Lawrence Fan Recipient of Dr. Albert C. Yates Distinguished Service Award

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo.—Lawrence Fan, the former San José State University associate athletics director for football communications and special projects, is a recipient of the Dr. Albert C. Yates Distinguished Service Award, presented by the Mountain West. Fan and former New Mexico senior women's administrator Janice Ruggiero are just the 13th and 14th individuals to receive the award since 1999-2000.
"We thank the Mountain West and its membership for recognizing Lawrence Fan with his receiving the prestigious Yates award," said Director of Athletics Jeff Konya. "He was a trailblazer in sports information and athletics administration in so many ways, and it is true he left an indelible mark on SJSU and the college athletics enterprise. This recognition is so well deserved."

For the past 42 years, Fan was a mainstay in the San José State Athletics Department, publicizing all the accomplishments of the Spartan student-athletes before his death this past February. Recognized as the go-to expert on Spartan Athletics by local state and national media, Fan put the Spartan student-athletes before himself and served the Bay Area media in many capacities including arranging interviews for Spartan athletes as well as serving as the spokesman for the department.

"Lawrence impacted a lot of lives, not just on the San José State campus, but all over the country," said Dr. Steve Perez, SJSU Interim President. "He was a caring person that made everyone he came in contact with better. Lawrence will forever be remembered for all his hard work and passion for the Spartans, and is well-deserving of this incredible honor from the Mountain West."
Fan joined the San José State Athletics Department in 1980 as the sports information director for men's athletics. When the men's and women's departments merged in 1987, he was the SID for the entire program. 
One of his proudest moments came on November 13, 2021, when he worked his 500th consecutive San José State football game. Fan was honored during the game, leaving the press box to take the accolades from all fans of the game. He was very proud of the accomplishment, so much so that he allowed a local television station to follow him around for the day for a feature story that weekend. - Link -
Beloved by media members across the country, his upbeat personality, Spartan Athletics knowledge and work ethic were appreciated by all. Fan wanted to provide the best possible service to everyone covering the Spartans, whether they were a student reporter or national broadcaster. He would spend long hours researching nuggets about the Spartans to provide to the media to assist with their coverage.
Lawrence was also a mentor and friend to many in the sports information/media relations industry. He took the time to mentor anyone who was interested in the profession. That passion led him to start the CoSIDA Job Seekers committee in 1994 to help job seekers and those with job openings connect at conventions and later expanded to year-round coverage on the CoSIDA website.
Known for his hand-written thank you notes or a phone call to see how you were doing, he treated every student-athlete the same, whether you were the best on the team or a walk-on. Stories abound from the thousands of student-athletes from the four-plus decades about Lawrence's memory and how he knew stats and facts about each person he came into contact with at San José State.
Fan also championed every conference San José State competed for during his tenure, beginning with the PCAA/Big West, then the Western Athletic Conference and finally the Mountain West. He treated each conference staff with the utmost respect and made sure they had the information needed to give SJSU and the conference the best possible publicity.
His sudden death on February 21, 2022, left San José State with a big hole in our heart as we try to go on without our historian and friend Lawrence Fan.
The Dr. Albert C. Yates Distinguished Service Award is presented to an individual who has served, supported and promoted the goals and ideals of the Mountain West or a member institution; an individual who, through personal effort and dedication, has enhanced the ability of the conference and/or its member institutions to provide a positive experience for the student-athletes enrolled at any member institution.
The award is chosen by the MW Recognition Committee, made up of two athletic directors, two senior women administrators and two faculty athletic representatives. Previous winners are:
2017-18: Dr. Jim Francis, Colorado State
2013-14: Marti Gasser, Air Force; Breda Bova, New Mexico
2012-13: Sally Roush, San Diego State
2010-11: Dr. Stephen Weber, San Diego State
2007-08: Barbara Burke, Wyoming
2006-07: Marsha Smeltzer, Colorado State; Larry Gerlach, Utah
2005-06: Rudy Davalos, New Mexico
2004-05: Elaine Michaelis, BYU
2000-01: LaVell Edwards, BYU
1999-00: Linda Estes, New Mexico