AUSTIN, Texas – One of the top young athletic communications professionals in the country, Evan O’Kelly, the director of communications for the athletic department at Montana State Billings, has been selected by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) as the recipient of its 2018 Rising Star Award (College Division).
The Rising Star Award is awarded annually to a sports information professional, both Division I and non-Division I, with 10 years of experience or less whose work at their institution and service, dedication, energy and enthusiasm to the profession make that individual a “rising star” in sports information.
“Evan’s upbeat attitude toward the daily tasks of being an athletics administrator and positive attitude toward this profession serves him well,” said MSUB director of athletics Krista Montague. “He makes a positive impact here every day.”
Now in his fourth year at Montana State Billings, O’Kelly is responsible for the media coverage of the Yellowjackets’ 15 varsity sports. He also serves as chair of MSUB’s Hall of Fame and Distinction Selection Committee and also serve as the department’s Student-Athlete Advisory Committee advisor.
O’Kelly’s work is appreciated by the programs that he serves at MSUB. “I cannot fathom anymore more deserving of this award than Evan,” said Yellowjackets’ head men’s soccer coach Alex Balog. “He has brought sports information to a different level at MSUB. He is passionate about what he does, but more importantly, he is passionate about our student-athletes and how he can contribute to them having a positive student-athlete experience.”
“Evan puts in a tremendous amount of time, dedication and heart into all that he does,” said MSUB volleyball coach Casey Williams. “Evan has been nothing short of a blessing for the MSUB volleyball program. His commitment to the successfulness of MSUB sports in unwavering.”
O’Kelly oversaw media coverage at the 2016 NCAA Division II West Region Cross Country Championships, hosted by MSUB. He also served as the play-by-play broadcaster for the 2017 GNAC Baseball Championships in Portland and is also the West Region coordinator for the D2CCA Men’s Basketball All-Region Program.
In addition to his Rising Star Award, O’Kelly was the District 7 winner for Season Preview/Recap of the Year and Story with Video of the Year in CoSIDA’s annual Fred Stabley, Sr., Writing Contest.
A 2013 graduate of Linfield College in McMinnville, Ore., where he worked for two years as a student sports information assistant, O’Kelly served one year as an intern at the GNAC office under long-time sports information director Bob Guptill.
The Rising Star Award will be presented during CoSIDA’s annual convention in National Harbor, Maryland, on Saturday, June 30. He will be honored along side Olivia Coiro of Syracuse, the winner of the University Division’s (Division I) Rising Star Award.