Gabriel, Kerchner win Bluegrass Sports Awards

December 17, 2013 

The Bluegrass Sports Commission on Tuesday named two more award winners who will be honored during its annual Bluegrass Sports Awards ceremony on Jan. 29.

Dick Gabriel will receive the Tom Hammond Kentucky Sports Media Award. Dave Kerchner will be honored with the Jim Host Youth Sports Award.

Last month, the BSC announced the Tom Hammond Award will be given to the longtime voice of the Cincinnati Reds, Hall of Fame broadcaster Marty Brennaman. The Jim Host Sports Business Award will be presented to baseball executive and entrepreneur Alan Stein.

The Bluegrass Sports Awards were created in 2012 to honor achievement in Kentucky sports and celebrate the state's sports heritage.

Also during January's awards ceremony, the Herald-Leader will present its 2013 Kentucky Sportsman of the Year Award.

Gabriel, a three-time Kentucky Sportscaster of the Year, is in his second tour of duty with WKYT in Lexington. From 1985-2006, Gabriel served as WKYT's sports manager. In 2007, he took a full-time position with IMG, the rights holder for the UK TV and radio sports networks. After leaving IMG in 2011, Gabriel returned to WKYT in his current role as a special projects producer, creating specials and features and also producing newscasts.

In addition to his TV work, Gabriel has extensive experience in radio as well. He launched the first radio sports talk show in central Kentucky in 1980, for WVLK-AM, and currently hosts Big Blue Insider on WLAP-AM.

For the past 24 seasons, he has been the sideline radio reporter for the UK football network.

Kerchner held the position of president and chief executive officer of Special Olympics Kentucky for 39 years.

In 1972, Kerchner became the first full-time director of Special Olympics Kentucky. At the time, the program was a one-day track meet that served only the Louisville area. Upon Kerchner's retirement at the end of 2011, Special Olympics Kentucky not only provided a comprehensive year-round sports training and competition program for people with intellectual disabilities, but the program Kerchner made his life's work to build also offered health services and early childhood intervention programs and had touched lives of countless people throughout Kentucky.

The Bluegrass Sports Awards will consist of a silent auction, dinner and professionally produced awards program. Proceeds from the evening will benefit the BSC and its efforts to grow the economic impact sports tourism has on Central Kentucky.

Tables of 10 are available for purchase for $1,250. Individual tickets are available for $125 each. For more information or to purchase tickets, call (859) 255-0336 or visit www.bluegrasssports.org.

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