FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Sr. Associate Athletic Director —
Communications and University Relations
Jeff Darby (915) 747-6652
EL PASO – Local author and former Lee offensive lineman Mark S. McDonald will be honored with the Silver Anniversary Miner Award Tuesday during UTEP’s 42nd annual “Dinner With the Miners” awards banquet here at the Wyndham El Paso Airport.
McDonald in 1967 lettered on Lee’s 7-3 team, so named the “Dirty Thirty” by Bob Burris who coached the Rebels to their first winning record in school history. McDonald also lettered in baseball for a team that made a deep playoff run under Texas High School Coaches hall of famer Ernie Johnson.
UTEP’s Silver Anniversary Miner Award is presented to “an individual who had a distinguished college athletic career, and has continued to contribute to UTEP and the El Paso community.”
McDonald started in the UTEP offensive line in 1970-71, earning a B.A. in journalism before building an award-winning journalism career. He is a former staff writer at the El Paso Times, Abilene Reporter-News, Dallas Times Herald, Dallas Morning News and San Antonio Express News.
McDonald currently serves as president of a local writers group, the Permian Basin Bookies. This summer, his publishing team, Dust Devil Books, will release its ninth non-fiction title, a coffee-table book entitled “Dizzy: Dean of Laughs & My Podnah,” on the life and times of legendary St. Louis Cardinals pitcher and TV personality Dizzy Dean.
UTEP staffers credit McDonald and his irreverent, digital newsletter, “Miners Are Forever,” with sparking interest in Miners football and helping his alma mater connect with former student-athletes.