Skip to main content

Christine Brennan

Christine Brennan (BSJ80, MSJ81) is an award-winning sports columnist for USA Today; a commentator for ABC News, PBS NewsHour, CNN and National Public Radio; a best-selling author; and a nationally-known speaker. Twice named one of the country's top 10 sports columnists by the Associated Press Sports Editors, she has covered the last 16 Olympic Games, summer and winter.

Brennan was the first female sports writer at The Miami Herald in 1981 and the first woman to cover the Washington Redskins as a staff writer at The Washington Post in 1985. She was the first president of the Association for Women in Sports Media (AWSM), and she started a scholarship-internship program that has honored more than 130 female students over the past two decades. 

Brennan is the author of seven books. Her 2006 sports memoir, "Best Seat in the House," is the only father-daughter memoir written by a sports journalist. Her 1996 national best-seller, "Inside Edge," was named one of the top 100 sports books of all time by Sports Illustrated.

She is a leading voice on some of the most controversial and important issues in sports. Her USA Today column in April 2002 on the Augusta National Golf Club triggered the national debate on the club's policy barring female members. In December 2002, Sports Illustrated's Golf Plus section named her one of golf's 12 heroes of the year. In August 2012, Brennan broke the news that Augusta National was admitting its first two women members. She also broke the story of the pairs figure skating scandal at the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympics and the Russian judging scandal at the 2014 Sochi Games.

Brennan earned undergraduate and master's degrees in journalism from Northwestern University. She is a member of the Ohio Women's Hall of Fame and Northwestern's Medill School of Journalism Hall of Achievement. She has received honorary degrees from Tiffin (Ohio) University and the University of Toledo. She is a member of Northwestern's Board of Trustees.

Among Brennan's honors are the 1993 Capital Press Women's Woman of Achievement; the University of North Carolina's 2002 Reed Sarratt Distinguished Lecturer; the U.S. Sports Academy's Ronald Reagan Award in 2002; the Jake Wade Award from the College Sports Information Directors of America in 2003;  AWSM's Pioneer Award in 2004;  Woman of the Year from WISE (Women in Sports and Events) in 2005; the inaugural Women's Sports Foundation Billie Award for journalism in 2006; Chi Omega's 2006 Woman of Achievement Award;  Northwestern University's Alumni Service Award in 2007; Yale University's Kiphuth Medal in 2013; and the 2013 Ralph McGill Lecturer at the University of Georgia.  

Both the NCAA and the Women's Sports Foundation honored her in celebrations for the 40th anniversary of Title IX in 2012.