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Joan Cronan selected to receive 2020 Dave Dixon Louisiana Sports Leadership Award

Joan Cronan selected to receive 2020 Dave Dixon Louisiana Sports Leadership Award

NATCHITOCHES – Opelousas native and LSU alumnae Joan Cronan, the retired athletics director at the University of Tennessee who was a key in the development of the iconic Lady Volunteers basketball program, is the 2020 winner of the Dave Dixon Louisiana Sports Leadership Award presented by the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame.

Enshrined in 2019 in the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame, Cronan was women’s athletics director at the University of Tennessee from 1983-2012. She then assumed the position of AD and Vice Chancellor before retiring as Athletic Director Emeritus.

On June 27 during the Hall of Fame’s 2020 Induction Dinner and Ceremony in Natchitoches, she will become the 20th recipient of the Dixon Award since its inception in 2005.

An Opelousas native, Cronan has undergraduate (1966) and graduate (1968) degrees from LSU and also worked for a year at Northwestern State (1967) where she coached volleyball, basketball and tennis. Her first coaching job was at her alma mater, Opelousas High, where she was assistant coach under Anne Hollier for the 1966 Class AA girls’ basketball state champions in what was then the state’s highest classification.

Cronan was the inaugural recipient of the NCAA President’s Pat Summitt Award in 2017. The award recognizes an individual for “positively influencing college athletics and their experiences through the individual’s career-long commitment to advocating for women’s sports.”

Cronan has also received the top leadership awards from the National Collegiate Athletic Directors (James Corbett Award), Lead1 (Homer Rice Award), and Women Leaders in College Sports (Lifetime Achievement Award). The Sports Business Journal recognized her as a 2014 Champion: Pioneer and Innovator in Sports Business.

The Dave Dixon Louisiana Sports Leadership Award has been presented annually by the Louisiana Sports Writers Association’s 35-member Hall of Fame selection committee to an individual who has played a decisive role as a sports leader or administrator benefiting Louisiana and/or bringing credit to Louisiana on the national and international level.

It is named in honor of the 1999 LSHOF inductee, an entrepreneur and innovator who is credited as the key figure in bringing an NFL franchise to New Orleans, and the development of the Mercedes Benz Louisiana Superdome.

Cronan is the Dixon Award’s third woman recipient, preceded in 2017 by college basketball administrator Sue Donohoe and last year by tennis official Marie Gagnard.

Cronan will be among the 2020 Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame Induction Class to be spotlighted in the annual Induction Dinner and Ceremonies on Saturday evening, June 27, at the Natchitoches Events Center. The Induction Dinner and Ceremonies are the highlight of the 2020 Induction Celebration beginning Thursday afternoon, June 25, with a nationally-televised (Cox Sports Television) press conference at the Hall of Fame museum at 800 Front Street in Natchitoches.

Outdoorsman Phil Robertson, recognized internationally as the Duck Commander, and former LSU football coach Nick Saban, who won 75 percent of his games and the 2003 national championship in five seasons with the Tigers, join eight-time Mr. Olympia world bodybuilding champion Ronnie Coleman and another global sports figure, Sweet Lou Dunbar of the Harlem Globetrotters, among a star-studded group of eight competitive ballot inductees.

The LSHOF Class of 2020 also includes a pair of multiple-year Pro Bowl NFL standouts, New Orleans Saints receiver Joe Horn and Chicago Bears cornerback Charles “Peanut” Tillman, a star at UL Lafayette, along with two extraordinary basketball players: New Orleans native Kerry Kittles, a two-time All-America guard at Villanova who averaged 14 points in an eight-year NBA career, and Louisiana Tech Lady Techsters basketball legend Angela Turner, who helped her teams to four straight national championship game appearances including wins in 1981 and 1982.

Inducted next summer as winners of the Distinguished Service Award in Sports Journalism will be LSU sports publicist Kent Lowe and Baton Rouge Advocate sportswriter Robin Fambrough.

Receiving the inaugural Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame Ambassador Award will be Fox Sports broadcasting personality Tim Brando of Shreveport.

The 2020 Induction Class will be showcased in the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame Museum, operated by the Louisiana State Museum system in a partnership with the Louisiana Sports Writers Association. The striking $23 million, two-story, 27,500-square foot structure faces Cane River Lake in the National Historic Landmark District of Natchitoches and has garnered worldwide architectural acclaim and rave reviews for its contents since its grand opening during the 2013 Hall of Fame induction weekend.

