Marvin 'Skeeter' Francis Passes at 82
Marvin "Skeeter" Francis

January 10, 1922 (Durham, N.C.) to
July 6, 2004 (Winston-Salem, N.C.)

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    Marvin "Skeeter" Francis, the longtime sports information director at Wake Forest University and later at the Atlantic Coast Conference, passed away earlier today at the Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center. Francis was 82.

    A Durham (N.C.) native, Francis served 15 years at Wake Forest as director of sports publicity, beginning in 1955. In 1969 he left WFU to work as service bureau director and assistant commissioner of the Atlantic Coast Conference for 22 years until his retirement in 1990.

    Francis' association with the ACC began as a sportswriter, and ultimately, assistant sports editor of the Durham Morning Herald covering the inaugural ACC Tournament in 1954.

    A 1946 graduate of Wake Forest College and a seven-year veteran of the Armed Services, Francis was the first Director of the ACC Basketball Tournament, which established standards that have been adopted by other conferences as well as the NCAA.

    Francis, a past President of the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA), is an inductee of the USBWA Hall of Fame as well as the Helms Hall of Fame for Sports Information Directors. The Atlantic Coast Conference Sports Media Association began the annual Marvin "Skeeter" Francis award in 1990 recognizing individuals for distinguished service to the ACC. In 1995, he was inducted into the Wake Forest University Sports Hall of Fame.

    Statement from Wake Forest Athletic Director Ron Wellman:
    When one thinks of the Atlantic Coast Conference or Wake Forest athletics, one of the first people who comes to mind is Skeeter Francis. He has been a mainstay and fixture with both organizations for nearly 50 years. His qualities were numerous, but one attribute was exceptionally clear - everyone truly loved him and enjoyed being around him.

    Statement from ACC Commissioner John Swofford:
    The Atlantic Coast Conference family is deeply saddened today with the passing of Marvin "Skeeter" Francis. As the ACC celebrated its fiftieth anniversary last year, it became clear how intricately involved "Skeeter" was in the fabric of this conference since its inception in 1953. "Skeeter's" fingerprints can be found in so many areas that encompass Wake Forest, the ACC and college athletics, which is a true testament to his contributions and to the man himself. For those of us fortunate enough to know "Skeeter", his personality and his life were as rich and colorful as the multi-colored suede sports jacket he wore on special occasions. The thoughts and prayers of everyone associated with the ACC go out to his wife Ann, his son Marvin and grandson Alex.

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