Hal Cowan Receives Prestigious National Honor

May 22, 2002

Corvallis, Ore. - Hal Cowan, Oregon State University's sports information director since 1976 and a 35-year member of the College Sports Information Directors of America, has been named the 2001-02 recipient of CoSIDA's Arch Ward Award.

The CoSIDA Hall of Fame member and past president of the organization will receive the award July 3 at the annual CoSIDA Workshop, held this year in Rochester, New York.

'This is a very deserved honor,' Oregon State Director of Athletics Mitch Barnhart said. 'Hal has not only given a lot of time and effort toward the promotion of student-athletes, coaches, staff, and the schools he has worked for, but also to the CoSIDA organization. His efforts are very much appreciated by the OSU administration.'

The Arch Ward Award is given annually to a CoSIDA member who has made outstanding contributions to the field of college sports information, and who, by his or her activities, has brought dignity and prestige to the profession.

Cowan's sports information career, which began in 1965 at Central Michigan University, includes stints at five colleges and the World Football League. A graduate of Linfield College in Oregon, Cowan has worked at three schools in the Pacific-10 Conference, California, Oregon and Oregon State.

Inducted into the CoSIDA Hall of Fame in 1993, Cowan completed his rotation through the organization's officer positions by serving as president in 1994-95, then served another two years as a member of the CoSIDA Board of Directors.

Cowan's publications at Oregon and Oregon State have won 19 national awards. He has served on both the NCAA Public Relations Committee (1974) and the NCAA Public Relations and Promotions Committee (1984-86) and in 1995 received the Elmore (Scoop) Hudgins Sports Information Director Award.

Although born in McCook, Nebraska, Cowan grew up in Oregon, graduating from North Salem High in 1958 and Linfield College. A four-sport letter winner in high school, Cowan continued his athletic career in college as a member of Linfield's baseball team.

The latest Arch Ward Award winner worked as a sportswriter for the Oregonian and the Oregon Statesman in Salem, then served as a First Lieutenant in the U.S. Army Medical Corps for two years.

In 1965, after completing his military assignment, Cowan was named the sports information director at Central Michigan University, in Mt. Pleasant, Mich. A year later he joined the staff at the University of California-Berkeley as an assistant.

After one season with the Bears, Cowan returned to his home state when he was named the sports information director at the University of Oregon in Eugene. He served seven years with the Ducks before deciding to join the World Football League as director of public relations for the Portland Storm.

When the WFL folded, Cowan hooked up with Portland State for a year, then was named director of sales and promotions at Oregon State in 1976. During his first year with the Beavers he was named the director of public relations and promotions, with football sports information responsibilities added to his duties.

In 1979 Cowan was rewarded for his work by being named an assistant athletic director for sports information at OSU.

Among the many associates who have worked for Cowan are Fresno State Athletic Director Scott Johnson, Oregon State Assoc. AD Mike Corwin, Tostitos Fiesta Bowl Vice President for Media Relations Shawn Schoeffler, Willamette University Sports Information Director Cliff Voliva, and California Assistant SID Scott Ball.

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