Pam Oliver named 2023 Mary Garber Pioneer Award Winner

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AWSM Board

Pam Oliver, an award-winning sports reporter and trailblazing member of Fox Sports’ NFL team, is the Association for Women in Sports Media’s 2023 recipient of the Mary Garber Pioneer Award.  Oliver is the longest tenured NFL sideline reporter, working more than 500 games, and has served as a mentor to countless journalists.

“Pam Oliver is a legend who has shown remarkable poise and skill conducting interviews in difficult settings,” said Iliana Limón Romero, AWSM president and assistant managing editor for sports at the Los Angeles Times. “She is known for mentoring women and journalists of color, making time to open doors for others. She is a true trailblazer and I'm thrilled we will be presenting her with AWSM's highest honor.”

The Pioneer Award has been given annually since 1999 to individuals who have distinguished themselves in the sports media field while reflecting and advancing the values and mission of AWSM. The award was named in 2006 for Garber, one of the industry’s original pioneers. Recent recipients include Johnette Howard, Doris Burke, Andrea Kremer and Jackie MacMullan.

“It’s very moving to be honored with the Mary Garber Pioneer Award from the Association for Women in Sports Media,” Oliver said. “You look at the previous winners and it’s such an outstanding group of accomplished women. I’m thrilled to now be included among them. This award is something I will always treasure.”

Oliver began her career as a news reporter before transitioning to sports with the Fox affiliate in Tampa in 1990. After stops with the CBS affiliate in Houston and at ESPN, she joined Fox Sports in 1995 to work with the network's top NFL broadcast team. A mentor to numerous Black sports reporters, she also has covered the NBA for Turner Sports. Oliver has been honored with a Gracie award by the Alliance for Women in Media and named WISE Woman of the Year. In 2020, she was inducted into the National Association of Black Journalists Hall of Fame.

Born in Texas but raised in Florida, Oliver is a Florida A&M graduate who also was a collegiate All-American in track and field.

Registration for the 2023 AWSM convention April 13-16 in Charlotte, N.C., where Oliver will be the featured speaker during the April 14 awards luncheon, is open until March 15. She will share lessons learned throughout her game-changing career, including her secret to longevity in a challenging industry.

“What’s kept me going through the ups and downs of my career is how much I love what I do and how much I love journalism,” Oliver said. “I was determined from the beginning of this journey, which began over 35 years ago, that I would stay true to the profession, my love of sport and to myself. That approach has helped me navigate through some hard times but has also served me well in the brightest moments.”

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