FLORENCE, Ky. — University of Rio Grande sports information director Randy Payton was selected the KIAC Sports Information Director of the Year for 2015-16 — after the voting of the conference’s SIDs was announced by the league office on Wednesday.
The KIAC SID of the Year award was created in 2014-15 to recognize the most outstanding sports information director in the conference for a given year.
The nominations are made by athletic directors, and voting is done by the SIDs in the conference.
The KIAC winner is submitted as a nominee for the NAIA SID of the Year award.
“Randy Payton is one of the hardest-working Sports Information Directors I’ve ever had the privilege to work,” said KIAC Commissioner Scott McClure. “I’m thrilled to see him win this conference award this year. He does a tremendous job promoting the University of Rio Grande athletics and its student-athletes while all the time serving as a role model for our conference SIDs and media relations personnel.”
“Randy was outstanding this year with not only his coverage of Rio Grande athletics, including a national championship men’s soccer team, but also his work at KIAC events,” said KIAC SID Kevin Taylor. “The KIAC championships would not have been what they were in terms of coverage if not for Randy’s dedication from fall to winter to spring. It was a great example of a conference and a campus being elevated by sports information work.”
Payton oversees the sports information for Rio Grande’s 11 varsity sports.
The RedStorm men’s soccer team won the NAIA national championship to gain national attention.
The fall KIAC championships converged on the Rio Grande campus with the RedStorm hosting and winning all the way through to the men’s soccer title game.
That was in addition to the campus hosting all eight teams in the KIAC Volleyball Tournament and the KIAC Men’s & Women’s Cross Country Championship all on the same weekend.
Payton, who is completing his fifth year at the school, is the play-by-play voice of RedStorm athletics on Rio Grande’s Stretch Internet portal.
His coverage of the Rio Grande basketball teams included doing home and away games throughout the season and a home women’s basketball playoff game.
The spring season had Rio Grande win conference championships in baseball, softball and men’s and women’s track and field with Payton providing coverage.
The baseball and softball teams made runs to the NAIA National Championship opening rounds, and the track and field teams sent several athletes to the national championship meet.
With the first year of the KIAC Game Central video streaming portal on Stretch Internet, Payton lent his broadcast skills many times.
The men’s soccer tournament had a game streamed from Rio Grande every round, and every match of the volleyball championship was streamed from there as well.
The spring season had Payton broadcast nine KIAC Softball Tournment games to the conference portal over two days at Brescia.
At the baseball tournament, he broadcast 11 games on the conference portal at the event in Kingsport, Tenn.
“I’m not sure that I’m deserving because, without question, there were other worthy candidates, but I certainly do appreciate my colleagues inside the KIAC bestowing this honor on me,” Payton said. “The student-athletes at Rio Grande are the ones who deserve the credit. As a result of being located in a ‘no man’s land’ for media coverage, our kids — and their achievements — often get overlooked, but they accomplished so much this year. This award is more about them — as well as the students and staff on campus who lend a helping hand — than it is about me.”