Co Founder, Black College Football Museum
Michael Hurd is an author and freelance writer who was born in Texarkana, Texas and grew up in Houston, where he graduated with honors from Evan E. Worthing High School in 1967. In January 1968, he began an eight-year stint in the U.S. Air Force as a medic and served one year (1971) at Phu Cat Air Base, Vietnam. He was honorably discharged in May 1976 with the Air Force Commendation Medal.
He attended the University of Texas at Austin from 1976-1979, majoring in journalism. In the spring of his junior year, he accepted a job as a sportswriter with The Houston Post, but in 1997 returned to UT Austin to complete coursework for his bachelor's degree in journalism. However, both his parents and several relatives attended historically Black colleges – his mother, Emily Hurd, is a graduate of Bishop College and his father, James Hurd, attended Virginia State.
Michael Hurd began his newspaper career as a sportswriter for the Post in May 1979. His primary beat was covering small college sports, including those involving the Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC), a league composed of historically Black colleges. It was that experience which compelled him to write his first book, Black College Football, 1892-1992, the only book that comprehensively documents the legacies of football programs at historically Black colleges. The book was initially released in 1993 and was updated and revised for a second release in 1998. Largely because of his research and writing on Black college football, he was named a member of the National Football Foundation’s Honors Court for Divisional Players, the group that selects small college players to the College Football Hall of Fame. The Hall began inducting players and coaches in 1951, but has only included Divisional Players, those from historically Black colleges and other small colleges, since 1996. That move was helped by Hurd’s research and book, which was used as the primary source for identifying possible Hall of Fame candidates from Black colleges.
He has also written for the Austin American-Statesman and for 11 years worked as a sportswriter for USA TODAY, beginning in 1982 as a member of the newspaper's original staff. He returned to the American-Statesman in 1993 to serve as an assistant city editor. Michael Hurd has covered an extremely wide variety of sports events, from auto racing and horse shows to surfing and volleyball. Most notably, he has covered events of the National Basketball Association (including 8 Finals), the National Football League (2 Super Bowls), Major League Baseball, the National Hockey League, the 1984 Summer Olympics, and National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), including major bowl games and postseason basketball tournaments including the Final Four.
As a metro desk reporter, he chronicled events such as the Million Man March and has written in-depth stories on social issues such as affirmative action, and the academic performances and graduation rates of Black athletes at major universities.