Safford honored, C of I wins 11 NAIA awards

The annual NAIA-SIDA Ike Pearson Award Reception was a banner night for The College of Idaho, with Coyote athletics earning a combined 12 national honors during Wednesday’s CoSIDA National Convention in Dallas, Texas.

C of I Director of Athletic Communication Mike Safford Jr. became the 40th recipient of the Ike Pearson Lifetime Achievement Award—the highest honor for an athletic communication specialist in the NAIA.

“We have the greatest jobs in the world; we get to watch, talk and write about athletics,” Safford said in his acceptance speech.  “The satisfaction we get when our student-athletes, our coaches and our schools succeed—it is second to none.”

In addition to Safford’s big night, the C of I sports information and marketing & communication offices won a combined 11 awards in the NAIA-SIDA Publications and Media Contest, including the fourth “Best in the NAIA” award in school history.

Winning “Best in the NAIA” for game highlights was Randall Post and his pregame video intro for C of I’s football game against Carroll College. It was one of six C of I videos that ranked among the Top-10. Also in the highlights category, Post’s game highlights vs. Rocky Mountain placed fifth and Sports Information Coordinator Tyler Thurston’s men’s basketball season review video placed eighth. In the publicity category, Post’s men’s basketball season ticket promo placed fourth. And in the recruitment category, Post had two top-five videos—his feature with baseball player Sam Grise took third and his feature with football play Cory Brady placed fifth.

The C of I also earned awards in the writing, brochure, and design contests. Justin Dalme placed second nationally for his postseason piece on the Coyote Volleyball team and added a fourth-place award in the Feature Story contest for his piece “An Eye for Talent” on former Coyote baseball player and current Major League Baseball scout Steve Barningham. Safford and Thurston placed tenth in the Spring Sports Brochure Contest for a March issue of their weekly “The Pack” online magazine, and Justin Morken placed third for his C of I basketball schedule poster and eighth for his fall sports schedule cards.

The 11 awards in the Publications and Media Contest mark a new high for the C of I, which has earned 53 total awards since 2001.

The College of Idaho has a 125-year-old legacy of excellence. The C of I is known for its outstanding academic programs, winning athletics tradition and history of producing successful graduates, including seven Rhodes Scholars, three governors, four NFL players and countless business leaders and innovators. Its distinctive PEAK Curriculum challenges students to attain competency in the four knowledge peaks of humanities, natural sciences, social sciences and a professional field—empowering them to earn a major and three minors in four years. The College’s close-knit, residential campus is located in Caldwell, where its proximity both to Boise and to the world-class outdoor activities of southwest Idaho’s mountains and rivers offers unique opportunities for learning beyond the classroom.  For more information, visit

Staff News