Brett Dawson, who spent the past five years covering University of Kentucky athletics at The (Louisville) Courier-Journal, joins Rivals.com today as publisher of CatsIllustrated.com, the network's UK sports site.
Dawson, a UK graduate, first covered the Wildcats at the Kentucky Kernel, the university's student newspaper. He began his professional journalism career with a two-year stint covering Kentucky for The Cats' Pause magazine.
Dawson spent five seasons covering University of Illinois men's basketball for The News-Gazette in Champaign-Urbana, Ill. His work won recognition at the state and national levels, and he authored "Tales of the 2004-05 Fighting Illini," a book about Illinois' NCAA runner-up team.
In 2006, Dawson joined the staff at The Courier-Journal, the newspaper he'd grown up reading. In five seasons, he covered two football coaches, three men's basketball coaches, five bowl-bound football teams and a Final Four.
Dawson, who was born in Louisville and grew up in Shepherdsville, Ky., will continue to live in Lexington, where he lived while covering UK for The Courier-Journal.
As publisher of CatsIllustrated.com, Dawson will cover Kentucky athletics on a day-to-day basis, with an emphasis on the football and men's basketball teams.
He'll also participate daily on the CatsIllustrated.com message boards and post updates on his Twitter account @BDawsonRivals.
Steve Jones, managing editor of the site, will continue to direct recruiting coverage.
"I'm excited about the opportunity to join the Rivals.com network,â€ Dawson said. "We have big plans ahead not only in terms of expanding our staff, but our coverage of UK sports. We hope to find new ways to cover the news Kentucky fans are passionate about, using a range of storytelling methods both written and visual. And we're going to have a lot of fun doing it."