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CoSIDA to Induct Valdosta State's Steve Roberts Into Hall Of Fame

Wednesday, May 7, 2008 , Posted by Christopher Byrne at 8:00 AM, under

Athens,GA (May 7, 2008) - It seems that the tenure of college sports information directors is not as long as it used to be, much like the coaches they support. But long-timers are still out there. Steve Roberts (pictured left), who served as the Sports Information Director at Valdosta State University for a quarter century before retiring in 2006, will be inducted into the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) Hall of Fame on Wednesday, July 2, 2008 at the organization’s annual workshop to be held in Tampa, Fla.

Roberts earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in journalism from the University of Georgia in 1965 and immediately began working as a sports writer and Sunday editor for the Savannah Morning News. In 1968, Roberts joined Valdosta State College as a staff member in College Relations. From 1972 to 1981, he worked as a Sunday editor for the Valdosta Daily Times, while doing sports information work at VSC on a part-time basis. In 1981, Roberts was hired as VSC's first full-time sports information director.

Roberts received several CoSIDA publications awards over the years with his 1993 football media guide earning Best Cover in the Nation. He has promoted three winners of the Harlon Hill Trophy, which recognizes the best Division II football player. He witnessed first-hand the 1979 Baseball National Championship and the 2004 Football National Championship.

The veteran SID, who retired from his position in May, 2006, has served as media coordinator for 35 national championships in his NCAA career, most notably as the media coordinator for the Division II College World Series from 1994 through 2007.

Active in CoSIDA throughout his career, Roberts served on the CoSIDA Academic All-America Committee from 1987 through 2006. He also served on the CoSIDA Board of Directors as the organization’s college division representative from 1997 through 1999. He still keeps his hand in the business, providing the statistics crew for the Gator Bowl, which he has done since 1986. His son, John, followed in his footsteps and is in the media relations office at the Atlantic Sun Conference.

Roberts, who was inducted into the Valdosta State Hall of Fame in 2007, will be one of three sports information professionals to be inducted into the CoSIDA Hall of Fame at the Tampa Workshop.

Also Being Inducted into the COSIDA Hall of Fame

Jim Wright, COSIDA Director of Statistics

Jim Wright entered his career in sports information with Air Force, later moving to Southern Colorado. In 1975 he joined the NCAA statistics staff and now interacts with sports information officials from all divisions. He has been acknowledged for his work with baseball by the American Baseball Coaches Association and the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association.

Kevin Ruple, Baldwin-Wallace

Kevin Ruple began his career at Wooster, where he received CoSIDA’s Warren Berg Award. He is also active in Ohio’s high school athletics and other state sports events. He is also a past member of CoSIDA's board of directors and is a member of the Academic All-America committee.

Other 2008 COSIDA Honorees

Debbie Copp, Oklahoma

Debbie Copp, an assistant at Oklahoma since 1977, will receive the Bob Kenworthy award for community service. She has worked as a press officer for three Olympic Festivals and has assisted local charitable organizations including Habitat for Humanity and the American Cancer Society. She serves on various boards and committees within the Norman community.

Debby Jennings, Tennessee

Debby Jennings, associate athletics director for media relations at Tennnessee, was named the 2008 Arch Ward Award winner. Only the second woman to win the award, it honors a CoSIDA member who has made an outstanding contribution to the field and has brought dignity and prestige to the profession. She is the chief spokesperson for the Tennessee Lady Vols and women’s basketball coach Pat Summitt.

Langston Rogers, Mississippi

Langston Rogers, senior associate athletics director for media relations at Mississippi, will receive the Trailblazer Award, which honors a pioneer who has mentored and helped improve the level of ethnic and gender diversity within the field. A past organization president, Rogers was involved in promoting Delta State’s women’s basketball team and coach Margaret Wade when he was at that school. He has also served in a communications role at the NCAA Women’s Final Four.

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