National Organization Honors UM’s Dave Guffey with Lifetime Achievement Award

April 07, 2015

MISSOULA – The College Sports Information Directors of America recently announced they will honor longtime University of Montana Associate Athletic Director for Communications Dave Guffey with a Lifetime Achievement Award.

He will be recognized at the CoSIDA Convention, which is slated for Monday, June 15, in Orlando, Florida. The award is given to individuals who have served at least 25 years in the sports information profession, and who are retiring or leaving the profession.

Guffey plans to retire from UM in June after serving Grizzly Athletics for nearly 37 years.

“I am so pleased for Dave and the well-deserved retirement that awaits him,” said Eric McDowell, CoSIDA president and the assistant athletic director for sports information at Union College in New York. “We are losing a tremendous sports communications professional and wonderful mentor and role model in our profession.”

“Dave is certainly a passionate Grizzly,” UM Director of Athletics Kent Haslam said. “He has spent countless hours working on behalf of student-athletes, coaches and the athletic department. The contributions he has made to the University and Grizzly Athletics are immeasurable.”

Guffey is a resource for all things associated with Grizzlies athletics. He promoted, witnessed and reported on Montana’s Division I-AA and Football Championship Subdivision championships in 1995 and 2001, and six more FCS football title games, 14 men’s basketball postseason appearances since 1985, and numerous Big Sky Conference championships by the Grizzlies’ 15-sport program. 

“I often worked with Dave during my time at Cal Poly and I was so impressed with his dedication to his student-athletes at the University of Montana.,” McDowell said. “All the students and staff for the Griz have been served so well by a dedicated individual.”

Guffey majored in journalism at Fresno State. He later wrote for and became sports editor for the Daily Collegian and Insight campus newspapers and caught the attention of Fresno State SID Tom Kane.

“He was a great asset to me,” said Kane, who gave Guffey his start in the sports information field in 1974 as a graduate assistant covering baseball and assisting with football. “Dave was very knowledgeable. Our football coach, Jim Sweeney, had a saying, ‘Bulldog-born, Bulldog-bred and a Bulldog till the day I’m dead.’ That was Dave.”

“When covering a university for a newspaper, you had to maintain your ethics,” Guffey said about his transition from sports writing to sports information. “You couldn’t cheer for a team. But, when you work for a university, you’re part of the deal now. It made it a lot more fun to cover sports. That was one of the main attractions for me.”

After a stint at the Fresno Bee reporting on prep sports and serving as the sports editor for the Fresno Guide, (now called Fresno State magazine) Dave and his wife of nearly 40 years, Mea Andrews, a Fresno State journalism major, too, made the trek to Montana. She would eventually join the staff of the Missoulian as a news reporter covering health, business and education. Together, they raised two sons, Matthew and Patrick.

“He’s seen the growth of Montana from a regional university to one that now has a nationally recognized athletics program,” Haslam said.  “He saw where the football program started and what it's become today. He’s been a witness to it all and holds a lot of knowledge of this place. That’s very valuable, so we look forward to keep Dave engaged in what we do here, even in retirement.”

For more information on the CoSIDA award call Assistant Athletic Director for Union College Eric McDowell at 518-388-6170 or email mcdowele@union.edu.

Contact: Dave Guffey, associate athletic director for communications, UM Athletics, 406-243-5402, david.guffey@umontana.edu; Eric McDowell, assistant athletic director, Union College, 518-388-6170, mcdowele@union.edu.