Kowalski is the 2012 winner of the McCann Award for his coverage of the Detroit Lions and the National Football League in voting by the Pro Football Writers of America.
It is the highest honor and most prestigious award for media members who cover pro football.
The announcement was made today by the PFWA. Kowalski will be honored at ceremonies in August related to the induction of the Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2012 in Canton, Ohio.
Previous McCann winners include some of the nation’s most honored sportswriters and columnists -- Pulitizer Prize winner Dave Anderson of the New York Times, legendary Detroit News columnist Jerry Green, Rick Gosselin of the Dallas Morning News and Peter King of Sports Illustrated.
The McCann Award is named after Dick McCann, the first director of the Hall of Fame.
Kowalski, known as “Killer” by friends and readers, died on August 29 last year of heart failure. He was 51.
Kowalski’s dedication to giving readers insights into pro football and his relentless reporting style more than lived up to the PFWA’s qualifications for winning the McCann Award: “To a reporter who has made a long and distinguished contribution to pro football through coverage.”
Kowalski was working for the Booth Newspapers chain and Mlive.com at the time of his death. Kowalski also was a long-time stringer for the Sporting News, and co-hosted a popular sports-talk show on WDFN-AM in Metro Detroit.
He began covering the Lions during the 1981 season while working for the Oakland Press. He joined the Booth chain in 1997.
For the past three years, Kowalski was one of the selectors who voted for the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
His death stunned the media community,and prompted an outpouring of heartfelt mourning and tributes -- all well deserved.
The Detroit Lions named the media facilities at their Allen Park headquarters after Kowalski.
There were other tributes at stadiums around the NFL, including the Louisiana Superdome, where his passing was remembered with a moment of silence before the Lions’ playoff game with the Saints.
The Hall of Fame selectors also paid tribute to Kowalski before beginning the discussion and voting process on candidates for the Class of 2012 on Feb. 4 in Indianapolis, the day before the Giants defeated the Patriots in Super Bowl XLVI.