National SID organization honors Texas A&M’s Cannon

Published: Feb. 27, 2018 at 3:41 PM CST
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Longtime Texas A&M sports information director Alan Cannon has been named the 2018 winner of the prestigious Arch Ward Award, the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) announced on Tuesday.

The Arch Ward Award is presented annually to a CoSIDA member who has made an outstanding contribution to the field of college sports information, and who by his or her activities, has brought dignity and prestige to the profession. Cannon will receive the Arch Ward Award at the organization’s annual convention this June in Washington, D.C.

“I am humbled and honored,” Cannon said. “This award is more of a reflection of the good fortune I have had throughout the years. To learn the business from outstanding bosses such as Bob Condron, Maxey Parrish, Spec Gammon, Ralph Carpenter, Tom Turbiville and Johnny Keith. To continue to learn by association from great SIDs in the Southwest Conference, Big 12 Conference and now the Southeastern Conference. The blessings of having mentors such as Bill Little and Doug Vance to encourage me to get more involved with CoSIDA and taking advantage of learning from tremendous CoSIDA members in all divisions across this nation. But most of all, I have been fortunate to have bright and outstanding staff members and students who continue to help me learn and improve daily. With apologies to Yankee great Lou Gehrig, I truly feel like I am the luckiest guy on the face of the earth.”

A 2014 inductee into the CoSIDA Hall of Fame, Cannon’s career at Texas A&M has spanned four decades and he has been witness to the tumult of college football’s first million-dollar head coach in 1982, the despair when 12 student souls were taken in the Bonfire Tragedy in 1999, the spectacle of the first freshman Heisman Memorial Trophy winner in 2012, and the addition of a head football coach with a national championship already on his resume in 2017.

Cannon was there for those events, and he was there for the thousands and thousands of Texas A&M athletic contests, hirings, fir­ings, press conferences, game previews and recaps that only a few people took notice of. Through it all, Cannon’s steady hand, resourcefulness and resolve have been present. His goal in every instance was to put Texas A&M University, and its greatest resource -- the student-athletes -- in the best light possible. While walking the fine line between “what’s best for the University” and “what does the media need,” Cannon fosters the utmost respect from the local, state and national media.

Cannon came to Texas A&M in 1981 as a walk-on second baseman who couldn’t catch up to the fastball on Coach Tom Chandler’s Aggie baseball team. The wise Coach Chandler advised the young baseball player that his skills might be better served filing photos and clipping newspaper articles in Spec Gammon’s SID office. With that, a career in collegiate athletics was born.

His career has seen him as the primary media contact for Texas A&M’s winningest football coach (R.C. Slocum), the win­ningest basketball coach (Dr. Shelby Metcalf) and the winningest baseball coach (Mark Johnson). He’s been the head football SID for four head coaches -- Slocum, Dennis Franchione, Mike Sherman and Kevin Sumlin -- and he’s served under five directors of athletics -- John David Crow, Wally Groff, Bill Byrne, Eric Hyman and Scott Woodward.

Arch Ward Award Recipients

Arch Ward was sports editor of the Chicago Tribune from 1930 until he died in 1955. He is credited with inventing the concept of an all-star contest. All-star games began in 1933 with the first baseball all-star game. The following year, Ward initiated the College All-Star football game.

2018 Alan Cannon (Texas A&M)

2017 Jeff Hodges (North Alabama)

2016 Bernie Cafarelli (American Athletic Conference)

2015 Nick Joos (Baylor)

2014 Julie Bennett (Baylor)

2013 Shelly Poe (Auburn)

2012 Lawrence Fan (San Jose State)

2011 Justin Doherty (Wisconsin)

2010 Al Shrier (Temple)

2009 William "Bill" Hamilton (South Carolina State)

2008 Debby Jennings (Tennessee)

2007 John Paquette (Big East Conference)

2006 Bud Ford (Tennessee)

2005 Ed Carpenter (Boston University)

2004 Claude Felton (Georgia)

2003 Jim Wright (NCAA)

2002 Hal Cowan (Oregon State)

2001 Langston Rogers (Mississippi)

2000 Mary Jo Haverbeck (Penn State)

1999 Rick Brewer (North Carolina)

1998 Bill Little (Texas)

1997 Dave Cawood (NCAA)

1996 Fred Nuesch (Texas A&M-Kingsville)

1995 Howie Davis (Massachusetts)

1994 John Humenik (Florida)

1993 Tom Price (South Carolina)

1992 Dave Wohlhueter (Cornell)

1991 Haywood Harris (Tennessee)

1990 Steve Boda (NCAA)

1989 Dave Schulthess (Brigham Young)

1988 Marv Homan (Ohio State)

1987 Roger Valdiserri (Notre Dame)

1986 Jim Mott (Wisconsin)

1985 Nick Vista (Michigan State)

1984 Bill Esposito (St. John’s)

1983 Elmore Hudgins (Southeastern Conference)

1982 Jones Ramsey (Texas)

1981 Don Bryant (Nebraska)

1980 Bill Whitmore (Rice)

1979 Marvin Francis (Atlantic Coast Conference/Wake Forest)

1978 Frank Soltys (Arizona)

1977 Bob Bradley (Clemson)

1976 Bob Hartley (Mississippi State)

1975 Bill Callahan (Missouri)

1974 Charley Thornton (Alabama)

1973 Wilbur Synpp (Ohio State)

1972 Bill Young (Wyoming)

1971 Tom Miller (Indiana)

1970 Baaron Pittenger (Harvard)

1969 Wilbur Evans (Southwest Conference)

1968 Eric Wilson (Iowa)

1967 Bob Culp (Western Michigan)

1966 Ernest Goodman (Howard)

1965 Don Pierce (Kansas)

1964 Ned West (Georgia Tech)

1963 Wiles Hallock (Wyoming)

1962 Fred Stabley Sr. (Michigan State)

1961 Harold Keith (Oklahoma)

1960 Bob Paul (Pennsylvania)

1959 John Cox (Navy)

1958 Lester Jordan (Southern Methodist)