After 25 years as the Sports Information Director at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, Eric Hess was recognized by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) for his service in the business.
Hess was presented recently with the award at the annual CoSIDA convention in Orlanda, Florida.
Hess’ road to becoming the SID at SIUE was an unconventional one. After graduating from the University of Iowa in 1988 with a bachelor’s in journalism and mass communication, he began working at the Edwardsville Intelligencer as a sports reporter.
Soon after, Hess was hired as a graduate assistant in sports information by Steve Weller, the former SID at SIUE.
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Three weeks into Hess’ position, Weller pursued an opportunity with the USA baseball team in Seoul, South Korea, after serving in his position for nine years, leaving Hess completely in charge of the sports information department.
“Perhaps the best thing I ever did for Eric was immediately leave after three weeks,” said Weller. “A month into the job, Eric handled everything. I never felt like I could give him something he couldn’t handle. When I left SIUE in 1990, it was clear who would become the third SID in SIUE history.”
Since then, Hess has been a dominant force in the industry, tackling new technology trends and the change from NCAA Division II to Division I as a seasoned veteran.
Hess put SIUE on the athletics map by creating the first web page designed solely for athletics at SIUE.
In 2012, Hess was honored by the Great Lakes Valley Conference (GLVC) with the Dr. Thomas Kearns Service Award. The award is presented to an individual or group that has contributed to the success of the GLVC as it relates to the NCAA Division II attributes of learning, balance, resourcefulness, sportsmanship, passion and service.
Since joining SIUE, Hess has been the host sports information contact for countless conference, NCAA Regional, and NCAA National Championships, including four NCAA Division II Track and Field Championships, the 1991 NCAA Division II Cross Country Championship and the 2008 NCAA Division II Baseball Championship. He also served six years as a media relations associate for the NCAA Division II Basketball Championships in Louisville, Ky. He was a media liaison for the 1994 U.S. Olympic Festival in St. Louis when SIUE was a host site for the wrestling and track and field events.
For years, Hess has been a highly-respected and well-known individual for coaches, media personnel, colleagues, and other sports information directors across the country.