FAYETTEVILLE – University of Arkansas assistant communications director Philip Pierce was named the 2007 recipient of the Sam Skinner award by the Track and Field Writers Association of America (TAFWA) at the organization’s annual breakfast in Sacramento, Calif., in conjunction with the 2007 NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships.
The Sam Skinner award is presented annually to an individual who has shown “exemplary cooperation with the media,” and is typically awarded to athletes, officials, meet promoters or coaches. The award was originally given in 1990.
“This is a great honor,” Pierce said. “When you look at the list of individuals who have been given this award over the years, it is staggering. To see my name mentioned with those same people is humbling. An award like this certainly makes the long hours spent in the office getting ready for a track meet worth the effort.”
The TAFWA honor was named in memory of Sam Skinner, a San Francisco based radio journalist and was originally called the Gold Medal award in its early days. The award has deep roots within the University of Arkansas as four honorees have had Razorback ties. Former Razorback and Olympic gold medalist Mike Conley was the first to receive the honor in 1990 followed by former Lady’Back and current director of communications for USA Track and Field Jill Geer in 2002. Head men’s track coach John McDonnell took the honor in 2003 followed by Pierce in 2007.
Pierce is completing his 11th year with the University of Arkansas and during that time has worked with both the Arkansas men’s and women’s track programs. He served as an intern for men’s sports information during the 1996-97 and 1997-98 seasons working with the men’s track program before being hired as an assistant communications director for women’s athletics in 1998 where he started working with women’s track. He has been the media coordinator for the NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships held at the Randal Tyson Track Center for the past seven years and served in the same capacity for each of Arkansas’ past four Southeastern Conference track championships.
Along with his duties with the Lady Razorback cross country and track programs, Pierce is also the communications contact for the Arkansas soccer team.
For more information about Lady Razorback track or about Arkansas women’s athletics, please go to LADYBACKS.COM.