Cronan’s selection was jointly announced by Hall of Fame chairman Doug Ireland and LSWA president Lenny Vangilder.

Past Dixon Award recipients include the 2018 winner, Steve Gleason, the former New Orleans Saints player who has become globally acknowledged as one of the world’s leading advocates for people diagnosed with ALS, commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease.

In 2008, the Dixon Award went to world-renowned orthopedic Dr. James Andrews, a Homer native, LSU graduate and SEC champion pole vaulter.

Paul Hoolahan, executive director and chief executive officer of the Allstate Sugar Bowl Classic for 23 years, was presented the 2015 Dixon Award.

The 2016 winner was world-renowned neurosurgeon Dr. Julian Bailes, a Natchitoches native and LSU graduate who has become a leading figure in the field of sports-related concussion research and treatment.

Donohoe, who served as the NCAA’s vice president for women’s basketball for 12 years, and also directed the men’s basketball NCAA Division I championship, was the 2017 recipient.

Cronan joined UT from the College of Charleston, where she was athletics director for 10 years and was later inducted in the school’s Hall of Fame. In her tenure there, CoC was selected as the No. 1 women’s athletics program in the country in 1980 by the American Women’s Sports Federation.

Cronan has also been inducted in LSU’s Alumni Hall of Distinction, Fellowship of Christian Athletics Hall of Champions, Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame, Knoxville Sports Hall of Fame, NACDA Hall of Fame, Society of Health and Physical Educators Hall of Fame. Earlier this year, she was awarded an Honorary Doctorate Degree from the United States Sports Academy.

Cronan is the author of a book “Sport is Life with Volume Turned Up: Lessons Learned That Apply to Business and Life.”

Her late husband, Dr. Thomas L. Cronan, received his master of science degree from Northwestern State during their year in Natchitoches.

The University of Tennessee and the city of Knoxville have honored her by naming the Lady Vols’ Practice Center after her and designating a street as “Joan Cronan Way.”

The 2020 LSHOF Induction Celebration will kick off Thursday, June 25, with a press conference and reception. The three-day festivities include two receptions, a youth sports clinic, a bowling party, and a Friday night riverbank concert in Natchitoches. Tickets for the Saturday night, June 27 Induction Dinner and Ceremony, along with congratulatory advertising and sponsorship opportunities, are available through the LaSportsHall.com website.

Anyone can receive quarterly e-mails about the 2020 Induction Celebration and other Hall of Fame news by signing up on the LaSportsHall.com website.

Adding to the 350 sports competitors currently enshrined, 19 winners of the Dave Dixon Louisiana Sports Leadership award and 64 recipients of the Distinguished Service Award in Sports Journalism, there are 433 current members of the Hall of Fame before this summer’s inductions.

The 2020 Induction Celebration weekend will be hosted by the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame Foundation, the support organization for the Hall of Fame. The LSHOF Foundation was established as a 501 c 3 non-profit entity in 1975 and is governed by a statewide board of directors. For information on sponsorship opportunities, contact Foundation President/CEO Ronnie Rantz at 225-802-6040 or RonnieRantz@LaSportsHall.com. Standard and customized sponsorships are available.

Doug IrelandJoan Cronan selected to receive 2020 Dave Dixon Louisiana Sports Leadership Award
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Tim Brando to receive inaugural Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame Ambassador Award

Tim Brando to receive inaugural Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame Ambassador Award

NATCHITOCHES – Shreveport broadcast personality Tim Brando, who has been on the national sports scene for four decades, has been selected to receive the inaugural Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame Ambassador Award and will be part of the Hall’s Class of 2020 enshrined next June.

The Ambassador Award was created by the Hall’s parent organization, the Louisiana Sports Writers Association. The award honors long-term exemplary contributions to the perception of Louisiana by an individual who has ties to the state’s sports landscape. The Ambassador Award carries membership in the Hall of Fame. The award will not be presented annually, but occasionally, as the Selection Committee chooses, said Hall of Fame chairman Doug Ireland.

“Throughout his career as one of America’s premiere sports broadcasters, Tim has been a tremendous advocate for our state. Our selection committee believes he is the ideal person to be the inaugural winner of the Ambassador Award as a person who has been nationally prominent in his field while constantly promoting Louisiana through words and deeds,” said Ireland. “Brando’s influence has benefited our state’s identity.”

