NEW YORK — For the fifth time in seven years, Oklahoma Christian's assistant athletic director for media relations, Murray Evans, was honored late last month in the annual Fred W. Stabley Sr. Writing Contest conducted by the College Sports Information Directors of America.
Evans won three first-place district awards in the contest, which recognized top stories produced during the 2018 calendar year by members of the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA), the professional organization for workers in athletic communications.
Evans' stories were deemed by judges to be the best in the coach/administrator/historical, athlete profile and season preview/recap categories in CoSIDA's District 6, which covers Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas.
Athletic communications professionals from all levels — NCAA Divisions I, II and III, NAIA, NCCAA and junior colleges — submitted nearly 400 entries in the contest. Other winners in District 6 included writers from the University of Oklahoma, Oklahoma State University and Texas Tech University. Evans was one of only three writers from around the nation to receive as many as three district honors.
Evans' winning stories were a piece on the retirement of longtime OC softball coach Tom Heath, a profile on former OC basketball/track and field standout McKenzie Stanford and a season preview on OC's softball team.
Since 2013, Evans has won 14 district awards in the Stabley contest as well as seven honors in the NAIA-Sports Information Directors Association writing and media guide contests during his first year at OC.
Evans has handled OC's sports information duties since August 2011. His responsibilities include creating content for and maintaining the university's athletic website, producing news releases, serving as the official scorer and statistician for OC athletics, maintaining historical records for OC's 17 varsity and six club sports, overseeing athletic social media accounts, handling award nominations, serving on OC's Athletic Hall of Fame committee, answering media queries and coordinating game operations.
Evans graduated from OC in 1989 with a degree in journalism. Starting in 1988, he has spent just over 23 years as a sports and news reporter, including 13 with The Oklahoman in Oklahoma City (spending much of that time as the newspaper's small-college beat writer) and more than eight with The Associated Press in Lexington, Ky. and Oklahoma City.
He won numerous writing awards for his work with The Oklahoman and the AP, including in April 2013, when he took second-place in sports reporting in the annual Society of Professional Journalists-Oklahoma Pro Chapter's annual writing contest. In 2014, he also received a first-place award in press release writing from SPJ Oklahoma for his work at OC.