July 3, 2003
CLEVELAND, Ohio – John Heisler, associate athletics director for media relations, broadcast properties and contest scheduling at Notre Dame, was inducted into the College Sports Information Directors of America Hall of Fame Wednesday during the organization’s annual workship. Heisler became the third Irish sports information director to be so honored, joining Roger Valdiserri (inducted 1981) and Charles Callahan (inducted 1969).
Heisler, a native of South Bend, Ind., is in his 25th year as a member of the Notre Dame athletics staff and his 15th year as sports information director at Notre Dame. He was promoted to his current position in 2001 after serving as an assistant athletics director from 1995-2001.
After originally joining the athletic staff in April 1978 as assistant sports information director, he was promoted to associate director in July of 1982 under Valdiserri.
Heisler has helped edit a variety of award-winning publications, including 25 judged “Best in the Nation” by the CoSIDA Publications Committee. He has worked primarily with the Notre Dame football and basketball departments since his promotion to associate athletics director and has produced nine top-ranked football media guides and four more in basketball.
As a student at the University of Missouri, Heisler spent four years working in the sports information office, handling publicity for basketball and nonrevenue sports. Following his graduation in December of 1976, he was named the first full-time assistant to Missouri sports information director Bill Callahan prior to moving to Notre Dame one year later.
Heisler has helped direct research operations in Los Angeles for ABC Sports coverage of the 1984 Olympics, worked with NBC Sports as an administrator of its research operations for its coverage of the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, Ga., and served as a network liaison with ABC Sports for its coverage of the 1987 International Summer Special Olympics at Notre Dame. Heisler also assisted Lou Holtz in the writing of The Fighting Spirit, the bestselling story of Notre Dame’s 1988 national championship football season and edited Quotable Rockne, a book of Knute Rockne quotations published in 2001.
In addition, he served as media coordinator for NCAA men’s basketball tournament games at Notre Dame in 1985 and 1988, and has worked at five NCAA Final Four events. Heisler also helped initiate the CoSIDA Writing Contest as part of his longtime involvement with the writing committee.
In 1994, Heisler received the Special Presidential Award from Notre Dame president Rev. Edward A. Malloy, C.S.C., and was awarded an honorary monogram by the Notre Dame National Monogram Club in 1991. Heisler, and his wife Karen, are the parents of two sons, Scott and Timothy.
Inducted into the Hall of Fame with Heisler were Chris Anderson of Nebraska and Dave Wrath of Augustana College.