Washington Commanders head coach Ron Rivera, lauded for his professional dealings with the media who cover the league, has been selected as the 2023 Horrigan Award winner by the Professional Football Writers of America (PFWA).
Rivera, the 51st Horrigan Award winner, is the first member of the Washington franchise to receive the award, and the first head coach to win it since Bruce Arians with the Arizona Cardinals in 2015.
The Horrigan Award is given to the league or club official for his or her qualities and professional style in helping the pro football writers do their job. Jack Horrigan was a sportswriter for UPI and the Buffalo Evening News, public relations director for the American Football League (1963-66) and vice president of public relations for the Buffalo Bills (1966-73). Joe Horrigan is in his 44th year with the Pro Football Hall of Fame. The Hall of Fame's current senior advisor was executive director (2017-19), executive vice president of museums, selection process and chief communications officer (2014-17) and vice president, communications and exhibits (1996-2014).
Other 2023 nominees for the Horrigan Award were 49ers general manager John Lynch, NFL VP of communications Brian McCarthy, Los Angeles Rams general manager Les Snead and NFL EVP of football operations Troy Vincent.
When he was hired as Washington's head coach in 2020, Rivera became the face of the franchise. A camera-shy owner placed Rivera in the role of the team's day-to-day spokesperson on nearly every aspect of the organization, and that responsibility has only grown the past three seasons as the team heads toward new ownership.
"Since Ron arrived in Washington three years ago, he's undoubtedly endured more than any coach, on and off the field. He has been the voice of the team when ownership has been absent, and he has even battled cancer while coaching," said Washington Post NFL reporter and PFWA first vice-president Nicki Jhabvala. "Rarely is there a quiet moment on the Washington beat, but in both good times and bad, Rivera has been readily accessible to local and national media, responding to late-day questions, sitting for numerous one-on-one interviews and going above and beyond to help us do our jobs, even when it makes his that much harder."