UT Dallas Sports Media Operation Named Tops in Conference
UT Dallas has received the Sports Information Department of the Year award from the American Southwest Conference for the 2011-12 academic season.
Bruce Unrue, associate athlete director of media relations and sports information director, and Dave Wester, assistant athletic director of media relations, make up the department. Student workers also help in various capacities during home events.
The award was presented in early August at the annual ASC SID meeting in Dallas.
UT Dallas athletic director Chris Gage said Unrue and Wester work well as a team in promoting the University’s athletic programs.
“Bruce brought detail, accuracy and enthusiasm to what was a one-man operation for many years. With Dave joining him, we have been able to expand our media relations and sports information services,” Gage said. “They continue to explore ways to creatively tell the story of Comet Athletics.”
The department handled media duties for the ASC Volleyball Championship Tournament and the first round of the ASC Baseball Championship Tournament. Unrue and Wester also provided coverage for 12 ASC tournament-qualifying teams, three ASC division title squads, one NCAA tournament team and two all-Americans.
The pair also helped score multiple games at the ASC Softball First Pitch Tournament, and Unrue created the conference tournament program cover art for softball and golf.
Unrue said the sports information department established internal media quality to promote UT Dallas Athletics through its website. “Through videos and live coverage, we are able to provide the same promotional opportunities as a larger university for our student-athletes, their families and our fans.”
Unrue became the University’s first full-time sports information director in 2003 and now oversees management and presentation of home athletic events. He produces all departmental publications and marketing materials, and manages the Athletics website.
Unrue has been in the sports management/marketing business for almost 20 years. A native of Abilene, he began his career as a sports writer for the Abilene Reporter-News and was the sports information director and assistant director of public relations at McMurry University from 1981 to 1985. After heading his own advertising and marketing business, Unrue joined the Texas-Louisiana Professional Baseball League as an assistant general manager and the league’s director of communications. Unrue is the official scorer for the Fort Worth Cats professional baseball club.
Bruce Unrue (left) and Dave Wester (right) accepted their awards at the Sports Information Department meeting held by the American Southwest Conference over the summer.
Unrue earned his bachelor’s degree in journalism and speech communications from McMurry in 1980, and has completed post-graduate courses in advertising/marketing, publications design and website design and management.
Wester oversees statistical operations for game days and handles game-scoring duties. He also provides online content and is the department’s media liaison.
“In everything we do, we put the student-athletes first and do whatever we can do to better tell their story,” Wester said. “Anytime you are recognized professionally it is a good feeling.”
Wester came to UT Dallas after five years as the director of sports information at Angelo State University. He held a similar position at Southeastern Oklahoma State University from 2000 to 2005. A native of Oologah, Okla., Wester received his bachelor’s degree in mass communications from Oklahoma City University in 1995. He also spent five years in the sports information office at the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) in Tulsa, Okla.
Media Contact: The Office of Media Relations, UT Dallas, (972) 883-2155, [email protected].