Brando, who has been part of the Fox Sports stable of announcers since 2014, has been a studio host and play-by-play announcer for ESPN, CBS, Raycom/Jefferson Broadcasting, Sirius/XM, and Turner Broadcasting since the mid-1980s. He has received a wide range of national honors for his broadcasting career. His work has earned him four regional Emmy Awards and critical acclaim from national media writers and outlets.

Brando has been honored with the Jake Ward Award in 2009 for outstanding promotion of intercollegiate athletics by the College Sports Information Directors of America, and the 2014 Lindsey Nelson Award given by the Knoxville Quarterback Club. In 2018, he received the Broadcast Legend Award presented by the Lombardi Honors, only the third such honoree behind Dick Enberg and Verne Lundquist. That year Brando also was presented Richard M. Uray-Alpha Epsilon Rho Award for Lifetime Achievement from the National Broadcasting Society-Alpha Epsilon Rho, awarded to an individual, company, or organization that best represents excellence in the field of electronic media. Past recipients of the Uray award include Walter Cronkite and Bob Costas.

He also has been honored with recognitions from his home state, including the Independence Bowl in Shreveport naming Brando its’ Sportsperson of the Year in 1992 and giving him a Lifetime Achievement Award in 2005. He is also an inductee into the Northwest Louisiana Walk of Stars in Shreveport (2016) and the Louisiana Italian American Sports Hall of Fame, earning their Buddy D Media Award (2019).

The Ambassador Award, to be presented June 27 in Natchitoches, means Brando will be among the elite 12-person Class of 2020 being inducted in the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame.

Brando will be among the 2020 Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame Induction Class to be spotlighted in the annual Induction Dinner and Ceremonies on Saturday evening, June 27, at the Natchitoches Events Center. The Induction Dinner and Ceremonies are the highlight of the 2020 Induction Celebration beginning Thursday afternoon, June 25, with a regionally-televised (Cox Sports Television) press conference at the Hall of Fame museum at 800 Front Street in Natchitoches.

Outdoorsman Phil Robertson, recognized internationally as the Duck Commander, and former LSU football coach Nick Saban, who won 75 percent of his games and the 2003 national championship in five seasons with the Tigers, join eight-time Mr. Olympia world bodybuilding champion Ronnie Coleman and another global sports figure, Sweet Lou Dunbar of the Harlem Globetrotters, among a star-studded group of eight competitive ballot inductees.

The LSHOF Class of 2020 also includes a pair of multiple-year Pro Bowl NFL standouts, New Orleans Saints receiver Joe Horn and Chicago Bears cornerback Charles “Peanut” Tillman, a star at UL Lafayette, along with two extraordinary basketball players: New Orleans native Kerry Kittles, a two-time All-America guard at Villanova who averaged 14 points in an eight-year NBA career, and Louisiana Tech Lady Techsters basketball legend Angela Turner, who helped her teams to four straight national championship game appearances including wins in 1981 and 1982.

Inducted next summer as winners of the Distinguished Service Award in Sports Journalism will be LSU sports publicist Kent Lowe and Baton Rouge Advocate sportswriter Robin Fambrough.

Also honored with enshrinement in the Class of 2020 will be the Dave Dixon Louisiana Sports Leadership Award winner, to be announced Thursday.

The 2020 Induction Class will be showcased in the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame Museum, operated by the Louisiana State Museum system in a partnership with the Louisiana Sports Writers Association. The striking $23 million, two-story, 27,500-square foot structure faces Cane River Lake in the National Historic Landmark District of Natchitoches and has garnered worldwide architectural acclaim and rave reviews for its contents since its grand opening during the 2013 Hall of Fame induction weekend.

In 1971, at the age of 14, Brando worked in a press box for the very first time, calling Neville High School football on KLIC radio in Monroe alongside his father, Shreveport broadcast pioneer Hub Brando. Brando brought several speech, debate and broadcasting awards to Fair Park High School in Shreveport while earning a scholarship to Northeast Louisiana University (now ULM) in 1975.

As an 18-year-old, Brando worked the sports desk at KTAL-TV in Shreveport, spun rock records at KROK-FM radio, and called Centenary College basketball on 50,000-watt KWKH-AM alongside future Louisiana Sports Hall of Famer Jim Hawthorne.

