Long-time CoSIDA member Tony Wells inducted into Frontier Field Walk of Fame

College Sports Information Directors of America

September 4 2012


The Rochester Red Wings are in their 10th season as the Triple-A affiliate of Major League Baseball's Minnesota Twins. Since 1997, a special section at the center of the Walk of Fame has been designated to Rochester's Sports Legends. These individuals (fans, players, management and media spanning Rochester's sports history) are those who have made a monumental impact on the community through their achievements in the Rochester-area sports scene. This August, long-time CoSIDA member and supporter Tony Wells (who served on the CoSIDA Board of Directors in 1987-88) was inducted into the Frontier Field Walk of Fame.

Perinton resident Tony Wells, now in his 47th year as an athletic administrator, was inducted into the Frontier Field Walk of Fame August 19th at home plate before 7,259 fans just prior to the Rochester Red Wings Triple A baseball game with the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees.

Dan Guilfoyle, Walk of Fame Committee Chairman, and Dan Mason, Red Wings General Manager, presented Wells with his Certificate of Recognition in the Contributors/Administrators Category from Monroe County Executive Maggie Brooks.

The Certificate praises Wells, a Brighton native, for his many “exceptional contributions to sports in our community through leadership, dedication, and achievements that have truly made a lasting and positive impact on our community and our youth.”

Created in 1997, the Frontier Field Walk of Fame is considered to be the Athletic Hall of Fame for the Greater Rochester area.

Wells began his career as the Sports Information Director and Assistant Athletic Director at Rockford (Illinois) College from 1966-1980, then moved back to his hometown to serve as the University of Rochester’s Sports Information Director from 1981-88. In August of 1988, he opened The Tony Wells Agency, a one-man operation which specializes in publicity, promotion, and marketing of area sporting events.

The recipient of more than 100 local, regional, and national awards and honors for his work in the field of athletics, Wells is also a member of the Rockford College (1990 inductee) and JP Morgan Chase Scholarship Basketball Tournament (2010) Halls of Fame.

Wells has given his time and energy to such projects as the Hewlett Packard NCAA Division III All-American Football Team, serving as the National Marketing Coordinator from 1989-2003. He also helped raise more than $80,000 for the Monroe County Special Olympics Corporate Advisory Council from 1991-2006. Wells also served as the Executive Director of the WHAM Sportswomen of the Year Awards Luncheon from 1993-2006, helping to raise $162,310 for the Heart of Gold Children’s Foundation.

An Instructor in Sports Marketing at Nazareth College from 1989-1995, the Media Director of the Monroe Invitational (hosted by Pittsford’s Monroe Golf Club) from 1986-1997, and the founding Executive Director of the Bausch & Lomb Crew Regatta first hosted by the U of R in 1989, his contributions also include working as a member of the Executive Committee of the JP Morgan Chase Scholarship Basketball Tournament from 1981-2009…including the post of Executive Director from 1999-2009. During his tenure, the Tournament raised $210,000 for the general scholarship funds of the eight participating area colleges.

Since 1993, Wells has been the founding Executive Director of the Challenger Baseball World Series, which is played each June at Frontier Field by nearly 300 players from the ten area Challenger Baseball programs consisting of boys and girls ages 6-18 who are mentally and/or physically challenged.

In 2011, Wells founded the Onnie’s Classic women’s basketball tournament, an annual four-team event hosted by Nazareth College that raises funds for Golisano Children’s Hospital. Also in 2011, he created the Walter Hubbell Employment Services Fund at Heritage Christian Services, raising $75,000 to date for the Fund that helps provide employment opportunities for adults with developmental disabilities serviced by Heritage Christian’s Employment Alliance.

The recipient of the People-To-People Sports Ambassador Recognition Award from President Gerald R. Ford in 1976 and the 1980 National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics Award of Merit (NBA Hall of Famer Walt Frazier was 1979 recipient, President Ronald Reagan won in 1981), Wells has been recognized by his peers with 48 national citations (from 1973 thru 2009) from the College Sports Information Directors of America for excellence in sports brochures, writing, and promotion. The Rochester Chapter of the American Marketing Association presented Wells with its 1991 Marketer of the Year Award.

In 2004, Wells received the Eddie Meath Community Service Award from the Rochester Press-Radio Club for his charitable work in the greater Rochester area, followed in 2008 by the Jack Palvino Award from the WHAM Sportswomen of the Year Awards Luncheon for “outstanding support and contributions to local women’s sports and/or youth sporting activities.”

At the 2005 ESPN Eastern College Athletic Conference-Sports Information Directors Association (ECAC-SIDA) Awards Dinner on Cape Cod, ESPN Senior Vice-President of Communications Rosa Gatti presented Wells with the coveted Bob Kenworthy Good Person Award for “exceptional respect for the sports information profession, fellow SIDs, and the media in one’s community.”

Also in 2005, Wells was the recipient of the New York State Athletic Administrators Association Community Service Award for “outstanding contributions to Section V high school athletics over the years” and the District 4 (Monroe County) Little League Appreciation Award for “devotion and tireless efforts to the Challenger Baseball Program.”

The 2007 E.P. Maxwell J. Schleifer Distinguished Service Award, which is a national honor for one’s competitive spirit and effort on behalf of the disability community, was presented to Wells by the MassMutual Financial Group on Disability Awareness Night at Frontier Field.

At the 2011 ECAC-SIDA Workshop at the RIT Inn & Conference Center, Wells received the 13-state, 304-member college organization’s Service Award “in recognition of 45 years of service in the field of Sports Information.” Wells served as President of ECAC-SIDA in 1986-87 and 1987-88, and co-hosted the organization’s annual Workshop in Rochester in 1986, 1999, and 2011. A 46-year member of the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA), Wells was the first NCAA Division III SID to ever serve on the CoSIDA National Board of Directors (1987-88).