June 25, 2012
RUSTON - Louisiana Tech's Athletic Media Relations Department led all state schools with three first place finishes and tied with five overall awards in the annual state-wide Louisiana Sports Writers Association sports information contest.
Tech's department won first place in three of the six categories as Associate Athletics Director Malcolm Butler, Associate Media Relations Director Patrick Walsh and University Communications senior writer Teddy Allen all garnered top honors.
Overall, Tech tied LSU and McNeese State with five total awards.
Butler won first place in the Division III-IV Media Guide category with his women's basketball media guide as the judges wrote, "Nice theme throughout of `Court is Now in Session,' contains one of the top Season in Review sections of all guides judged, outstanding game and individual action shots, good usage of conference information and transition seasons in women's hoops."
Walsh won first place in the Best Fact Sheet category as the judge's comments included, "Tremendous information with not-so-unnecessary stats, history, series, and recent contests are highlighted and well placed, updated seasonal player bios are of great assistance to writers are electronic media, concise writing with a flair."
Allen took home top honors for the best story on a piece on the Bulldog football team's Make-a-Wish Foundation visit during the Poinsettia Bowl festivities in San Diego in December. "Release reveals dichotomy of players receiving several swag items and needy kids in community, players learn valuable lesson in area concern, writing is very readable and players' reactions and results of giving teach valuable lessons," wrote the judges.
Walsh also took home a second place in the Division V Media Guide category with his track and field submission while Phillip Pongratz won third place in the Division I Media Guide category with his Bulldog basketball submission.
Since 2000, Louisiana Tech has won 37 awards in the contest, the second most in the state behind only LSU while Butler's 24 awards ranks second behind only LSU's Michael Bonnette (26).
Pongratz and Allen became the sixth and seventh members of the LA Tech Media Relations Department to garner awards in the contest since 2000. Allen has won dozens of awards in the state sportswriters contests during his years with the New Orleans Times Picayune, Shreveport Times and other state publications.
All of Louisiana Tech's media guides are designed by Donnie Bell Designs, Inc., a local graphic design company in Ruston owned by the University alum. Photographers Donny Crowe, Tom Morris, Darrell James, Matt Lange and Donald Page contributed the majority of images used in all of the guides.