BOONE — App State Athletics’ strategic communications department has received its first Super 11 award from the Football Writers Association of America based on the department’s work during the 2019 football season.

The Super 11 awards are given each year to 11 sports information departments deemed as the best in the NCAA’s 130-team Football Bowl Subdivision.

In addition to App State, the other FBS schools being honored are California, Clemson, Colorado, Iowa, Kansas State, Memphis, Mississippi State, Navy, NC State and San Diego State. The Mountaineers went 13-1 in 2019 and ended the season with a top-20 ranking in both national polls.

App State’s strategic communications department includes Senior Associate Athletics Director Joey Jones (primary football contact and department leader), Bret Strelow (secondary football contact), Chase Colliton, Andrew Korba, Bree Williams, Tyler Hotz, Shane Harvell and Jay Crain (director of creative services).

“I’m really proud of our hard-working team to be recognized alongside these outstanding communications departments across the country,” Jones said in a statement. “In a profession of working behind the scenes, it’s rewarding to see our staff’s dedication recognized on a national level. We strive to work well with local and national media as we continue to see the App State brand expand its reach.”

Austin Bartolomei-Hill, Kyle Brodt, Lucas Rustrian and Carson Fletcher provided valuable work from the sports production team, while Director of Football Video Operations George Claiborne leads a unit with several talented student videographers. Grant Sustar, who is in charge of graphic design for the football program, and Wyeth Collins collaborate with Crain on football graphics.

This year’s Super 11 winners were deemed by FWAA observers to have had good accessibility during the week of a game and after the game – with a program’s players, coaches and assistant coaches. Other criteria included not only how press boxes/operations were run, but the quality and timeliness of information provided, the amount of information presented and appropriately updated on websites and personal responsiveness to media inquiries. The ratings also took into consideration departments that went the extra mile in servicing the media.

FWAA members who covered college football during the 2019 season provided input in the awards survey.

The FWAA formed the first Super 11 Committee in January 2009. The concept is supported by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA), many of whom are members of the FWAA.

The FWAA, a non-profit organization founded in 1941, consists of more than 1,300 men and women across North America who cover college football for a living. The membership includes journalists, broadcasters and publicists, as well as key executives in all the areas that involve the game. The FWAA works to govern areas that include game-day operations, major awards, a national poll and its annual All-America team.

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