Katie Tooley never thought she’d know what a “clear” was in lacrosse, she said. But in the ever-changing field of athletics, Ottawa University’s sports information director proved to her peers she is ready for any new challenge — even learning lacrosse jargon.
In her 12th year as OU’s SID, Tooley was recently named Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference Sports Information Director of the Year for the third time in her career. She was previously awarded in 2013-14 and 2009-10. She will be formally recognized Aug. 8 at the Sport Management Conference at York College in York, Nebraska.
“It’s nice to be selected by your peers for that year being the best SID in the conference,” Tooley said. “That’s a very nice award from them, and I appreciate that.”
Tooley’s responsibilities include regularly updating the athletics website — www.ottawabraves.com, writing and distributing press releases to media outlets, compiling stats and archiving team information, and live streaming games.
With both Ottawa Unversity’s athletic department, and the KCAC rapidly expanding, Tooley’s job has changed over time as well.
“When I first started, we had 14 teams,” Tooley said. “With the addition of men’s and women’s bowling, and cheer and dance being considered a sport, we have 25.
“Bowling will be something new. I’ve gone to a bowling alley, and I’ve bowled, but I really don’t know a whole lot about it yet. It’ll be great to learn, and hopefully my stories will sound somewhat coherent. Just being able to adapt, and make sure all my teams are getting the same coverage as before when I had 14. It’s hard, but that is why I got into it. I love sports, and I’ve been around sports all my life.”
The use of social media, and the need to be more tech-savy also has affected the sports information department over the years, she said. And things will continue to change. Tooley said she hopes to add new things to the department at some point in the future, such as video interviews before and after games, and weekly previews.
“Katie has made a tremendous impact with her knowledge of the field and her intense desire to fulfill her job responsibilities above and beyond,” Arabie Conner, OU director of athletics, said in a news release. “Her dedication and passion for her job is clearly evident in her work, the travel commitment to covering our teams, the late night game stories and media releases, and work on social media.”
Tooley is a member of NAIA-SIDA and CoSIDA, with 20 publications earning NAIA-SIDA honors and two being named the best in the NAIA. Tooley has earned two Citations for Excellence in Publications in Division C for her combined men’s and women’s basketball media guides. Additionally, Tooley is on the Princeton City Council, volunteers her time coaching youth softball and basketball teams, and helps out at the KCAC Softball Tournament.
Clinton Dick is the Herald Sports editor. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow Herald sports on Twitter @ottawasports1