Kyle Kuhlman, an assistant director in the Ohio State Athletics Communications office, was named the winner of the Grant Burger Media Award for men’s volleyball, the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) announced Wednesday.
Kuhlman, in his fifth year at Ohio State, is responsible for all media relations efforts for the Ohio State men’s volleyball team which has made three consecutive NCAA semifinal appearances, including back-to-back national championships in 2016 and ’17. He also works directly with the Buckeye wrestling and pistol programs while managing the statistics crew for football and basketball home games.
The AVCA Grant Burger Media Award is an honor intended to recognize members of the media who have been involved in the advancement of the sport of volleyball through consistent coverage in all mediums. It is named in honor of Grant Burger, former Director of Sports Information and Associate Director of the AVCA (1988-92), whose hard work, innovative mind, knowledge and enthusiasm took the areas of media relations and publications at the AVCA to a higher level and increased awareness of the sport of volleyball nationwide.
What they are saying about Kyle …
Ohio State Men’s Volleyball Head Coach Pete Hanson (1985-present):
“Kyle Kuhlman has proven to be a professional at every level in his support of our men’s volleyball program. He has enhanced our program’s social media profile, he has helped to increase the community awareness of our program, and most importantly he did an incredible job for Ohio State as we hosted the 2017 NCAA Men’s Volleyball National Championship and set an attendance record for a championship match held outside of California and Hawai’i.”
Christy Blough (Ohio State Men’s Volleyball Setter – 2014-17):
“What makes Kyle special is how much he cares about the players and the game of men’s volleyball. He wants us, the student athletes, to have the best experience possible and came up with creative ideas to keep us connected with our fan base in unique and fun ways. These efforts led to increased attendance and a positive environment at our home games. Thanks for all you have done and continue to do Kyle!”
Nicolas Szerszen (Ohio State Men’s Volleyball Outside Hitter – 2015-2018):
“Kyle is the most invested and devoted SID you can find out there, on top of that he is an even better human being.”
Kevin Burch (Ohio State University Men’s Volleyball Assistant Coach – 2016-present):
“I’ve been fortunate enough to work with very good SIDs, including two-time time winner, Brian Magoffin (Springfield College) and Kyle is as good as any. The position requires timeliness, creativeness, attention to detail and a work ethic that it second to none, all of which Kyle possesses. However, what has always impressed me the most about Kyle is his commitment to put the student-athlete first. He has always worked as hard as possible to make the experience for the student-athletes as special and memorable as possible. This was never more evident than in the weeks before and after our national titles in 2016 and 2017. He is as selfless as he is talented and there is no better combo regardless of profession.”
Bill Rabinowitz (Columbus Dispatch Beat Writer):
“Kyle is knowledgeable and enthusiastic about volleyball and is always eager to promote the sport. I was asked to cover the Ohio State men’s volleyball team’s run to the NCAA championship last year despite never having seen, let alone covered, a volleyball match in person. Kyle cheerfully filled in the many blanks in my knowledge and was always available if I had a question. He also helped facilitate interviews either before matches or even right after by phone with Coach Pete Hanson when I had to cover it long distance this year when the tournament was in Los Angeles. Kyle would be highly deserving of this honor.”
Janine Oman (Ohio State University Associate AD for Sport Administration and Sport Performance):
“Kyle brings creativity in telling the story and will utilize many different media platforms to do so. His success is a direct result of his ability to develop great relationships with coaches, student-athletes, and outside media contacts. He is a get it done type of guy, and he always gets it done with a smile on his face. His enthusiasm for the sport is evident.”
Rob Espero (UC Irvine WVB/MVB and USA Volleyball PA; Off the Block/Volleyball Mag/The Net Live/FloVolleyball Contributor):
“Kyle Kuhlman is an excellent and outgoing professional who sets the gold standard when working with media agencies and outlets. He has an extremely wonderful demeanor and countenance that also makes each representative he works with feel comfortable working with him. Kyle’s dependability and reliability are deeply appreciated, but his extroverted personality along with his sheer joy to be in his profession truly make him stand above the rest.”
Dan Wallenberg (Ohio State University Associate AD for Communications):
“We are incredibly fortunate to have Kyle as a member of our athletics communications team at Ohio State. He has worked tirelessly supporting our student-athletes, coaches and staff. He is so deserving of this honor.”
Vinnie Lopes (Off the Block Founder/Editor):
“Kyle has not only continued the legacy of Ohio State’s strong volleyball coverage, but has become the gold standard for how to use social media. The Ohio State volleyball social media account under Kyle effectively interacts with fans and promotes the team yearlong along with providing the vital in-match updates. Kyle is also one of the most accessible SIDs and goes out of his way to help media get interviews with players and coaches.”
Tiff Wells (University of Hawai’I WVB/MVB Radio Play-by-Play):
“I’ve come across many SID’s since 2004, when I got into the broadcast field as a student. Very few go over and beyond the call of duty in this line of work and one of those is Kyle Kuhlman. When the University of Hawai’i made the 2017 NCAA Championships held in Columbus, it was my second time ever on the campus at OSU. He made me feel comfortable with these new surroundings and made sure I had everything I needed; he even gave me a couple recommendations for food places around campus. When he realized my seat for a play-in match was occupied by a patron, he took it upon himself to call an usher (while the first match was about to begin) and help me get situated where I was supposed to be. In addition to the regular tasks of the SID job, he always made sure the media room was fully stocked with drinks and food, but what really stood out was the fact he would approach media members to make sure they had everything they needed and is genuinely a people person. He had deadlines of his own but he always took the time to get to know media members by more than just the name on their credential. In a niche sport where the phrase #GrowTheGame is used, the world of collegiate men’s volleyball is a better place due to hardworking SIDs like Kyle.”