LEWISVILLE, N.C. – Longtime Atlantic Coast Conference college basketball analyst Dan Bonner and the late Al Featherston, who covered the ACC for various outlets for five decades, are the recipients of this year’s Marvin ‘Skeeter’ Francis Award.
The Francis Award, presented by the Atlantic Coast Sport Media Association (ACSMA) recognizes individuals for distinguished service to, or coverage of, the ACC.
Bonner is a Pennsylvania native who played basketball at the University of Virginia from 1972-75, earning Academic All-ACC team honors as a team captain in 1975.
Bonner was an assistant coach for Virginia’s first-ever women’s basketball team before becoming the head coach for two seasons. He has also been a high school girls’ soccer and basketball coach.
Bonner launched his television career calling ACC games on Jefferson Pilot Sports (now Raycom) in 1983. He has also been an analyst for CBS Sports, ESPN and FOX Sports. This will be his 29th year calling the NCAA men’s basketball tournament. He also called games for NCAA Productions for five years and has served as an ACC baseball analyst for Raycom.
Bonner and his wife Terry live in Verona, Virginia. They are the parents of three children and have two grandchildren.
Featherston, a Duke alumnus, joined the afternoon Durham Sun in 1974, and then the Durham Herald-Sun when the city’s morning and afternoon papers combined. He covered Duke, North Carolina, NC State and the ACC as a whole into the 21st century.
Featherston contributed his writing talents to many outlets over the years, including the ACC Sports Journal, Basketball Times, Blue Ribbon Yearbooks, Duke Basketball Report, GoDuke.com, and many others. He also authored a number of books, including The Makings of Heroes: How the 1943 Black Phillies Broke Baseball’s Color Line; Memorable Stories of Duke Basketball; Tobacco Road: Duke, Carolina, N.C. State, Wake Forest, and the History of the Most Intense Basketball Rivalries in Sports, and battle for Mortain: The 30th Infantry Division Saves the Breakout, August 7-12, 1944.
Featherston passed away on Nov. 5, 2018, due to complications from ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease) and heart disease.
The award is named in memory of Marvin ‘Skeeter’ Francis, who served as the longtime sports information director at Wake Forest and the first administrator of the ACC’s media services division.