Colts GM Ballard wins PFWA’s Jack Horrigan Award

Colts general manager Chris Ballard has been honored for his cooperation with reporters.
AP/Copyright The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

Indianapolis Colts general manager Chris Ballard has won the Jack Horrigan Award from the Professional Football Writers of America for his cooperation with the media.

Ballard, the 48th Horrigan Award winner, is the first member of the Colts to receive the honor. But he was the PFWA’s 2018 NFL Executive of the Year.

Ballard was nominated for being frequently available for on-the-record conversations about all aspects of the Colts. He holds film sessions with local writers after the draft, a move that has since been emulated in other markets, but he is most respected for his candor and transparency.

“Chris Ballard has gone to great lengths to make the Colts more transparent to their fans, and a major part of that is his willingness to grant media access that helps us bring those fans closer,” said Stephen Holder, the Indianapolis PFWA chapter president. “From his handling of the Josh McDaniels situation in 2018 to his near 90-minute season-ending press conference in January — which did not end until reporters ran out of questions — Ballard has taken the approach of answering questions head on and understanding that the media is not an inconvenience but a conduit to dedicated followers of the team.”

The Horrigan Award is given to the league or club official for his or her qualities and professional style in helping the pro football writers do their job. The award is named for Horrigan, a sportswriter for UPI and the Buffalo Evening News, public relations director for the American Football League (1963-66) and vice president of public relations for the Buffalo Bills (1966-73).

Other nominees were Baltimore Ravens executive vice president Kevin Byrne, Dallas Cowboys owner/president/general manager Jerry Jones, Los Angeles Chargers coach Anthony Lynn and NFL vice president of communications Brian McCarthy.