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Paola Boivin, the award-winning sports columnist who worked for The Arizona Republic for more than 20 years and now teaches at Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication, has been appointed to the selection committee of the College Football Playoff.
Boivin is the first female sports journalist to be a part of the committee, which is responsible for selecting the top four teams in the playoff and assigning them to semifinal games as well as placing the next group of teams in the remaining New Year’s bowls. She will begin her three-year term this spring. She is only the second women to serve on the committee, succeeding former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.
“I'm beyond excited,” Boivin said. “Many of my favorite moments from my sports writing career came from covering college football games. To be able to continue the relationship with this sport, in this new form, is a dream.”
Boivin is part of a new class of members that includes University of Oklahoma athletics director Joe Castiglione, former head coach Ken Hatfield, former professional football player Ronnie Lott, Georgia Tech athletics director Todd Stansbury and University of Florida athletics director Scott Stricklin.
“These are high integrity people who know and love college football,” CFP Executive Director Bill Hancock said. “Each one of them has built a distinguished career based on diligence and doing things the right way. We're delighted that they will be joining the committee.”
Boivin also joins sitting members: former head coach Frank Beamer, former head coach Jeff Bower, former head coach Herb Deromedi, Robert Morris University President Robert Morris, Oregon athletics director Rob Mullens and Ohio State athletics director Gene Smith.
Boivin joined the Cronkite faculty as a professor of practice in 2017 at a time of significant growth and interest in sports media. She is a professor in the Cronkite News - Phoenix Sports Bureau, a fully operational digital sports desk that features students covering the region’s professional and collegiate sports teams.
At the Republic, Boivin served as one of the main sports columnists. She also appeared weekly on sports radio, did extensive reporting for 12 News, and engaged audiences on social media. She joined the Republic in 1994. Before becoming a regular columnist, she covered sports beats, including ASU football and basketball.
Boivin, a graduate of the University of Illinois, was a sports talk show host at KMPC radio in Los Angeles and a columnist for the Los Angeles Daily News before joining The Arizona Republic. Earlier in her career she was a sports editor at the Camarillo (California) Daily News.
She has won numerous awards from Associated Press Sports Editors and National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association.
Most recently, she was inducted as the first female journalist into the Arizona Sports Hall of Fame, which recognizes significant contributions to the Arizona athletic community.
“This appointment is a tremendous accomplishment that underscores Paola’s hard word as a trailblazing sports journalist over the past 30 years,” said Cronkite School Dean Christopher Callahan. “We’re extremely proud to have her teaching and mentoring the next generation of sports journalists at our school.”