Dec. 23, 2015
NOTRE DAME, Ind. –
Legendary University of Notre Dame athletics communications director Roger Valdiserri will be one of three individuals inducted into the U.S. Basketball Writers Association (USBWA) Hall of Fame in April. This year’s induction ceremony will take place at the NCAA Men’s Final Four in Houston, Texas on April 4, 2016.
Joining Valdiserri as part of this year’s Hall of Fame class will be Kansas City Star college columnist Blair Kerkoff and sportswriter Bob Pille.
Valdiserri spent 22 years as the sports information director at Notre Dame. He retired in 1995 as associate athletics director after 33 years in athletic administration at the University.
A 1954 Notre Dame graduate, Valdiserri served as a student secretary for head football coach Frank Leahy, and then after graduation worked for football coach Terry Brennan as an administrative assistant from 1954-59.
He joined Mercedes-Benz of North America and served as the company’s public relations director from 1959-64 and then worked one year (1965) as public relations director for the Kansas City Chiefs. Valdiserri returned to Notre Dame in 1966 and was the school’s sports information director from 1966-88. He held the title of assistant athletic director from 1976-82 and was promoted to associate athletic director in 1983, a position that he held at the time of his retirement.
A native of Belle Vernon, Pennsylvania, Valdiserri’s career featured numerous accolades and honors and was active on many national committees. His publications earned more than 50 national awards during his tenure.
Valdiserri served as chairman of the NCAA Communications Committee (1990-93), president of the College Sports Information Directors of America (COSIDA) during the 1986-87 school year and earned CoSIDA’s two top awards — the Arch Ward Award (1987) and election to the CoSIDA Hall of Fame (1981). For many years, he served on the NCAA Men’s Basketball Final Four Media Coordination Committee.
He received a special citation for meritorious service from former Notre Dame president, Rev. Theodore M. Hesburgh, C.S.C., in 1987, and was honored with the Special Friendship Award from the Black Sports Information Directors of America in 1988. Valdiserri was awarded the James E. Armstrong Award from Notre Dame’s Alumni Senate in 1990 and received the Katha Quinn Award from the USBWA for extraordinary service to the media in 1993.
Inducted into the Pittsburgh Chapter of the Italian-American Hall of Fame in 1990, Valdiserri helped found the National Association of Collegiate Marketing Administrators and worked closely with co-chairman Father Hesburgh on the Knight Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics.