Christine Brennan

Professor of Practice

Christine Brennan (BSJ80, MSJ81) is a professor of practice at Medill and 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 woman 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 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 Augusta National Golf Club triggered the national debate on the club's lack of 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, she was named the 1993 Capital Press Women's "Woman of Achievement;" named the University of North Carolina's 2002 Reed Sarratt Distinguished Lecturer; won the U.S. Sports Academy's Ronald Reagan Award in 2002; won the Jake Wade Award from the College Sports Information Directors of America in 2003; won AWSM's Pioneer Award in 2004; was named Woman of the Year by WISE (Women in Sports and Events) in 2005; received the inaugural Women's Sports Foundation Billie Award for journalism in 2006; won Chi Omega's 2006 Woman of Achievement Award;  won Northwestern University's Alumni Service Award in 2007; received Yale University's Kiphuth Medal in 2013 and was named 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.