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The College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) have selected Old Dominion Assistant Athletics Director Debbie Byrne as its 2006 recipient of the Trailblazer Award. She will be presented with the award at the organization's annual convention on July 4 in Nashville.

The Trailblazer Award is presented annually to an individual who is a pioneer in the field of sports information. That person must have mentored and helped improve the level of ethnic and gender diversity within CoSIDA.

Harmison-Byrne supervises the areas of marketing, public relations and ticket operations at Old Dominion. She joined the staff at Old Dominion in 1979 as the assistant sports information director, was promoted to the SID the following year, and played a key role in the national exposure the men's and women's basketball teams enjoyed in the 1980's.

Since becoming the Associate Athletics Director at ODU, she has successfully spearheaded the basketball advertising and sales for the opening of the Constant Center. She played a key role in the development of ODU's new athletic logo and merchandising effort.

She is a past member of the NCAA Communications Committee, NCAA Basketball Marketing Committee, and Creative Content Committee for the Naismith Basketball
Hall of Fame.  She is also a member of the Virginia Sports Hall of Fame Honors Court.

In addition to her work in sports information, Harmison-Byrne served on the 1981 and 1982 U.S. Olympic Sports Festival media staffs and was selected to represent the United States on the media coordination team at the 1984 Winter Olympics.

Debbie was also the first full-time sportswriter in the state of Virginia upon her hiring in 1974 at the Daily Press in Newport News, Va. She covered high school football, basketball and track and field. She also served as the editor of a weekly column on women's sports in the peninsula area.

She holds a B.S. degree in journalism from West Virginia University and an M.A. from the College of William and Mary.

This article was posted on: June 21, 2006

Old Dominion University
Office of University Relations

Room 100 Koch Hall Norfolk, Virginia 23529-0018
Telephone: 757-683-3114

Old Dominion University is an equal opportunity, affirmative action institution.