Oliver Pierce Recipient Of Katha Quinn Award

Feb. 22, 2011

ST. LOUIS - Gonzaga University Assistant Athletic Director/Sports Information Director Oliver Pierce has been selected as the recipient of the Katha Quinn Award by the U.S. Basketball Writers Association.

The USBWA presents the award annually to individuals who have provided exceptional service to members of the media covering basketball. The award is named in honor of former St. John's University Sports Information Director Katha Quinn, who passed away of cancer in 1988.

"Oliver has garnered a solid reputation with the media through the years," said USBWA Executive Director Joe Mitch. "He has been there from the beginning in Gonzaga's rise from a respected regional program to one with a consistent national presence. We are pleased to be able to recognize him for all that he has done to help the writers cover the Bulldogs."

Pierce will be honored at the USBWA's awards breakfast held in conjunction with the men's NCAA Final Four in Houston on Monday, April 4.

Pierce is in his 23rd year at Gonzaga University. He joined the Bulldogs in 1989 and is responsible for the overall operations of the sports information office, including Gonzaga's combined 26 post-season appearances involving the sports of men's basketball, women's basketball, volleyball, men's soccer, women's soccer and baseball.

He has been involved in publicizing men's basketball in its current 12-year run of NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament appearances, including the promotion of 2002 first-round NBA Draft pick Dan Dickau, and Adam Morrison, the 2006 NCAA Division I leading scorer, third overall pick in the NBA Draft and USBWA Oscar Robertson Trophy recipient with Duke's J.J. Redick as national player of the year.

"As faces of coach Mark Few and several of the premier players become known to fans across the country, the national media had its trust in Oliver," said Jim O'Connell, former UBSWA president and veteran national college basketball writer for the Associated Press.

"There's no reason why professional service to the media can't be accompanied by a smile, and Oliver managed that while always wearing his light blue Gonzaga shirt."

During his Gonzaga tenure he has toured the Soviet Union's Georgia Republic with the Bulldog baseball team on a 10-day goodwill trip in 1989; served as the media relations director for the 1989-91 Pacific-10 Conference North Baseball Tournament; directed media relations efforts for the 1992 USA Women's Olympic Basketball Team during its one-week training session held at Gonzaga, and was editor of the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association monthly newsletter from 1991-94.

A native of Spokane where he was a 1971 graduate of Lewis and Clark High, he also served as the assistant SID at his alma mater of Washington State University from 1977-85. While at WSU he assisted with the 1982 and 1984 NCAA First and Second Round Men's Basketball Tournament hosted by the Cougars and was the SID for the Pacific-10 Conference North All-Star baseball team that participated in the Honkbal (Baseball) Tournament in Haarlem, The Netherlands, in the summer of 1984.

Pierce was a former sportswriter from the Tri-City Herald in Kennewick, Wash., and was the former sports editor for the Idahonian/Daily News in Moscow, Idaho, prior to joining the Bulldogs.

He is also active with American Legion Baseball, having served as the official scorer for Northwest Region 7 for 14 straight years. He served on the Awards Committee for the West Coast Conference and is a former chairman of the WCC Sports Information Directors.

"This award will always have a special place in my heart," said Pierce. "It exemplifies what sports information is all about. It's honoring an SID for what an SID is supposed to do."

The U.S. Basketball Writers Association was formed in 1956 at the urging of then-NCAA Executive Director Walter Byers. With some 900 members worldwide, it is one of the most influential organizations in college basketball. For more information on the USBWA and its award programs, contact executive director Joe Mitch at 314-444-4325.

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