The Bluegrass Sports Awards were created to honor achievement in Kentucky sports and celebrate the state's sports heritage.
The third edition of the awards banquet held Wednesday night at the Marriott Griffin Gate Resort and Spa in Lexington more than met those requirements.
University of Louisville men's basketball coach Rick Pitino was named the Herald-Leader's 2013 Kentucky Sportsman of the Year. Pitino was unable to attend but accepted the award in a video shown during the banquet, which was presented by Alltech.
Additionally, the sponsoring Bluegrass Sports Commission presented four awards highlighting the achievements of sports figures who have made a difference in the lives of Kentuckians.
Two awards were presented that were named for Lexington native and NBC broadcaster Tom Hammond.
The Tom Hammond Award went to the longtime voice of the Cincinnati Reds, Hall of Fame broadcaster Marty Brennaman. The Tom Hammond Kentucky Sports Media Award was presented to three-time Kentucky Sportscaster of the Year Dick Gabriel.
Two additional awards were presented in the name of National College Basketball Hall of Famer Jim Host from iHigh.com.
The Jim Host Sports Business Award went to baseball executive and entrepreneur Alan Stein.
Dave Kerchner was honored with the Jim Host Youth Sports Award. Kerchner held the position of president and chief executive officer of Special Olympics Kentucky for 39 years.