Former Clarion SID Rich Herman Honored with COSIDA Lifetime Achievement Award
This profession is about numbers. “Herm” devoted 36 years of his life into serving Clarion University, located in the picturesque hills of Western Pennsylvania. Through the years, CoSIDA provided him with 19 awards for his publications. During his tenure, a total of 99 Golden Eagle football players received All-American honors (surely, like that coveted 100th yard, maybe we could vote again to find that 100th).
“To me – going to work was like Christmas morning every day,” he said. “No matter what, there always seemed to be something new and exciting.”
Our profession is also made up of people who work tirelessly to get awards for their students. CoSIDA provides the proud recognition for these people behind the scenes. Inducted into the CoSIDA Hall of Fame in 2011, that same year Rich received the 2011 Warren Berg Award followed a year later by the 2012 Bob Kenworthy Community Service Award.
But what better way to talk about Rich Herman than to listen to the people whom he has touched.
Clarion Athletic Director Dave Katis has known Rich personally and professionally since 1984.
“We have been through so much and we both worked very closely to promote our programs. Rich was always the one to help me with the old adage ‘think before you speak.’ He would give me both sides of an opinion and say ‘you sit in that big chair you decide.!!!’”
“Rich would definitely go out of his way, make that extra phone call and really take an interest in the kid,” continued Kattis. Rich always looked at the Student-Athletes like their father away from home. How would their parents want their kid to be treated.”
Countless students and graduate students learned about our profession and about life from Rich. He is particularly proud of Dr. Nicholas Neupauer, who has served as President of Butler County Community College since 2007. This past fall, Butler was named the #1 community college in Pennsylvania by schools.com. The Master of Science graduate of Clarion was Rich’s graduate assistant.
“I knew of Rich’s reputation and work ethic before I took the job. We both grew up in Ellwood City — a hard-nosed steel town in Western PA. Both of our fathers worked in the mills. Everything I expected when I started in August of 1991 is exactly what I got. Relentless, dedicated, fair, honest and loyal.”
Steve McCloskey of Mansfield will also be on the stage in Dallas this year, as a member of the 2016 Class of the CoSIDA Hall of Fame.
“I’ve known Rich ever since I’ve been in this business and have the highest respect for his character and conviction. Rich has always been a leader and someone who has championed our profession. His ability to network in and outside of our profession is legendary and he has never been too busy to provide a listening ear and advice to a colleague.”
“Rich is, and has always been, a difference maker and a ground breaker,” continued McCloskey. “His efforts, along with others, in organizing and enhancing the image of all athletic communications professionals – especially at the NCAA Division II level – has made a lasting impact on our lives. We will always be indebted to him for his passion and professionalism.”
It is also important to note that numerous student-athletes on campuses throughout North America benefited from Rich’s efforts. How so? During his term as DII-SIDA President, Rich attended the NCAA Conventions representing CoSIDA.
“At the top of the agenda was the expansion of the Academic All-America program. John gave me permission to explore a proposal with then-NCAA Div. II President Mike Racy to be a sponsor in the expansion of the program and have separate awards programs for NCAA Divisions II & III. This was in line with the new identity package. When Mike said yes to the proposal, I couldn’t wait to get out of that meeting and call John (Humenik, the-then Executive Director of CoSIDA).”
“This led to NCAA Division III’s Vice President Dan Dutcher also matching funds. I always felt that was a pivotal day in the expansion of the program and individual identities for NCAA Division II and III athletes.”
This expansion helped provide more awards for not only NCAA I, II and III student-athletes, but also those in Canadian University Sport and the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics.
And by the way, Mr. Racy even made a point to come to Rich’s CoSIDA Hall of Fame induction.
Just days after this year’s convention, Rich and his beloved wife, Paula, will celebrate their 34th anniversary.
“My wife is usually referred to as Saint Paula. I agree. I would be nowhere without her support and guidance. She is my love and my life.”
Some things just go together.
Rich & Paula Herman.
Rich Herman. Clarion.
Rich Herman. CoSIDA.
Rich Herman. Care.
Editor’s Notes – This story originally appeared on COSIDA.Com and was written by Eric McDowell, CoSIDA Pat President at the SID at Union College … Herman will receive his award at the annual CoSIDA Convention being held June 12-15 in Dallas
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