Alum inducted into Hall of Achievement

Journalist spent 20 years at Associated Press, covered Olympic games, NBA

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COURTESY OF JANIE MCCAULEY

Associated Press Sports Reporter Janie McCauley speaks to former Golden State Warriors small forward Kevin Durant. Durant now plays for the Brooklyn Nets.

BROOKLYNN HILLEMANN, Evergreen reporter

Once a year, Janie McCauley and her family would make the two-hour drive from Leavenworth to Seattle to watch the Seattle Supersonics play. At the age of 13, she mailed a letter to every team in the NBA. 

“That was the highlight of my year,” McCauley, a sportswriter for the Associated Press based in the Bay Area, said. “I just had this love of sports.”

McCauley’s career in journalism began in her hometown of Leavenworth. In her junior year of high school when editors at the local newspaper, the Leavenworth Echo, invited McCauley to see how a newsroom operated. 

For two years she worked at The Echo, cementing her future in journalism. 

When the time came to choose where McCauley would attend college, former editor of The Echo, Miles Turnbull, offered her a piece of advice:

 “If you’re serious about this journalism thing, you need to go to Washington State University,” Turnbull told McCauley.

McCauley was a sports reporter for The Daily Evergreen in the mid-90s. At The Daily Evergreen, McCauley’s work appeared in over 170 editions, covering everything from cross country to volleyball to baseball. 

Shawn O’Neal, director for the Department of Student Involvement at the University of Idaho, was an editor during McCauley’s time at the Evergreen and offered insight on their time at the paper. 

O’Neal said when McCauley arrived on campus that fall, she dove headfirst into the newspaper.

“She was a member of our family,” O’Neal said. 

Chadd Cripe, an assistant editor at the Idaho Statesman, was the sports editor during McCauley’s time at The Evergreen. Cripe said he remembers McCauley instantly meshing with the team as well. 

“There was already a feeling that she was somebody that was going to be successful,” Cripe said. 

McCauley was made for the newspaper, O’Neal said. She had the perfect combination of experience from working at The Echo in high school and a work ethic that was unmatched, he said.

“She never made the same mistake twice,” he said. 

Both Cripe and O’Neal spoke to the character of McCauley, saying she is someone who everyone likes right away.

“Everybody thought very highly of her,” Cripe said. “She’s a really great person.” 

McCauley graduated in 1998 from the Edward R. Murrow College of Communication. 

Her career was launched in Seattle in 2000, where she reported on the Seattle Mariners and was praised for her coverage of Ichiro Suzuki’s rookie year.

With a career spanning more than two decades, McCauley said she has covered three Summer Olympic Games, two Winter Olympic games, the World Cup, the Super Bowl and four World Series.

She has interviewed athletes of the highest caliber including Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant and has seen history be made covering Barry Bond’s chase for the home run record in 2007. She said she has enjoyed covering the recent Golden State Warriors and their run to five NBA championships. 

McCauley said covering sports is about the relationships she has with coaches, athletes, security and more. Journalism is about building trust, she said. 

“I’m able to get great information from these people because they trust that when they talk to me, they can share things,” she said. 

Today, McCauley covers the San Francisco 49ers, the San Francisco Giants, the Golden State Warriors and various sporting events. In 2006, she was named AP’s Sportswriter of the Year.

McCauley will be inducted into the Hall of Achievement at the Edward R. Murrow College of Communication during the 45th Murrow Symposium. She will join fellow WSU legends Keith Jackson, Kathi Goertzen and 46 others. 

“I was absolutely floored to receive that email,” she said. “I am beyond honored by this recognition.” 

She said she is honored to represent the group of journalists like O’Neal and Cripe who made up the Evergreen team of the mid-90s. 

“I share this honor with everybody,” she said. “I didn’t get it by myself.” 

McCauley’s career is a testament to journalists who show up and do good work every day, O’Neal said. She is the kind of person who always works hard and has no ego.

“She’s what journalism is about,” O’Neal said.