CHICAGO – Former media relations professional Jim Trecker received the highest media honor possible in U.S. Soccer Thursday.

He was named the recipient of the 2017 Colin Jose Media Award by the National Soccer Hall of Fame.

Trecker will be honored at the 2017 National Soccer Hall of Fame Induction ceremony, which will take place on Saturday, Feb. 10, in Orlando, Fla. He joins his brother Jerry Trecker, the 2004 recipient, as award winners.

“This is a most unexpected and appreciated honor,” Trecker said. “Being chosen by members of the media community makes the recognition especially valued. I have been fortunate to be involved in the game for a long time and privileged to be a behind-the-scenes part of soccer’s growth over the past half century.”

With a career spanning more than four decades, Trecker has been a vital part of the media relations landscape in several capacities in the U.S. since the late 1960’s.

After a short stint with the New York Jets, Trecker witnessed the arrival of Pelé to the Cosmos and managed the relationships between the international superstar, Franz Beckenbauer, Carlos Alberto and Giorgio Chinaglia and the American media as public relations director of the team. He went to take a similar role with the original incarnation of the North American Soccer League.

As head of the World Cup USA 1994 communications department, Trecker, along with then FIFA media chief Guido Tognoni, developed the idea of a “mixed zone” for the 1994 World Cup, where players and journalists interact after matches. During the tournament, Trecker directed a group of media relations professionals that went on to assume major roles in Major League Soccer. The league was launched in 1996.

His final official role with FIFA was for the 2002 World Cup Korea/Japan.

“From the New York Skyliners to Pelé to World Cups, the game has been a joyous and very meaningful part of my life filled with wonderful memories and great friends,” Trecker said.

Since his retirement, Trecker has remained active in soccer as a consultant on many projects, including the reopening of the National Soccer Hall of Fame.

Trecker is the 10th recipient of the award, joining Paul Kennedy (2016), George Vecsey (2013), Grahame Jones (2012), Paul Gardner (2010), Seamus Malin (2005) and Jerry Trecker (2004) as honorees.

The award was created to honor the contributions of members of the print and electronic media, including reporters, columnists, authors, broadcasters, editors, public/media relations professionals and others who specialize in communications with respect to soccer in the U.S. The award is named for Colin Jose, Historian Emeritus of the National Soccer Hall of Fame and the preeminent soccer historian of North America.

Colin Jose Award winners

2017 – Jim Trecker, media relations
2016 – Paul Kennedy, Soccer America, print media
2013 – George Vecsey, New York Times, print media
2012 – Grahame Jones, Los Angeles Times, print media
2010 – Paul Gardner, Soccer America, print media
2009 – Alex Yannis, New York Times print media
2008 – Ike Kuhns, Newark Star-Ledger, print media
2007 – George Tiedemann, Sports Illustrated/freelance photography
2005 – Seamus Malin, ESPN and other television broadcasters
2004 – Jerry Trecker, Hartford Courant, print media