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Former Southern Illinoisan reporter Jim Muir is on of three journalists receiving the The Illinois High School Association Distinguished Media Service Award. The 2016-17 class also includes IHSA television icon Dave Bernhard, and Don Werntz of Big Radio in Freeport.

The IHSA Distinguished Media Service Award was created to recognize media members who have covered high school sports and activities in Illinois for a significant period of time, while maintaining perspective on the amateur events they report on.

“The best way to sum it up is to say that any time anybody saw me with a headset on at a high school sporting event, I loved every second of it. Every single second,” Muir told the IHSA.

The Sesser-Valier High School and Rend Lake College alum will retire as the Sports Director at WQRL radio at the conclusion of the 2016-17 school year after more than 25 years and 3,000 broadcasts.

His broadcast career started on a whim when a friend invited him to co-host a Saturday morning prep sports radio show and as Muir says, “the rest is history.” That history includes expanding the Saturday preps show to two hours and making it year round, extending the station’s coverage to other high schools in the region in addition to Benton High School, and adding girls’ basketball, baseball and softball to the broadcast lineup.

During his career, Muir also covered high school sports and wrote columns for the Southern Illinoisan and Benton Evening News. He also published Southern Illinois Sports Connection Magazine for five years.

The award presentation will be made during the Benton vs. Sesser-Valier boys basketball game at Benton Invitational Tournament January 20.

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