NEW BRIGHTON, Minn. – The National Wrestling Media Association has selected Oklahoma City University’s Rich Tortorelli as its 2016-17 small-college sports information director of the year.
Tortorelli completed his 12th year at Oklahoma City, directing information and publicity efforts for OCU’s 21 varsity intercollegiate athletic programs as assistant athletic director for communications.
In 2016-17, the Stars hosted the Women’s College Wrestling Association Championships for the third time and second year in a row. OCU hosts the WCWA Championships for the third consecutive year Feb. 9-10, 2018 at Abe Lemons Arena.
“I would like to thank National Wrestling Media Association and Jason Bryant for this recognition,” Tortorelli said. “There are many hard-working individuals in strategic communications who deserve recognition as well, so I am fortunate to be honored with this award and to be counted alongside the award’s previous winners. I would like to recognize the efforts of my associate Doug Waters for his help in Oklahoma City University’s publicity initiatives in 2016-17.”
The National Wrestling Media Association announcement included this about Tortorelli: A veteran journalist, Rich Tortorelli has been handling the media relations duties for Oklahoma City’s men’s and women’s wrestling teams for nearly a decade. With two teams to cover, one in the NAIA and one with the WCWA, Tortorelli balances 21 total sports in his small shop with effective professionalism. Tortorelli has also been helpful with media and communications efforts as OCU has hosted numerous women’s wrestling championships, both at the college level and by USA Wrestling.
“With the growth of new media and the sport’s presence on the internet, the opportunity for diverse and dynamic coverage has improved over the years,” NWMA President Jason Bryant said. “It’s allowed the organization to recognize groups and individuals who have added significant value to the wrestling landscape in a variety of formats.”
In 2016-17, Tortorelli served as media relations coordinator for the inaugural NAIA Competitive Cheerleading & Dance Championships while aiding in the sports information efforts for the Sooner Athletic Conference men’s and women’s basketball tournament, both the SAC’s baseball and softball tournaments and the NAIA Baseball and Softball Championship Opening Round tournaments. Oklahoma City captured four national championships on the way to its first Directors’ Cup title.
Tortorelli has garnered 2015-16 Sooner Athletic Conference sports information director of the year, three CoSIDA best in the nation citations for publications, NAIA-SIDA publications awards and CoSIDA and NAIA-SIDA writing honors. Tortorelli remains active on the national level of the College Sports Information Directors of America and NAIA-Sports Information Directors Association, serving as a member of the CoSIDA academic all-American committee and has served previously on CoSIDA and NAIA-SIDA publications committees.
Many of his assistant sports information directors have gone on to full-time work in strategic communications. He also serves as an official scorer for the Oklahoma City Dodgers, the Triple-A affiliate of the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Before working at OCU, he was a sports writer for The Oklahoman, the state’s largest newspaper where he covered Oklahoma high schools and small colleges. Prior to that he was sports writer forThe Edmond Sun. An Oklahoma City native, Tortorelli graduated from the University of Central Oklahoma with a degree in journalism and Putnam City North High School.
Small College SID of the Year
2016-17 – Rich Tortorelli, Oklahoma City University
2015-16 – Josh Manck, Newberry College
2014-15 – Jackie Paquette, University of Indianapolis
2013-14 – Tom Nelson, St. Cloud State University
2012-13 – Don Stoner, Augsburg College
Division I SID of the Year
2016-17 – Chas Dorman, University of Pennsylvania
2015-16 – Chris Brewer, University of Iowa
2014-15 – Taylor Miller, Oklahoma State University
2013-14 – Bryan Johnston, Virginia Tech
2012-13 – Tanner Lipsett, Purdue University
2011-12 – Steve Lomangino, Lehigh University
2010-11 – Amanda Dahl, NAIA
2009-10 – Aaron Voos, University of Wyoming
2008-09 – Pat Donghia, Penn State University
2007-08 – Leah Howard, University of Michigan
2006-07 – Colin McDonough, University of Northern Iowa
2005-06 – Jim Sheehan, Hofstra
2004-05 – Emily Gatewood, University of Missouri
2003-04 – Don Stoner, Augsburg and Mark Adkins, Wartburg
2002-03 – Brian Siegrist, Penn State University
2001-02 – Kevin Kurtt, University of Minnesota
2000-01 – Traci Wagner, University of Iowa
1999-00 – Susan Filkins, University of Minnesota
1998-99 – Rich Herman, Clarion
1997-98 – Mike Kirk, Central Oklahoma
1995-96 – Steve Kirschner, University of North Carolina
1994-95 – Ryan Finney, Purdue
1993-94 – Cornell Bass, Maryland USA Wrestling
1992-93 – Phil Haddy, University of Iowa
1991-92 – Gary Abbott, USA Wrestling