Johnny Holliday Honored With 'Skeeter' Francis Award

March 10, 2011

GREENSBORO, N.C. -- Johnny Holliday, whose 32-year tenure as the voice of the Maryland Terrapins barely begins to describe a remarkable career in broadcasting, is the 2011 winner of the Marvin "Skeeter" Francis Award.

Since 1990, the Atlantic Coast Sports Media Association, in conjunction with the ACC, has presented the "Skeeter" Francis Award to a media member or conference or an institutional staffer for significant contributions to the coverage of ACC athletics. The citation is named for Marvin "Skeeter" Francis, a former sports information director at Wake Forest University and the first administrator of the ACC's media services division.

Holliday's work has taken him all over the country and across the spectrum of entertainment and pop culture. As a disc jockey in San Francisco in 1964, he was an emcee for the Rolling Stones' first headlining show in the U.S. In New York a few years later, he served as the announcer for the NBC program "Hullaballoo," a brief competitor to ABC's "American Bandstand."

He moved to the Washington, D.C., area in 1969 and became a familiar voice in another of the nation's top media markets. He added radio play-by-play duties at the University of Maryland in the fall of 1979, and his enthusiastic but perpetually professional style has resonated with a fan base that he helped to celebrate four ACC football titles, the 2004 ACC basketball crown and the 2002 NCAA basketball championship.

His credits include coverage of five Olympic Games and announcing duties on "This Week With Sam Donaldson" on ABC.

You might say Holliday has announced events involving Keith Richards and Keith Booth; Sam Cooke, Sam Donaldson and Sam Cassell; and two Swofford brothers. In his DJ days, he spun records from John Swofford's brother, a 1960s crooner known by the stage name Oliver. Years later, Swofford was the athletics director at the University of North Carolina, and he has been the commissioner of the ACC since 1997.

Along the way, Holliday has been a colleague and friend to other journalists seeking perspective and context on the past, present and future of Terrapin sports.

The Atlantic Coast Sports Media Association is an organization of journalists dedicated to fostering a mutually beneficial relationship between the news media and the institutions and ad-ministration of the Atlantic Coast Conference. The group casts officially recognized votes for All-ACC teams in football and men's basketball and serves as a liaison to decision-makers.