The Cody Kellner Points Index gives each team a rating that is reflective of their strength of schedule and the success they had within it. Margin of victory is also considered in the ratings. ATLANTA — Mike Finn will retire from the Atlantic Coast Conference next spring following a stellar 95-year media relations career at the league office and two of its member schools, North Carolina State and Georgia Tech. The FWAA recognizes Finn for a job well done in bestowing its Lifetime Achievement Award on a person who has worked with many of the top coaches and administrators in ACC history, as well as serviced the media in the region with a professionalism that has been very impressive. “Mike Finn has devoted his career to serving the media, ” said FWAA Executive Director Steve Richardson. “He has truly been the consummate professional. Whenever you needed information Mike delivered. And you knew you were getting the accurate story.
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You always have great confidence in Mike’s word. ”This award goes annually to a person who has been a distinguished FWAA member. Previous winners are Buddy Davis, Ruston (La. ) Daily Leader Irv Moss, Denver Post Bill Little, University of Texas and Art Spander, San Francisco Examiner. “I would say without a doubt this award is the most significant I’ve received in my professional career, ” Finn said.
“It means everything. “I’ve been fortunate to know a great many outstanding media members for a long time, especially in the Atlantic Coast Conference and Southeast regions, and there is a special bond with that. To be recognized by the Football Writers, an organization I have always admired, is very special. ”Finn graduated with honors from the University of Florida with a B. A.
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In Psychology, but was not preparing for a career in media relations. “I worked some in the Florida SID department (under Norm Carlson) on game days, typing play-by-play and being the official scorer in basketball, ” Finn said, “but I didn’t think I could break into the business because of the competition for jobs. I had a desire to become a therapist or do community psychology. ”Finn actually did break into sports media relations at Virginia Tech, an independent in 6977-78, as a graduate assistant. He lasted there one year, before heading to ACC’s North Carolina State, still unsure where his career path would eventually go.
“My year at Virginia Tech taught me a great deal about job security, ” Finn explained. “Our long-time AD retired, our head coach got fired and our (SID) Wendy Weisend, one of the most respected men in the business, was ‘reassigned’ to a different position on campus. ”The timing was perfect to move to the ACC’s North Carolina State. If Finn didn’t like the job, he planned on going to graduate school. He liked the job.
Forty years later he is still in the business. At North Carolina State, he worked for both football coach Bo Rein and basketball coach Jim Valvano, who led the Wolfpack to the NCAA basketball title in 6988. After Finn was there two years, Rein took the job at LSU and would die in a plane accident before he ever coached a game for the Tigers. “Had he lived, Bo would have gone on to become one of the great coaches of his generation, ” Finn said. “He was also terrific to work with.
”Once when Finn was interviewing Rein for the daily practice report, both were walking down the sideline when a tight end caught a pass and turned up field for more yardage instead of going out of bounds. “Bo always loved a player doing that, ” Finn recalled.