He was a must-read columnist when any important sporting event took place in Conway or anywhere in Arkansas, but he was just as adept about taking a small, non-descript event or game and making it read like it was the Super Bowl. His credits go beyond the sports pages and his bylines include stories from the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, Utah, former U.S. President Bill Clinton’s campaign and inauguration, and the “Battle of the Sexes” tennis match in 1973 between Bobby Riggs and Billie Jean King. McCollum’s nomination for the award reads in part:No one had their finger on the pulse of UCA Athletics like David McCollum. Whether you agreed or disagreed with his stance or his take on an event, deep down you knew he was probably right. He had a writing style and way of explaining things that made them make sense to a wide variety of readers, not just sports fans. McCollum worked for the Memphis Press-Scimitar, the Orange Leader (Orange, Texas), and the Arkansas Democrat (Little Rock, Ark), before moving on to the Log Cabin Democrat. FRISCO, Texas – Former sports editor and columnist for the Log Cabin Democrat newspaper (Conway, Ark.) David MCollum is the 2018 Southland Conference Louis Bonnette Sports Media Award winner. League commissioner Tom Burnett made the announcement Monday. Louis Bonnette was the first honoree in 2012. Bonnette enjoyed a storied career as the first McNeese SID, holding the position for 46 years. As SID, he boasted a national record of 516 consecutive Cowboy football games worked. He was inducted into the Southland Conference Hall of Honor in 2007 and the College Sports Information Directors of America Hall of Fame in 2009. The accolade, named after longtime McNeese sports information director Louis Bonnette, is presented annually to an individual that has made outstanding contributions in the field of sports information, print journalism, broadcasting or other media focused on the Southland Conference and/or its member institutions. The Southland’s sports information directors, athletic directors and other university personnel, and outside media executives nominate individuals for the award, and the sports information directors make the final selection. McCollum will be the seventh recipient of the award. Previous winners include: Former Lamar play-by-play voice and TV personality Dave Hofferth (2017); Northwestern State Assistant Athletic Director and Sports Information Director Doug Ireland (2016); former Daily Sentinel (Nacogdoches, Texas) Sports Editor Kevin Gore (2015); retired Sam Houston State Sports Information Director Paul Ridings (2014); southeast Texas sports journalist and retired Lamar Sports Information Director Rush Wood (2013). McCollum passed away in April after a prolific journalism career that spanned five decades. Burnett will present the award to McCollum’s wife Beverly in Houston on Thursday as part of the league’s Football Media Day. The McCollums’ son Gavin will also participate. “David was synonymous with Central Arkansas sports,” said Central Arkansas Athletic Director Brad Teague. “His consistent presence at our events will surely be missed. David was an advocate for all things UCA and we will miss him dearly.” “All of us in the Southland Conference are honored to present the Louis Bonnette Sports Media Award to the McCollum family in David’s memory,” said Burnett said. “He was a friend to everyone he met and was one of the finest professional journalists in our region. While he is missed by so many of us, we are pleased his name will live on with the Bonnette Award.”McCollum was inducted into the Arkansas Sportscasters & Sportswriters Hall of Fame in 2012. He was named Arkansas Sportswriter of the Year in 2008 by the National Association of Sportscasters & Sportswriters. McCollum was an active board member of the Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame for more than 20 years. Last year, McCollum was recognized by the Arkansas Press Association with the “Golden 50 Award” for his 50th year in the newspaper business. Any sports figure that was anyone in the state of Arkansas has been interviewed by David McCollum at some point in their careers, and 99.9% of them would tell you they are better for it. He never met a stranger, never raised his voice or said an unkind word about anyone. He was a bastion in his church work at Second Baptist Church in Little Rock for the past 40 years but you would never have known it because he didn’t wear it on his sleeve. He did that, along with charity work and community service, on the side, away from the spotlight. He was more concerned with putting the spotlight on some young athlete who was trying to make a name for himself or herself, or a coach who was mentoring his players in the right way, or a team that was helping a community baseball team build their new field, or an injured athlete who was no longer able to compete but was still a big part of his/her team from the sidelines.