Holtz earns national communication honor


Jon Holtz with cross country team

(From left, front row): Steve Shepherd, Challis Roberts, Jessica Bennett, Matti Dunham, Amy Jordan, Brittany Fagan.
(From left, back row): Steve Green, Jon Holtz, Jeremy Parsons, Ryan McGuire

Dec. 15, 2015

SAN ANTONIO - The United States Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) honored Slippery Rock University director of athletic communication Jon Holtz with the Division II national Excellence in Communications Award for the sport of cross country when the annual awards where announced Dec. 15.

Holtz is one of three communication professionals in the country that were honored, joining Division I winner Peter Clark of Boise State and Division III winner Sam Atkinson of Gallaudet.

The USTFCCCA Excellence in Communications Award recognizes athletics communications representatives at schools and conferences who have committed to excellent coverage and support of collegiate cross country. Winners are selected by the communications staff at the USTFCCCA National Office.

Holtz was honored for his efforts in covering The Rock cross country team and providing support for cross country in the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference.

He began the fall by traveling with The Rock cross country team to Alaska to chronicle the trip with daily social media posts and blogs. During the four-day trip, Holtz also drove one of the team vans and transported Rock student-athletes more than 1,100 miles around the state, from Anchorage to Denali.

Following the trip, Holtz arranged a favorite memory of each student-athlete and coach that was on the trip. He's also in the process of putting together a video chronicling the entire trip.

In addition to providing coverage of the trip to Alaska, Holtz also served the PSAC and his fellow sports information directors as host of the PSAC Championships in October. He wrote comprehensive previews before the championship, created a meet homepage with all important information, results, photos and other links in one place and operated the league track and field Twitter account during the races to provide live updates each mile on the team and individual races, sharing multiple photos and results. Holtz also arranged professional photography for the race and shared hundreds of photos with the other sports information professionals in the league and served as the public address announcer during the championship.

Holtz has been a member of the SRU sports information office since 2009 and is in the second year of leading the transition of the office from sports information to athletic communication. His staff includes assistant director Tyler McIntosh and graduate assistant Madeline Williams, who each provide coverage and support of Slippery Rock's 17 NCAA Division II sports.

MEDIA CONTACT: Jon Holtz | 724.738.4925 | jonathan.holtz@sru.edu