After college, Brando moved south in 1978, honing skills that would serve him for the rest of his career. Brando’s nightly sports talk radio show on WIBR was the first of its kind in Baton Rouge, and his play-by-play of high school football earned him the 1981 Louisiana Association of Broadcasters Best Play-By-Play Award, beating out college broadcasts with wider audiences.

During this time, Brando began his association with the fledgling TigerVision, becoming the voice of LSU basketball. After a brief sojourn at WGSO Radio in New Orleans, Brando returned to Baton Rouge to become sports director at WAFB TV. It was during this time that Brando began one of his favorite jobs, calling college basketball for Raycom/Jefferson Pilot from 1983 until the creation of the ACC network in 2019.

After earning his stripes in South Louisiana, Brando became one of the second wave of sportscasters who joined ESPN in the mid-1980s. In addition to being a SportsCenter anchor from 1986-94, Brando was the original host of ESPN Gameday, the college football pre-game show that is now a national institution, and the network’s NCAA Tournament basketball coverage.

Brando made the decision to depart ESPN headquarters in Bristol and return his family to his hometown to raise his two daughters in 1990, where he remains headquartered to this day. His career continued upward as he reconnected with Louisiana, and as his stature rose, he remained a prominent walking and talking advertisement for his home state.

After leaving ESPN, Brando earned a ring in 1995 calling Braves games for Turner Sports during the Braves’ run to the World Series championship, before making the biggest move of his career to that point, working for 18 seasons at CBS Sports. Beginning in 1998, he was host of the CBS Sports College Football Today studio show, and did NFL and occasional SEC games for the network regularly from 1998-2002, along with calling NCAA Tournament basketball play by play throughout his time with CBS.

From 2011-2015, Brando originated a CBS Sports/Sirius XM simulcast college sports talk show from Shreveport, an offshoot of a longer-running Tim Brando Show which ran on Sporting News Radio and other national distribution channels beginning in 2001.

In 2014, Brando signed a multi-year deal to become a play-by-play commentator in football and basketball for Fox Sports, where he enjoys mentoring the rising generation of sports journalists.

Brando has covered 26 individual sports, 25 of them while at ESPN, which is still considered the most ever by anyone at the network. He has worked games for the NFL, MLB and NBA. He has covered football and/or basketball in the Southeastern Conference, Big 10, PAC 12, Big XII, Big East, ACC, and American Athletic Conference.

Brando’s coverage of the booster cheating scandal at Southern Methodist University in the mid-1980s was among some of the enterprise reporting that led to the disbanding of the Southwest Conference and SMU’s death penalty punishment in college football. Brando also displayed his reporting skills and calm under pressure during his coverage of the SEC semifinal tournament game in Atlanta in March of 2008, when a tornado struck the area, suspending the game. Brando became a news reporter, describing the scene and the consequences of the tornado for more than an hour to the Raycom Sports network audience.

Brando has served as the master of ceremonies for several Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame induction ceremonies and events, along with lending considerable time to his hometown Independence Bowl Foundation as a master of ceremonies and volunteer.

The 2020 LSHOF Induction Celebration will kick off Thursday, June 25, with a press conference and reception. The three-day festivities include two receptions, a youth sports clinic, a bowling party, and a Friday night riverbank concert in Natchitoches. Tickets for the Saturday night, June 27 Induction Dinner and Ceremony, along with congratulatory advertising and sponsorship opportunities, are available through the LaSportsHall.com website.

Anyone can receive quarterly e-mails about the 2020 Induction Celebration and other Hall of Fame news by signing up on the LaSportsHall.com website.

Adding to the 350 sports competitors currently enshrined, 19 winners of the Dave Dixon Louisiana Sports Leadership award and 64 recipients of the Distinguished Service Award in Sports Journalism, there are 433 current members of the Hall of Fame before this summer’s inductions.

The 2020 Induction Celebration weekend will be hosted by the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame Foundation, the support organization for the Hall of Fame. The LSHOF Foundation was established as a 501 c 3 non-profit entity in 1975 and is governed by a statewide board of directors. For information on sponsorship opportunities, contact Foundation President/CEO Ronnie Rantz at 225-802-6040 or RonnieRantz@LaSportsHall.com. Standard and customized sponsorships are available.

