Four.

1998: Al Shrier
Longtime sports information director at Temple University retired in 1995 after 42 years in sports information at Temple. He received numerous honors from CoSIDA for his brochures and media guides.

1997: Craig Miller and Amy Early
USA Basketball publicists, who, through tireless efforts, assisted many basketball writers in their coverage of the "Dream Team" in the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta.

1996: Rick Brewer
Former sports information director at North Carolina. His easy-going, yet professional, style made the business of covering Tar Heels' basketball much easier than it might have been.

1995: George Raveling
Former head coach at Washington State, Iowa and USC was an accessible and thoughtful individual in his dealings with the media during his career.

1994: Marvin "Swede" Johnson
Vice president of corporate affairs at Coors Brewing Co. and person responsible for Coors' continued involvement and sponsorship of the Most Courageous Award. Johnson initiated the idea of producing a video of the most courageous recipient for the USBWA's annual awards brunch at the NCAA Final Four.

1993: Roger Valdiserri
Sports information director for many years at Notre Dame and a man who, in the view of many, was the best ever in his business. His skill at assisting writers who were assigned to cover Notre Dame and ability to make the task much easier is legendary.

1992: Tom Frericks
Former athletic director at Dayton and also chairman of the NCAA's Division I Basketball Committee who was especially attentive to the needs of writers.

1991: Marvin "Skeeter" Francis
Longtime service bureau director for the Atlantic Coast Conference.

1988: Katha Quinn
Sports information director at St. John's University.