The Director of Women’s Athletics at the University of Texas and the Senior Producer of SportsNet New York cable/satellite television became the two newest members of the United States Sports Academy’s College Football Game of the Year Committee.
Texas AD Chris Plonsky and SNY Senior Producer Jeane Willis accepted invitations to join the committee that determines which NCAA Division One football game is designated Game of the Year, hence determining which winning team’s institution receives a $5,000 donation to its general scholarship fund and a special painting from college football sports artist Daniel Moore.
Plonsky, who is a member of the National Football Foundation (NFF)/College Football Hall of Fame Board of Directors, has served eight years at her current position in Austin. During that time the Longhorns have won two national championships and 30 Big 12 Championships in women’s sports. She also works as a liaison to the athletic department’s media rights holder and licensing company.
Plonsky has also served on USA Basketball’s Board of Directors, the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA) Executive Committee, three NCAA committees and the board of directors for the National Association of Collegiate Marketing Administrators (NACMA). She was president of NACMA from 1999-2000 and is in the NACMA Hall of Fame. Plonsky also chaired the NCAA’s Division One Management Council.
Willis has more then 20 years of experience producing television programs and shows including “Good Morning America”; CBS News; and “Larry King Live.” Her current position at SNY involves overseeing the contributors and talent for the network, and working as a liaison to the Big East Conference schools and conference office. College sports are at the very core of Willis’ career, having started as a graduate intern in the sports information office at Princeton University and then as the SID at her alma mater Siena College.
The College Football Game of the Year concept was developed by Moore, the Academy’s 2005 Sport Artist of the Year. Moore is a well-known artist for his paintings on college football.
During the season, the committee elects nominees for the Game of the Year each week. At the end of the season and bowl games, a final review of nominations is prepared for consideration. The winning school receives a commemorative limited edition fine art print of the game and a $5,000 donation for its general scholarship fund.
The Academy’s expert panel includes such former esteemed coaches as Hall of Famer Vince Dooley from Georgia. The committee is chaired by Jack Lengyel, former Naval Academy Athletic Director who was the head football coach that rebuilt the Marshall University football program after a plane crash, as featured in the 2006 motion picture “We Are Marshall.”