Will Keener, the man behind the California State University, Stanislaus athletic scene for more than 30 years, has received national recognition for his civic activities.
Keener was named recipient of the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) 2000 Bob Kenworthy Community Service "Good Person" award. He is only the eighth person in the national sports information directors organization to receive the award which recognizes civic involvement outside the field of intercollegiate athletics. Nominees can come from NCAA Division I, II, and III, from NAIA and from junior colleges.
The award will be presented to Keener on June 28 during the annual CoSIDA Workshop in St. Louis.
"This is much-deserved recognition for all of the great things Will Keener has done as an involved member of this community who takes pride in being a Warrior," said Dr. Milt Richards, CSU Stanislaus Athletic Director. "He's an institution at this University and has demonstrated his commitment to the community through his service."
Keener joined the staff at CSU Stanislaus in August 1970 with responsibilities for sports information and public affairs, a position that was divided into two areas in 1989-90. For many of those early years he also served as campus photographer.
A longtime community activist, Will quickly found a home in Turlock in 1966 when he left the Air Force to be a full-time reporter for the local newspaper, the Turlock Daily Journal.
In Turlock he served as a director and officer of the Turlock Chamber of Commerce and later as its president; served twice as president of the Turlock 12:10 Lions Club; helped organize and served as a coach, officer, and president of the Turlock Girls Softball Association; helped organize and served as an officer of the Stanislaus Warriors Booster Club (now the Arrowhead Club); served as a committee member and chair/co-chair of the Miss Rodeo California Committee when that program was held locally in conjunction with the California State Rodeo Championships; helped establish and served as chair of the Turkey Tech Grand Prix Committee, a community festival; served 13 years (two as chair) of the Turlock Parks and Recreation commission and continues to chair an ad hoc committee to develop a municipal golf course; and spearheaded foundation of and served 14 years as chair of the Turlock Junior Miss program, now in its 36th year.
In 1984 Will was selected Turlock's Citizen of the Year by the Chamber of Commerce and in 1994 was inducted into the California Junior Miss Hall of Fame.
In other activities related to Turlock and the University he has been a 28-year member (now chair) of the Sportsmen of Stanislaus (SOS) Club's Outstanding Athletes Awards Committee which nominates and selects recipients for annual high school and open division athletes of the year in the county-wide Hall of Fame, and two other special awards for volunteerism and dedication to athletics. He also has served eight years on a SOS committee, which rewards high-school senior student-athletes with academic / community service scholarships.
Keener was a founding committee member and served 11 years on the District 4-A1 Lions all-star Football Game committee which plans, organizes and works with coaches to select graduated high school football players for an all-star game.
At CSU Stanislaus Will has seen and scribed the Warriors' 12 national golf championships, two national baseball championships, two top-four basketball finishes, three top-four track and field finishes, and numerous league titles and awards.
He has been in charge of sports information and media relations for two national golf championship tournaments, a quarterfinal men's basketball game, seven baseball regionals and five basketball regionals.
He also was play-by-play announcer for CSU Stanislaus basketball on a local radio station in the early 1970's.
Public Affairs Offices/Campus News