Bill Benner is the senior associate commissioner for external affairs for the Horizon League, an NCAA Division I conference headquartered in Indianapolis. Duties include direction of all branding and communications efforts on behalf of the league and its 10 member institutions.
In addition to his work with the Horizon League, Benner hosts the Inside INdiana Sports segment on Gerry Dick's statewide Inside INdiana Business television show and writes a weekly sports column for The Indianapolis Business Journal. Benner is noted as a long-time Indianapolis sports journalist, commentator and local sports expert.
Prior joining the Horizon League in July, 2010, Benner was the director of communications for the Indianapolis Convention & Visitors Association after serving as vice president of communications for Indiana Sports Corporation until January of 2005. He came to ISC in February, 2001. Before that, he was a sportswriter and columnist for The Indianapolis Star for 33 years. He also co-hosted a sports talk radio show on WNDE/1260AM for six years.
In addition, Benner spent 10 years as an adjunct faculty member of the Butler University department of journalism, where he taught sports journalism.
A lifelong Hoosier, Benner joined the sports staff of The Indianapolis Star in June of 1968 and became a full-time sportswriter in June of 1971. During his career with the newspaper, he covered high school sports, the Indiana Pacers, the Indianapolis Colts, three Olympics (Seoul, Barcelona, Atlanta) and two Pan American Games (Indianapolis, Havana), Masters and U.S. Open golf, tennis and 20 NCAA Final Fours. He became a full-time sports columnist in 1990.
Benner won numerous awards for his writing during his newspaper career and was twice recognized as the Indiana Sportswriter of the Year by the National Association of Sportswriters and Sportscasters (NSSA) located in Salisbury, N.C.
Benner has served on local organizing committees for the 1991, 1997, 2000, 2006 and 2010 NCAA Men's Final Fours, the 2005 and 2010 NCAA Women's Final Four, the 1996 U.S. Olympic Swim Trials, and numerous Big Ten women's and men's tournaments. He is currently the co-chair of the media relations and media operations committee for the 2012 Super Bowl.
He has served on the board of Special Olympics Indiana for eight years and in May, 2010, completed a two-year term as board chairman. He also is an associate board member of the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame.
Benner also served as a board member of the U.S. Basketball Writers Association for four years and was the USBWA president from 1998-99. He remains a member of the USBWA's presidents council.