Jim Murray was a journalist who won national sportswriter of the year 14 times and was the one of the only sportswriters to ever win a Pulitzer Prize. Aspiring sportswriter Daniel Mediate of Sheridan may have just started chipping away at those accolades.
Mediate was informed by Linda McCoy-Murray on Thursday, the wife of the late Jim Murray, that he was selected as the top collegiate sportswriter in the country for the past year and named a Murray Scholar by the Jim Murray Memorial Foundation. Mediate talked about what the award means to him.
Mediate added that the shock of being referred to as a “Murray Scholar” still hasn't really worn off.
Each year since 2000, the top 28 journalism schools in the country nominate their best sportswriter to the JMMF which was founded by McCoy-Murray. Then, this year's judges from NFL.com, the NY Times, the LA Times and the USA Today all vote for a winner.
The award carries $5,000 scholarship, which will “alleviate the financial burden of my senior year of college,” Mediate joked. An awards banquet is traditionally held in Los Angeles at ESPN headquarters for the winner, but Mediate said he doesn't know yet if there will be one this year. University of Missoula graduates have won the last three years.
Last year he wrote for his school's paper, the Kaimin, and reeled out about 70 stories about any different type of sports from football to volleyball over the course of the school year. The story he said stuck with him the most was one about a Griz basketball player who lost his father just before his high school championship game.
He's not sure where he wants to work after school yet. Right now, he's just concentrating on completing his time as a college student, where as a senior he will be sports editor of the Kaimin this year and manage about 3-4 writers while he continues to do what he loves - write about sports.