Press Release


USA Today National Sports Columnist Christine Brennan to be Inducted Into SHAPE America’s Hall of Fame

RESTON, VA, November 28, 2016 — SHAPE America – Society of Health and Physical Educators announced today that Christine Brennan, award-winning national sports columnist for USA Today, best-selling author, and commentator for ABC News, CNN, PBS NewsHour and National Public Radio, will be inducted into the organization's Hall of Fame on Friday, March 17, during its 132nd National Convention & Expo in Boston.

Brennan will be honored during the Hall of Fame Banquet, during which SHAPE America will also recognize its National Physical Education Teachers of the Year for elementary, middle and high school and National Teachers of the Year for adapted physical education, dance and health. The banquet is sponsored by Human Kinetics, an employee-owned company committed to serving the physical activity field, and Sportime, featuring SPARK, a category of School Specialty, Inc. 

SHAPE America's Hall of Fame awards are given to honor outstanding individuals who 1) make significant contributions to maintaining sport, physical education and physical activity as an integral part of the total education program; 2) further the image of sport and healthy physical activity for all; 3) accentuate the integral relationships of sport, motor development and physical activity to the total educational process; 4) encourage involvement in meaningful competitive sport or physical activity programs by influential educators and citizens in all walks of life; and 5) symbolize the educational and developmental potentials of physical education and sport. 

Past Hall of Fame inductees include golfer Annika Sorenstam; University of Tennessee Women's Basketball Coach Pat Summitt; tennis greats Billie Jean King and Arthur Ashe; NFL Hall of Famers Nick Buoniconti and Anthony Munoz; and Olympians Tony DiCicco, Dick Fosbury, Rulon Gardner, Nancy Hogshead, Dan Jansen, Rafer Johnson, Jackie Joyner-Kersee, Carl Lewis, Shannon Miller, Edwin Moses, Dot Richardson, Wilma Rudolph and Peter Vidmar. 

"Christine Brennan is a leading voice on some of the most controversial and important issues in sports," says SHAPE America President Jackie Lund of Georgia State University. "Her USA Today column in April 2002 on Augusta National Golf Club triggered the national debate on the club's lack of female members. In December of that same year, Sports Illustrated's Golf Plus section named her one of golf's 12 heroes of the year. Ten years later in August 2012, she broke the news that Augusta National was admitting its first two women members."

"Having covered the last 17 Olympic Games, summer and winter, Christine also broke the story of the pairs figure skating scandal at the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympics and the Russian judging scandal at the 2014 Sochi Games," Lund added. "Christine personifies the trademarks of a Hall of Fame inductee with her commitment to professional excellence and in-depth analysis and commentary of sport as an integral part of our lives." 

Twice named one of the country's top 10 sports columnists by the Associated Press Sports Editors, she has reported from more than 20 countries. 

Brennan was the first woman sports writer at The Miami Herald in 1981 and the first woman to cover Washington's NFL team as a staff writer at The Washington Post in 1985. She was the first president of the Association for Women in Sports Media (AWSM) and started a scholarship-internship program that has supported more than 140 female students over the past two decades. 

The author of seven books, her 2006 sports memoir, Best Seat in the House, is the only father-daughter memoir written by a sports journalist. Her 1996 national best seller, Inside Edge, was named one of the top 100 sports books of all time by Sports Illustrated.

Brennan earned undergraduate and master's degrees in journalism from Northwestern University. She is a member of the Ohio Women's Hall of Fame, Northwestern's Medill School of Journalism Hall of Achievement and the Washington, D.C. Sports Hall of Fame. She has received honorary degrees from Tiffin (Ohio) University and the University of Toledo and is a member of Northwestern's Board of Trustees.  

Among Brennan's honors, she was named the 1993 Capital Press Women's "Woman of Achievement;" named the University of North Carolina's 2002 Reed Sarratt Distinguished Lecturer; won the U.S. Sports Academy's Ronald Reagan Award in 2002; won the Jake Wade Award from the College Sports Information Directors of America in 2003; won AWSM's Pioneer Award in 2004 and Service Award in 2016; was named Woman of the Year by WISE (Women in Sports and Events) in 2005; received the inaugural Women's Sports Foundation Billie Award for journalism in 2006; won Chi Omega's 2006 Woman of Achievement Award; won Northwestern University's Alumni Service Award in 2007; received Yale University's Kiphuth Medal in 2013; and was named the 2013 Ralph McGill Lecturer at the University of Georgia.

Both the NCAA and the Women's Sports Foundation honored her in celebrations for the 40th anniversary of Title IX in 2012. 

For more information about SHAPE America's National Convention & Expo, visit the website and follow #SHAPEBoston.


About SHAPE America
SHAPE America - Society of Health and Physical Educators is committed to ensuring all children have the opportunity to lead healthy, physically active lives. As the nation's largest membership organization of health and physical education professionals, SHAPE America works with its 50 state affiliates and national partners to support initiatives such as the Presidential Youth Fitness Program, Let's Move! Active Schools and the Jump Rope For Heart/Hoops For Heart programs.

Since its founding in 1885, the organization has defined excellence in physical education, and our resources provide the leadership, professional development and advocacy that support health and physical educators at every level - from preschool to university graduate programs. For more information, visit