Posted: Aug 17, 2023

McKinney and Sabato Receive NWC SID of the Year Award

Originally posted on

Northwest Conference Logo

SALEM, Ore. -- Willamette University assistant athletics directors Robert McKinney and Christopher Sabato have received the NWC Jack Sareault Award as the conference's Sports Information Directors of the Year for 2021-22. The award was voted on by the NWC sports information directors in the spring of 2022, but announcement of the award was delayed due to factors beyond Willamette's control.

The Jack Sareault Award is presented to the overall athletic communications department at the selected college or university. All of the full-time employees in that department receive the honor. Sabato is the assistant athletics director for media and McKinney is the assistant athletics director for communication.

Headshot of Christopher SabatoSabato oversees social media for Willamette Athletics, as well preparing and directing webstreams of home athletic events and the Bearcat Awards night. He also arranges for photography, manages photo and logo libraries, and handles a variety of behind-the-scenes logistical issues for the Bearcats.

McKinney writes game recaps and feature stories for the Willamette Athletics website, while also overseeing the scoring table and statistics at home athletic events. In addition, he nominates student-athletes for NWC weekly awards and for academic honors from the College Sports Communicators (CSC, formerly CoSIDA), responds to requests from the media, and serves on the Willamette Athletic Hall of Fame Executive Committee.

"I'm thrilled that our fellow sports communicators in the NWC chose us for this honor, McKinney said. "It's gratifying to have others confirm the value of the work we do throughout the year, along with our student employees and community workers at home events. Receiving this award for the 2021-22 athletic year is especially rewarding after Willamette hosted the NWC Swimming Championships and the NWC Golf Championships during the 2022 spring semester."

Sabato has been employed at Willamette since 2005-06, when he was hired as an assistant track and field and cross country coach. He later moved into athletic communications. McKinney started working at Willamette in 2006-07, when he was hired as athletics communications director. Sabato and McKinney were promoted to assistant athletic director

© Chris Sabato - All Rights Reserved