June 22, 2018




O’Kelly wins national awards for MSUB sports coverage

Selected by peers as CoSIDA Rising Star and Outstanding Writer



University Communications and Marketing, 657-2266


MSU BILLINGS NEWS SERVICES —After the last shot has been taken and the fans have all gone home, one person remains in Alterowitz Gym at Montana State University Billings. He is the man behind the scenes, working tireless hours with a smile on his face and can-do attitude, providing the best sports coverage he can for MSU Billings Yellowjacket Athletics. Evan O’Kelly, Director of Communications and Sports Information for MSUB Athletics, is the one remaining on campus long after everyone else has left, uploading pictures, editing video, and writing press releases on Yellowjacket student-athletes.


His talents and hard work for his writing were recently recognized on the national level by College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA), as O’Kelly won not one but two awards. He took first place in the Season Preview/Recap category of the 2017-2018 National CoSIDA Stabley Writing Contest. The second award, O’Kelly earned was a CoSIDA Rising Star Award. He will formally be presented with the Rising Star Award at the CoSIDA National Conference on June 30.


O’Kelly wears multiple hats to provide award-winning media coverage of MSU Billings’ 15 varsity sports as photographer, videographer, sports writer, graphics designer, reporter, website developer and social media guru. His passion for student athletes and sports is unparalleled and evident in all that he does on a daily basis and by the roles that he takes on outside his office in Alterowitz.


“We are very proud of Evan and his accomplishments and want to congratulate him on these prestigious honors,” says Krista Montague, Director of Athletics. “This proves what so many of us already knew, that Evan is one of the best and brightest media relations professionals in college athletics. We are thrilled that his colleagues have recognized the tremendous impact he has made in this profession.”


His coverage of Season Review: MSUB Baseball, stood out from hundreds of other stories submitted to the Stabley Writing Contest. His drive, dedication, and story-telling ability are just a few of the attributes that make O’Kelly the 2018 CoSIDA Rising Star Award recipient.


“Evan is a tireless worker who always gets the job done in a quality manner. He is very deserving of this recognition and has done an outstanding job for MSU Billings since his arrival in 2014. He is valued member of our athletics administration team and has made a tremendous impact on our athletics program, coaches, students, and university through his talented writing, hard work, and positive attitude,” Montague says on O’Kelly’s recent awards. “MSU Billings is very fortunate to have Evan and his many talents making such a positive difference for the Yellowjackets.”


Yellowjacket student athletes shared similar sentiments. “After spending four years at MSUB with Evan, I can honestly say he can do it all. One of the neatest things about him is how much he genuinely cares about the sports teams and athletes at MSUB,” shared Alisha Breen, a member of the women’s basketball team who graduated this May. “Everything he does is to enhance the experience each athlete has in their career here. Like everyone in the athletic department, his door is always open, and he is continually looking for ways to better our university.”


O’Kelly is a proponent for student success across the campus. He is more than the man in the background doing media coverage. He lives and breathes sports and is an integral part of the teams that comprise Yellowjacket athletics.


“He has a unique ability to turn a simple story into an entertaining tribute to a team or athlete. I know I can speak for many saying that MSUB is extremely lucky to have Evan on staff,” Breen remarked about O’Kelly’s talents. “I’ve spent time looking and reading stories from other websites, and ours are just heads and tails above. Evan has taken MSUB to an elite level in his four years here, and I’m just happy I was able to reap the benefits of having him around.” 


Read more about O’Kelly here.