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Doug IrelandTim Brando to receive inaugural Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame Ambassador Award
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LSWA names Robin Fambrough, Kent Lowe 2020 Distinguished Service Award inductees

LSWA names Robin Fambrough, Kent Lowe 2020 Distinguished Service Award inductees

Fambrough Lowe

NATCHITOCHES – Baton Rouge prep sportswriter Robin Fambrough and veteran LSU basketball sports information director Kent Lowe have been selected for the 2020 Distinguished Service Award in Sports Journalism from the Louisiana Sports Writers Association, and will be inducted in the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame next June.

Fambrough has produced and coordinated high school sports coverage for the Baton Rouge Advocate for 30 years, while also serving the LSWA in leadership capacities including a crucial stint as the organization’s first female president in 1999-2001. As the LSWA’s liaison with the Louisiana High School Athletic Association since the mid-1990s, she has played a pivotal role for both organizations.

Lowe, senior associate sports communications director for LSU since 2000, has won national and state awards for his press releases, columns and publications at LSU. The longtime LSWA treasurer, and a past president of the organization, Lowe has been the driving force since 2002 behind the Cox Sports Television show spotlighting the Hall of Fame’s annual induction ceremonies. He has also been an acclaimed bowling columnist for The Advocate, along with being involved in the thoroughbred racing public relations field at Louisiana Downs and assisting with the Independence Bowl in his hometown of Shreveport.

The DSA honor, to be made official June 27 in Natchitoches, means they will be among the elite 12-person Class of 2020 being inducted in the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame. Fambrough and Lowe were selected from a 24-person pool of outstanding nominees for the state’s top sports journalism honor.

The Distinguished Service Award in Sports Journalism is the most prestigious honor offered to sports media in the state. Recipients are chosen by the 35-member Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame selection committee based on nominees’ professional accomplishments in local, state, regional and even national arenas, with leadership in the LSWA a contributing factor and three decades of work in the profession as a requirement.

Distinguished Service Award winners are enshrined in the Hall of Fame along with the 433 current athletes, sports journalists, coaches and administrators chosen since 1959. Just 64 leading figures in the state’s sports media have been honored with the Distinguished Service Award since its inception 37 years ago in 1982.

Fambrough and Lowe will be among the 2020 Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame Induction Class to be spotlighted in the annual Induction Dinner and Ceremonies on Saturday evening, June 27, at the Natchitoches Events Center. The Induction Dinner and Ceremonies are the highlight of the 2020 Induction Celebration beginning Thursday afternoon, June 25, with a regionally-televised (Cox Sports Television) press conference at the Hall of Fame museum at 800 Front Street in Natchitoches.

Outdoorsman Phil Robertson, recognized internationally as the Duck Commander, and former LSU football coach Nick Saban, who won 75 percent of his games and the 2003 national championship in five seasons with the Tigers, join eight-time Mr. Olympia world bodybuilding champion Ronnie Coleman and another global sports figure, Sweet Lou Dunbar of the Harlem Globetrotters, among a star-studded group of eight competitive ballot inductees chosen for the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame.

The LSHOF Class of 2020 also includes a pair of multiple-year Pro Bowl NFL standouts, New Orleans Saints receiver Joe Horn and Chicago Bears cornerback Charles “Peanut” Tillman, a star at UL Lafayette, along with two extraordinary basketball players: New Orleans native Kerry Kittles, a two-time All-America guard at Villanova who averaged 14 points in an eight-year NBA career, and Louisiana Tech Lady Techsters basketball legend Angela Turner, who helped her teams to four straight national championship game appearances including wins in 1981 and 1982.

Also honored with enshrinement in the Class of 2020 will be the Dave Dixon Louisiana Sports Leadership Award winner and the inaugural recipient of the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame Ambassador Award, to be announced this week.

The 2020 Induction Class will be showcased in the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame Museum, operated by the Louisiana State Museum system in a partnership with the Louisiana Sports Writers Association. The striking $23 million, two-story, 27,500-square foot structure faces Cane River Lake in the National Historic Landmark District of Natchitoches and has garnered worldwide architectural acclaim and rave reviews for its contents since its grand opening during the 2013 Hall of Fame induction weekend.

