Jack Neumann has always preferred to stay in the background. For close to 30 years his job was to promote the University of Calgary Dinos, to highlight others and their athletic accomplishments.
But Friday, the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) turned the spotlight on Neumann making him the first Canadian-based sports information director to receive the Warren Berg Award, an annual honour presented to the best in the business at the college division level.
A legendary figure in Canadian sports and with the media, Neumann said having his name included with the likes of U.S. counterparts Fred Nuesch and Pete Moore “was special and daunting.” Then again so is Neumann’s resume.
Along with from working five Vanier Cups with the Dinos’ football team, and numerous other Canadian university finals, Neumann lent his expertise to a cascade of events, including the 1983 World University Games, 1988 Winter Olympics, 1990 Goodwill Games, two Izvestia hockey tournaments in Russia and, most recently, the 2012 world junior hockey championship held in Alberta.
Neumann’s tireless efforts and guidance also resulted in the 2004 CoSIDA convention being held outside the U.S. for the first time. During those meetings in Calgary, he became the first Canadian to be inducted into the CoSIDA Hall of Fame.
“It’s always been about the athletes,” said Neumann, who has coordinated the Dinos’ alumni development program the past five years. “The last time I looked, no one paid a dime to see an SID work.”
The Saskatoon-born Neumann will receive the Warren Berg Award in St. Louis on June 25.