May 7, 2010
AUSTIN, Texas -- University of Texas women's athletics director Chris Plonsky will receive the 2010 Trailblazer Award from the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA), the organization announced today.
The Trailblazer Award is presented annually to an individual who is a pioneer in the field of sports information and who has mentored and helped improve the level of ethnic and gender diversity within CoSIDA. Plonsky will be honored at CoSIDA's annual convention in San Francisco on Tuesday, July 6.
Plonsky is concluding her eighth year as women's athletics director, senior woman administrator and director of men's/women's athletics external services and her 21st year of association with The University of Texas. In CoSIDA, she is a frequent Convention panelist and was a member of then-president Roger Valdisseri's task force committee to consider the organization's direction. Plonsky also helped start the CoSIDA Writing Contest.
Bill Little shares his thoughts on Chris Plonsky
It has been over 30 years since Christine Plonsky, a Kent State women's basketball player who was vertically challenged and cursed with wobbling knees - but blessed with the intangible qualities of spirit and determination - gave up the game she loved and decided she would become a Sports Information Director.
Destiny is often an interesting traveling companion, but for Chris Plonsky, destiny had arrived. A career that began as a student SID in 1976 would take her on a trip that spanned the country, and landed her as one of the most respected people in all of college athletics.
A team co-captain in basketball and the editor of her school newspaper, Plonsky was named Kent State's outstanding journalism graduate in 1979. From there, she moved to Iowa State, where she served as women's SID from 1979-81. In January of 1982, she moved to the bright lights of The University of Texas, where she became the Sports Information Director of the school's Intercollegiate Athletics Department for Women.
It was in that role that she would begin to establish herself as a pathfinder in the growing new world of women's college athletics. At the same time, she became one of the bright new stars of the College Sports Information Directors of America.
As Plonsky's career evolved, she left Texas following the Longhorns' (and her great friend, Coach Jody Conradt's) remarkable unbeaten run to the 1986 NCAA basketball championship and became the director of public relations of the Big East Conference.
In CoSIDA, Plonsky was a frequent panelist, a member of then president Roger Valdisseri's task force committee to consider the organization's direction, and helped start the CoSIDA Writing Contest. Plonsky spent seven years with the Big East in the roles of public relations and assistant/associate commissioner capacities.
In 1993, she returned to The University of Texas as associate athletics director for External Services. She currently serves as UT's women's athletics director, senior woman administrator and director of men's/women's athletics external services.
On a national level, she is a member of the National Football Foundation/College Football Hall of Fame Board of Directors, the Honda collegiate women's sports award selection committee, and USA Basketball's Board of Directors. Her past NCAA committee work includes service on the NCAA Committee on Academic Performance and the NCAA President's Task Force on Commercialization, and five years with the Division I Management Council.
Plonsky fits perfectly the description of the "Trailblazer" award as one who "has mentored and helped improve the level of ethnic and gender diversity within CoSIDA." She did it in her years of service to the SID profession, and she does it still with the example she sets for all those who aspire to continue growing in a career in college athletics.