The selection of Fambrough and Lowe was jointly announced Tuesday by Hall of Fame chairman Doug Ireland and LSWA president Lenny Vangilder.

“Robin and Kent are truly transcendent figures in our state’s sports journalism history,” said Ireland. “For better than three decades, they have filled leadership roles in their fields. Robin has been a guiding force in high school sports coverage not only for the Advocate’s readers, but benefitting the LSWA and the LHSAA through her unique roles associated with the organizations. On the college level, through his leadership of the state’s SIDs, All-Louisiana teams, and his influence in the sports information field nationally, and his deep involvement with the LSWA and our annual Hall of Fame induction activities, Kent has an equally distinctive status.”

In spring 2019, Fambrough became the fourth sportswriter, and the first female reporter, to be inducted in the Louisiana High School Sports Hall of Fame. In her 30th year at The Advocate, and in 29 years as the lead high school sportswriter, she has been recognized five times as the LSWA’s Division I prep writer of the year.

The Louisville, Kentucky, native received the Louisiana High School Athletic Association’s prep journalism award in 2001 and 2016. Fambrough was presented the LHSAA’s 2001 Distinguished Service Award, the 2003 DSA from the Louisiana High School Coaches Association, and the 2014 Lifetime Achievement Award from the Louisiana Track & Field Coaches Association.

A graduate of Western Kentucky University, Fambrough also worked for two other Louisiana newspapers, the Daily Comet in Thibodaux and the Alexandria Town Talk.

She served as the Louisiana Sports Writers Association’s first female president from 1999-2001 at a pivotal time as the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame ceremonies moved to Shreveport, gaining traction for development of a museum. Fambrough has been part of the LSWA’s Hall of Fame selection committee for three decades.

She has coordinated the LSWA’s All-State selection process in all prep sports for nearly her entire tenure at The Advocate. Fambrough has been a liaison between the LSWA and the LHSAA, providing vital insight to help facilitate best practices for prep coverage by the media and assisting in the development of the Louisiana High School Sports Hall.

Fambrough is on the selection committee for the high school hall and also coordinates The Advocate’s prestigious Star of Stars High School Sports Awards each spring.

A member of the LSU Sports Communications staff since August 1988 who started his 32nd athletic year at LSU in August 2019, Lowe was appointed senior associate communications director in August 2000. He serves as the primary media contact for the LSU men’s basketball team and assists in the overall Sports Communications office in other sports as needed.

In June 2018, Lowe was presented the College Sports Information Directors of America Achievement Award for the University Division (Division I) recognizing his accomplishments in the profession on a national scale. Only one winner is chosen annually.

He has also for the past 26 years written an award-winning bowling column for The Advocate after writing a bowling column for the Shreveport Times for a decade. In 2018, he was inducted into the Louisiana State Bowling Association Hall of Fame for his service to the sport. He was previously inducted into the Baton Rouge Bowling Association Hall of Fame.

Lowe was the 2009 recipient of the Bowling Proprietors Association of America Media Award which recognizes a national and/or local, non-bowling industry media representative who, through either print or electronic media, made a significant contribution to further the sport of and business of bowling.

An expert kegler as well, in 2018, he won the Baton Rouge City bowling singles championship.

Lowe, 61, came to LSU from Louisiana Downs where he served in several capacities for the Bossier City racetrack. He was head writer, broadcast director and later publicity director, broadcasting race results on stations in three states, including two 50,000-watt stations. Lowe hosted a weekly talk show and stakes races live from the track including several radio broadcasts of the $1 million Super Derby which was broadcast on a network of stations in a three-state area and Armed Forced Radio.

During the 1980s, he worked with 2019 DSA winner Dave Nitz on the opening two years of modern-era minor league baseball broadcasts in Shreveport.

Lowe is a member of CoSIDA, which voted his 2010 men’s basketball media guide “Best in the Nation” and his 2012 men’s basketball guide third in the nation. He is a member of CoSIDA’s prestigious Academic All-American committee as well.

Lowe is also a past president and current treasurer of the Louisiana Sports Writers Association who has won numerous first-place awards for writing, media guides and fact sheets in the group’s annual media contest.

He has much radio and TV broadcast and production experience with LSU and the LSWA. In 1988-89, he was the play-by-play voice for LSU women’s basketball. For over a decade, he has done color for LSU softball and women’s basketball broadcasts.

