On the day of the fourth College Football Playoff National Championship Game, Steve Wieberg received the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA) prestigious Bert McGrane Award.
“The Fifth Down,” an online newsletter for the FWAA, reports the honor as being inducted into the association’s hall of fame. The article was written by Ken Stephens, a former Dallas Morning News reporter, who also does some writing for the FWAA.
Wieberg accepted the McGrane Award at the FWAA’s Annual Awards Breakfast at the Sheraton Atlanta Hotel.
He received the honor for a career that includes his recent role on the College Football Playoff Selection Committee and for a long career at USA Today that went from 1982-2012.
He has served on the CFP Selection Committee for four years.
“Stunned, incredibly grateful and humbled by the greats who have won it and just as much by those who haven’t,” Wieberg told “The Fifth Down.”
“Steve’s position on the committee was, well, sort of a breakthrough in college sports,” FWAA Executive Director Steve Richardson told Stephens.
“But it goes to show you there are those in the media who generate great respect from those they have covered over the years. He is certainly a person someone entering or now in the journalism field should try and emulate. He wrote stories and covered subjects with tenacity. His ability to explain complex issues in clear terms was classical. And, at the end of the day, the readers of USA Today and our profession were the big winners.”
The McGrane Award was established in 1974 as a memorial to Bert McGrane, long-time Des Moines Register-Tribune sports writer who was one of the founding members of the FWAA.
McGrane was the FWAA’s executive director from the early 1940s-1973.
He told “The Fifth Down” that fellow CFP Selection Committee member Condoleeza Rice has told him repeatedly that the committee the two serve on is the best one she’s ever been a part of.
Wieberg was an original staff writer for USA Today when the company went from a startup in 1982 to a publication with more than two million circulation.
Wieberg is the son of Carl and Margie Wieberg.
He is a former Martinsburg resident and a graduate of Community R-VI.
He has been an editor in the Public Affairs Department of the Kansas City Public Library since 2013.
He lives in Liberty with his wife Paula.
The couple moved there after living 28 years in Lawson, Mo., where they raised three children, twin sons Michael and Eric and daughter Kaite.
All three are married and the Wiebergs now have four grandchildren.