Longtime NSU Sports Information Director Doug Ireland was among the faculty and staff members recognized with milestone awards during the annual Faculty/Staff Lunch on Monday, August 13.
Ireland has been in charge of athletic media relations at his alma mater since January 1989 and was acknowledged for 30 years of employment.
An alumnus of Pi Kappa Phi Fraternity, he has served as Beta Omicron Chapter Advisor since 2008, working closely with student leaders.
For the university, Ireland coordinates publicity efforts for Northwestern’s 14 intercollegiate sports teams through local, regional and national media outlets in print, broadcast, television and the internet.
He also serves in the volunteer role of chairman of the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame. Ireland assumed that post in April 1990.
He was chosen as the 2016 recipient of the Southland Conference’s Louis Bonnette Sports Media Award, named for the iconic retired McNeese SID.
His 1992 Demon Football Media Guide won “Best in the Nation” in FCS Division from the College Sports Information Directors of America. A 1997 story on Joe Delaney, “The Guy We Called Joe D,” won a national second-place award in a CoSIDA writing contest. Ireland has won dozens of awards as SID from the Louisiana Sports Writers Association, including 31 this century.
Several of his assistant SIDs and graduate assistants have advanced to prominence in sports. Former NSU sports information staffers under Ireland include Bruce Ludlow, associate commissioner for operations of the Southland Conference; Bill Magrath, media relations manager for the Sports Business Daily; Mike Morrison, former co-editor of the ESPN Information Please Almanac; Daucy Crizer, assistant AD and business manager at Lamar; Erik Cox, former SID at Lamar; Dart Volz, former SID at Southeastern Louisiana; Melissa Reynaud, former assistant SID at LSU; Kenny Lannou, associate AD for communications at Kansas State; Matthew Bonnette, assistant AD and SID at McNeese, and Troy Mitchell, SID at Henderson State. Dustin Eubanks, NSU’s assistant AD/director of NCAA compliance, worked in the NSU SID office as a graduate assistant and for two years as the full-time assistant, and Adam Jonson, athletics director at LSU-Alexandria, was a student and graduate assistant in the SID office.
In 1981-82, while an undergraduate at Northwestern, Ireland worked as chief of the Shreveport Times Natchitoches Bureau, coordinating news coverage of an eight-parish region along the Red River. From 1982-85, he was assistant SID at Southwestern Louisiana (now UL Lafayette), working with a men’s basketball program that made three straight postseason tournament appearances. He won CoSIDA publications and writing awards while at USL. Ireland was the sports editor of the Natchitoches Times in 1985-86 and attended graduate school at Northeast Louisiana (now UL Monroe) before joining the Alexandria Town Talk sports staff in 1987. In 18 months at the Town Talk, he covered both NSU and LSU sports and won 15 writing awards from the Louisiana Sports Writers’ Association.
In 2001, the LSWA presented its prestigious Mac Russo Award to Ireland for his contributions to the organization. In 1999, Ireland was awarded honorary membership in the Graduate N Club at NSU by the university’s group of athletic lettermen for his service to Northwestern and its athletic program, and in 2003 he was given full membership. He was appointed by President Dr. Randall Webb to serve a two-year term on the inaugural University Planning Council in 1997-99.
In 2008, he was awarded the Northwest Louisiana’s National Football Foundation “Distinguished American” award and in 2012 he was honored by the Alexandria Town Talk by being named the “CENLA Sportsman of the Year” award for his work as an SID and toward the completion of the $23 million Hall of Fame Museum.
Louisiana Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne presented a special award to Ireland at the grand opening of the museum on June 28, 2013, for his “tireless work and dedication to the creation” of the museum. The Louisiana Association of Museums gave him its Lois Wyatt Bannon “Heart and Soul” Service Award in April 2014 for his work with the museum.
A member of the Blue Key National Honor Fraternity and a student government senator while completing a journalism degree from Northwestern, Ireland was editor of the student newspaper “Current Sauce” as a sophomore before going to work for the Shreveport Times. He was an all-district baseball player and the student body president at Jonesboro-Hodge High School, where he was a wingback for the Tigers’ 1977 Class AA state football finalists coached by the late Don Shows.