For the second-consecutive year, Redbird Athletics Communications at Illinois State University has been on the receiving end of numerous awards from the Missouri Valley Conference (MVC), including SID (Sports Information Director) Staff of the Year.  

Members of the Redbird Athletics Communication Department are no strangers to MVC recognition, as they received two of the four awards in 2019 for Best Media Services and Best Staff. Following last year’s success, this year they received four of the eight awards for Best Game Notes, Best Social Media Video/Athlete Feature, Best Motion Graphic, and SID Staff of the Year.  

Before gaining his current role as assistant athletic/communications director, Mike WilliamsSchool of Communication grad in 04 with a M.S. in 07, worked in various roles within the Redbird Athletics Communications office and has been a part of six Staff of the Year honors from the MVC.   

Mike Williams photo

Mike Williams, Assistant Athletic/Communications Director, COM grad ’04

I’ve been very fortunate to work with some extremely talented and creative people that constantly make me better and push me to do more in this role. I think we all strive to do that in the office and are never content with staying status quo,“ said Williams. I think that’s what has made us able to continue a history of excellence in this office that was started a long time ago by Roger Cushman and has evolved over the years with the leadership of Tom Lamonica, Kenny Mossman, Todd Kober and many other dedicated sport communication professionals,” added Williams.  

The Redbird Athletics Communications office is also known for providing new opportunities for School of Communication students who have interests in sports video production and broadcasting. Students work closely with the Redbird Productions and Marketing team on website video content and in-game productions to develop new skills, while learning from some of Illinois State’s best mentors in the sports communication field. The students were very excited for the ‘Staff of the Year’ honor as well, and we know that they had a big part in our success throughout the year helping execute ideas and plans for social media campaigns,” said Williams.  

Although the upcoming school year holds many uncertainties due to COVID-19, the Redbird Athletics Communications team will continue to build on each other’s strengths knowing their hard work and dedication to their profession is continuously recognized.  

The award certainly gives us the motivation to continue to do our jobs at a high level of performance, and it gives each of our staff members, from fulltime folks all the way down to our School of Communication interns a great professional experience,” said Williams. “We have always been about building people up and preparing them for future success in this office, and I believe we are doing that at a very high level. Apparently, our peers at the MVC think so as well.”  

The following list shows the 2020 Missouri Valley Conference Awards and Winners:  

  • Best Game Notes – Illinois State MBB 
  • Best Media Guide – Southern Illinois MBB 
  • Best Post-COVID-19 Feature – Loyola PSA from 2018 Ramblers 
  • Best Social Media Video/Athlete Feature – Illinois State: Dear Younger Self 
  • Best Motion Graphic – Illinois State MBB 
  • Best Non-Motion Graphic – Missouri State Baseball 
  • Best Media Services – Loyola 
  • SID Staff of the Year – Illinois State 

For more information on Redbird Athletics Communication, please visit 

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