Lowe began his professional writing career under Hall of Famers Bill McIntyre and Gerry Robichaux at the Shreveport Times and began writing bowling in Baton Rouge under the editorship of Butch Muir.

The Shreveport native is heavily involved with the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame and for the past 17 years has helped host and produce the now live, nationally-televised induction ceremonies. Lowe was the driving force behind getting Cox Sports Television on board as the Hall’s TV partner.

A 1979 graduate from LSU-Shreveport, he earned his masters’ degree at LSU in 1982, working in the sports information office under CoSIDA and LSHOF Hall of Famer Paul Manasseh.

Lowe was named Mr. Jesuit Flyer as a senior at Shreveport’s Jesuit (now Loyola) High School. He has stayed connected in his hometown in an iconic role on the Independence Bowl game day staff for three decades as the press box announcer and unofficial historian.

The 2020 Induction Celebration will kick off Thursday, June 25, with a press conference and reception. The three-day festivities include two receptions, a youth sports clinic, a bowling party, and a Friday night riverbank concert in Natchitoches. Tickets for the Saturday night, June 27 Induction Dinner and Ceremony, along with congratulatory advertising and sponsorship opportunities, are available through the LaSportsHall.com website.

Anyone can receive quarterly e-mails about the 2020 Induction Celebration and other Hall of Fame news by signing up on the LaSportsHall.com website.

Adding to the 350 sports competitors currently enshrined, 19 winners of the Dave Dixon Louisiana Sports Leadership award and 64 recipients of the Distinguished Service Award in Sports Journalism, there are 433 current members of the Hall of Fame before this summer’s inductions.

The 2020 Induction Celebration weekend will be hosted by the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame Foundation, the support organization for the Hall of Fame. The LSHOF Foundation was established as a 501 c 3 non-profit entity in 1975 and is governed by a statewide board of directors. For information on sponsorship opportunities, contact Foundation President/CEO Ronnie Rantz at 225-802-6040 or RonnieRantz@LaSportsHall.com. Standard and customized sponsorships are available.

Doug IrelandLSWA names Robin Fambrough, Kent Lowe 2020 Distinguished Service Award inductees
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Legendary Lincoln Parish sportswriter Buddy Davis bequeaths $100,000 gift to Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame

Legendary Lincoln Parish sportswriter Buddy Davis bequeaths $100,000 gift to Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame

RUSTON — In his Hall of Fame sports writing career, O.K. “Buddy” Davis wrote countless thousands of stories, many which earned him awards and all which earned him affection from those he covered in Lincoln Parish, and far beyond.

It was a two-way love affair. As much as his subjects treasured the tales Davis typed for publication over a half-century in the Ruston Daily Leader, Buddy savored the chances to spotlight them and built lifelong friendships along the way.

Almost six years to the day after a debilitating stroke in July 2013 – which slowed, but certainly did not halt, his prolific content output — Davis passed away this summer at age 72. Even considering his incredible legacy, it turned out he saved his most remarkable story for last.

His estate has donated over a half-million dollars to causes dear to Davis. The list of recipients is headed by the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame Foundation, which will receive $100,000 to support the six-year-old, 27,000-square feet, world-class Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame and Northwest Louisiana History Museum at 800 Front Street in Natchitoches.

He also willed monetary gifts to the Eddie G. Robinson Museum on the Grambling campus, Louisiana Tech Athletics, and other Ruston-based entities: the Louisiana Methodist Children’s Home, the North Louisiana Military Museum, the Ruston High School Alumni Association, and 4 Paws Rescue.


FEATURED PHOTO: Shown in the O.K. Buddy Davis Media Room at Louisiana Tech’s Joe Aillet Stadium are (front row, left to right): Hall of Fame chairman Doug Ireland, Betty Lou (widow of LSHOF member Scotty) Robertson, Hall of Fame Foundation CEO/president Ronnie Rantz, former Ruston Daily Leader publisher and executor of the Davis estate, Rick Holht; Daily Leader sports editor Scott Boatwright, Dr. Pat Garrett, son of the late LSHOF member “Hoss” Garrett; (back row, l-r) Eddie Robinson III, grandson of the iconic Grambling football coach; LSHOF members Bert Jones and Leon Barmore, columnist and Louisiana Tech representative Teddy Allen, LSHOF member Aaron James, Nan McJamerson, niece of the late LSHOF member Fred Hobdy; and LSHOF members Willis Reed, Fred Dean and Keith Prince.

