Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, who has covered the Pittsburgh Steelers for the newspaper for 30 years, has been selected as the 2014 Dick McCann Award winner by the Professional Football Writers of America (PFWA).
Bouchette, the 46th McCann Award winner, is the second writer from a Pittsburgh newspaper to receive the McCann Award, joining Pat Livingston of the Pittsburgh Press, who was honored in 1979.
The McCann Award is given to a reporter who has made a long and distinguished contribution to pro football through coverage. The award is named for McCann, who was the first director of the Pro Football Hall of Fame (1962-67). McCann was a longtime reporter in New York with several newspapers, the Newspaper Enterprise Association and King Features Syndicate. After a stint in the Navy in World War II, he was a sports columnist for the Washington Times-Herald in 1945. A year later, he joined the Washington Redskins as publicity director and was the club’s general manager from 1947-62 before taking the job with the Hall of Fame before its’ 1963 opening.
Bouchette began his career writing for the school newspaper as a freshman at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, from which he graduated in 1973. He earned a business management degree, but he got journalism experience writing press releases and magazine articles for the university’s public relations office, covering sports while taking journalism and English electives.
He began covering Steelers home games in 1974 while working for the Indiana Gazette. He covered the Steelers at home, and at times on the road, for the Greensburg Tribune-Review, McKeesport Daily News, York Dispatch and the Doylestown Daily Intelligencer — all in Pennsylvania — before being hired at the Post-Gazette in 1983.
His first beat at the Post-Gazette was the only season of the USFL’s Pittsburgh Maulers in 1984. He moved to the Steelers’ beat in 1985, and the 2014 season will be his 30th covering the club for the Post-Gazette. He has covered 30 Super Bowls during his career, five of them involving the Steelers.
One of the 46 selectors for the Pro Football Hall of Fame, Bouchette has authored two books on the Steelers: “The Pittsburgh Steelers” and “Dawn of a New Steel Age: Bill Cowher’s Steelers Forge into the ‘90s,” and he has helped co-author others. His work has appeared in Sports Illustrated, Sport, Pro Football Weekly and many more magazines and newspapers across the country.
The Lynn, Massachusetts native moved with his family at age 7 to Cornwall, Pennsylvania. Bouchette has three grown children — Scott, Danielle and Brittany — and two grandsons.
The McCann Award will be presented to Bouchette during the annual 2014 Pro Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Festival in Canton, Ohio in early August.
“Ed Bouchette personifies what a great beat reporter should be,” said Post-Gazette Assistant Managing Editor for Sports Jerry Micco. “He’s a pro’s pro and has the respect of his colleagues throughout the industry. This is a great honor that he has earned and it is well deserved. There is no beat in Pittsburgh bigger than the Steelers. And no reporter in Pittsburgh covers the Steelers better than Ed Bouchette.”
“I would like to congratulate Ed Bouchette on this prestigious award from the Pro Football Writers Association of America,” said Steelers President Art Rooney II. “Ed has covered the Pittsburgh Steelers for three decades and always has been a true professional in his reporting. Ed is certainly one of the most knowledgeable reporters covering pro football in America. This honor is much deserved.”
“My congratulations to Ed Bouchette on receiving this significant award from his peers with the Pro Football Writers Association of America,” said Steelers Chairman Dan Rooney. “Ed is one of the true professional sports writers in the NFL and he has always been fair in his writing and reporting. He is very worthy of receiving this award.”
ABOUT THE PFWA: The Professional Football Writers of America (PFWA) is the official voice of pro football writers, promoting and fighting for access to NFL personnel to best serve the public. The PFWA is made up of accredited writers who cover the NFL and the 32 teams on a daily basis. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s D. Orlando Ledbetter, who covers the Atlanta Falcons, is the organization’s president for 2013-15, while ESPN.com’s Jeff Legwold, who covers the Denver Broncos, is the PFWA’s first vice-president and long-time national writer Dan Pompei is the organization’s second vice-president. Follow the PFWA at ProFootballWriters.org and on Twitter at @PFWAwriters.
DICK McCANN AWARD WINNERS (To a reporter who has made a long and distinguished contribution to pro football through coverage): 1969 – George Strickler (Chicago Tribune); 1970 – Arthur Daley (New York Times); 1971 – Joe King (New York World Telegram & Sun); 1972 – Lewis “Tony” Atchison (Washington Star); 1973 – Dave Brady (Washington Post); 1974 – Bob Oates (Los Angeles Times); 1975 – John Steadman (Baltimore News-American); 1976 – Jack Hand (Associated Press); 1977 – Art Daley (Green Bay Press-Gazette); 1978 – Murray Olderman (Newspaper Enterprise Association); 1979 – Pat Livingston (Pittsburgh Press); 1980 – Chuck Heaton (Cleveland Plain Dealer); 1981 – Norm Miller (New York Daily News); 1982 – Cameron Snyder (Baltimore Sun); 1983 – Hugh Brown (Philadelphia Bulletin); 1984 – Larry Felser (Buffalo News); 1985 – Cooper Rollow (Chicago Tribune); 1986 – William Wallace (New York Times); 1987 – Jerry Magee (San Diego Union); 1988 – Gordon Forbes (USA Today); 1989 – Vito Stellino (Baltimore Sun); 1990 – Will McDonough (Boston Globe); 1991 – Dick Connor (Denver Post); 1992 – Frank Luksa (Dallas Morning News); 1993 – Ira Miller (San Francisco Chronicle); 1994 – Don Pierson (Chicago Tribune); 1995 – Ray Didinger (Philadelphia Daily News); 1996 – Paul Zimmerman (Sports Illustrated); 1997 – Bob Roesler (New Orleans Times-Picayune); 1998 – Dave Anderson (New York Times); 1999 – Art Spander (Oakland Tribune); 2000 – Tom McEwen (Tampa Tribune); 2001 – Len Shapiro (Washington Post); 2002 – Edwin Pope (Miami Herald); 2003 – Joel Buchsbaum (Pro Football Weekly); 2004 – Rick Gosselin (Dallas Morning News); 2005 – Jerry Green (Detroit News); 2006 – John McClain (Houston Chronicle); 2007 – John Clayton (ESPN.com); 2008 – Len Pasquarelli (ESPN.com); 2009 – Peter King (Sports Illustrated); 2010 – Peter Finney (New Orleans Times-Picayune); 2011 – Bob McGinn (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel); 2012 – Tom Kowalski (MLive.com); 2013 – Dan Pompei (Chicago Tribune); 2014 – Ed Bouchette (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette).