Morgal and Medeiros Earn Excellence in Communications Awards for Divisions II and III
NEW ORLEANS – Bill Morgal of Shippensburg and Shawn Medeiros of Wheaton (Mass.) were announced Wednesday as the inaugural winners of the Division II and Division III Track & Field Excellence in Communications Awards, respectively, by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA).
Morgal, in his sixth year with Shippensburg, has not only excelled in his coverage of the Raiders’ track & field programs, but has expanded his reach to the conference level to provide exposure for all PSAC programs.
Medeiros, in just his second year at Wheaton, has already made a significant impact on how track & field is covered both at Wheaton and in the local community, as well as in the NEWMAC conference.
The USTFCCCA Excellence in Communications Award, in its inaugural year in 2013-14, recognizes those athletics communications representatives at schools and conferences who have committed to excellent coverage and support of collegiate track & field. Winners are selected by the USTFCCCA National Office.
A separate award for cross country will be awarded in the fall.
Morgal provided in-depth coverage of the Shippensburg track & field teams throughout the entire 2013-14 season, providing not only recaps of meets but also the historical ramifications of performances and frequent first-person accounts from student-athletes and coaches.
Among the unique features Morgal produced and facilitated during the season was a running blog of the NCAA Division II Outdoor Championships in Allendale, Mich., from the perspective of the student-athletes who were competing – both before and after their events, including photos.
Even while he wasn’t covering his own student-athletes, he was still busy covering track & field for the PSAC conference at large. He created the PSAC Track & Field twitter account for the conference meet hosted at Shippensburg and continually updated it with results, videos, photos and other relevant content.
That expansive coverage continued at the NCAA Outdoor Championships, where he took photos, shot videos, and compiled notes on PSAC student-athletes contending for national titles – all of which was disseminated through the PSAC Track & Field Twitter account.
Medeiros’ impact on the coverage of Wheaton (Mass.) track & field has been immediate and significant in the two years he has been in Norton, Mass. He has provided detailed meet recaps, profiles on individual student-athletes and features on the teams’ efforts in the classroom and community – and worked hard to develop relationships with the local media to ensure those stories reach a wider audience.
One of the projects he initiated was an online video segment entitled "Catching Up With Track & Field" that would routinely feature interviews with student-athletes and coaches, as well as highlights of home meets and national competitions.
He would further introduce to the Lyons’ athletics community each of the student-athletes with a social media initiative called "Wheaton Wednesdays." Each Wednesday, he would submit a "Get to know the team" post featuring the bio pages of the team members to the Wheaton Athletics Facebook and Twitter pages for all their followers to see. This came in addition to a strong social media presence that frequently featured video interviews, photos, live updates and the latest news.
Like Morgal, his contributions have been felt not only at Wheaton but at the conference level, as well – even in other sports. His proposal to the NEWMAC to recognize a Relay Team of the Week in addition to respective awards for track athletes and field athletes was unanimously approved by the conference, and eventually was also adopted in the sports of swimming & diving.
Will Stafford of LSU was chosen as the Division I Track & Field honoree prior to the NCAA Division I Outdoor Championships in Eugene, Ore.
The inaugural award for NAIA Track & Field has been postponed until 2015 due to an insufficient number of nominations.