40 Years of Memories: Cotton Bowl Classic Historian Charlie Fiss Calls Career a ‘Dream Come True’
By Mike Secrest, Office of Communication
Posted on December 28, 2023, December 28, 2023

The 88th Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic returns to AT&T Stadium in Arlington on Dec. 29, 2023, with a matchup between Ohio State and Missouri. But the annual college football game is more than just a one-day event for Charlie Fiss, who has been a Cotton Bowl Athletic Association staff member for more than three decades. This is his life’s passion.

Friday’s game will be the 40th Cotton Bowl Classic for Fiss, the former vice president of communications who now serves as the game historian.

“As a historian, I got to meet all my childhood heroes. People I was reading about or watching on TV as a kid. Whoever would think you would get to do that? It was very special to get a job like this—and man, 40 games? Nothing quite like it,” Fiss said during an interview with MyArlingtonTV.

Fiss, who grew up in Arkansas, said his childhood dream of attend a Cotton Bowl game first came true in 1966, when the Arkansas Razorbacks faced the LSU Tigers. After graduating from the University of Arkansas and beginning his career in college sports communications, Fiss moved to Texas to become assistant director for media relations for the Southwest Conference in 1984. He got his first opportunity to work the Cotton Bowl the very next year and has been a fixture ever since.

Fans may not know his name. But ask any sports reporter who covers the Cotton Bowl about Charlie Fiss, and they can tell you many stories that involve him. Fiss has worked with the media for most his of time with the Cotton Bowl as the vice president of communications, a role he served in from 1993 to 2020. In his current role as historian, he curates and shares his Cotton Bowl knowledge through various publications and continues to assist with media operations during bowl week.

Fiss, who assists with the organization of the Cotton Bowl Class Hall of Fame, which was created under his watch, has received numerous honors for his communication work. This includes the 2017 Bert McGrane Award for distinguished service to the Football Writers Association of American as well as induction into the College Sports Communicators Hall of Fame. Click here to read more about Charlie Fiss on the Cotton Bowl website.

Cotton Bowl Classic Historian Charlie Fiss
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