Recently, Buddy’s longtime friend Rick Hohlt, the former Ruston Daily Leader publisher, joined several Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame members and family members, along with LSHOF Foundation officials and sports writing companions of Davis, as a $94,500 check was presented from the estate. The remainder of the gift will be completed next spring.

It is the second-largest individual gift ever to the Hall of Fame Foundation, said Hall of Fame chairman Doug Ireland.

Davis, himself enshrined in the LSHOF as a 2009 recipient of the Louisiana Sports Writers Association’s Distinguished Service Award in Sports Journalism, became a legendary figure far beyond Lincoln Parish in his 55-year writing career based in Ruston.  He covered everything from the Olympics to NBA All-Star Games, Super Bowls, Final Fours and T-ball tournaments. He crafted tens of thousands of bylined stories, winning well over 100 awards in national, regional and statewide contests.

He was named Mr. Louisiana Basketball by the Louisiana Association of Basketball Coaches in 2010. In 2013, he was inducted in the Louisiana Tech Athletics Hall of Fame and was named the University’s College of Liberal Arts Alumnus of the Year (he graduated in 1969). Davis was honored by the Ark-La-Tex Museum of Champions. He earned a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Football Writers Association of America, and was recipient of the LSWA’s highest honor, the Mac Russo Award, and held a Life Membership from that organization. Davis was a Hall of Fame selection committee member since the panel’s inception in the mid-1970s and remained engaged until his passing.

Already a part-time member of the Ruston Daily Leader staff while in college, he became sports editor after graduating and never left, despite several appealing offers to move up in the sports journalism world. He wrote stories for several national publications, including Basketball Times and Sports Illustrated, but had no desire to leave his hometown, his friends and family, and the remarkable sports landscape in Lincoln Parish.

“It was my job – and it was my pleasure. I made special friends for life, doing what I was supposed to do,” Davis told his acclaimed LSWA friend, Marty Mule, for a chapter in Mule’s 2013 book “Game Changers – The Rousing Legacy of Louisiana Sports.” Davis and trailblazing African-American sports journalist R.L. Stockard of Baton Rouge were the only two non-athletes featured among 78 chapters penned by Mule’.

Davis was extremely proud, and amazed, that 57 of the 433 members of the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame hailed from his home parish, including athletes, coaches and staff at Grambling and Louisiana Tech (four more are among the Hall’s Class of 2020). Each time that number grew, he took out an ad in the Hall of Fame commemorative program welcoming the newest star he had covered, and listing all of the others.

Ten of those attended or were represented at the check presentation, with many others sending regrets due to schedule conflicts or other obligations.

Taking part were LSHOF members Leon Barmore, Fred Dean, Aaron James, Bert Jones, Keith Prince and Willis Reed. Barmore and Reed are enshrined in the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame. Dean is part of the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Family members attending were Dr. Pat Garrett, representing his father “Hoss,” the great Ruston High football coach; Nan McJamerson, niece of the Grambling basketball coaching legend Fred Hobdy; Betty Lou Robertson, representing her late husband, former Tech and NBA basketball coach Scotty Robertson; and Eddie Robinson III, on behalf of his grandfather, Grambling’s iconic “Coach Rob,” who Davis considered “like a father to me.”

Also on hand were Buddy’s colleague and successor at the Ruston Daily Leader, Scott Boatwright, and his dear friend Teddy Allen of Louisiana Tech, along with LSHOF Foundation CEO/President Ronnie Rantz, Gracen McDonald of the LSHOF Foundation, and Ireland.

The gathering was held in the O.K. “Buddy” Davis Media Room at Tech’s Joe Aillet Stadium. The area was named for him at the outset of the 2017 football season. The room’s large rear wall, measuring 12 feet tall by 40 feet wide, includes five panels of photos, each panel representing a decade and documenting Buddy’s career with photos of Lincoln Parish competitors he covered, some with personal inscriptions.

Davis’s career is already documented in the inductee data base at the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame museum. A special acknowledgement of his gift will be added in the shrine, which he was thrilled to see in its grand opening at the end of June 2013, just two weeks before he was stricken at his home in Ruston.

Gallery: Remembering ‘Buddy’ Davis (LaSportsHall on Facebook)

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