Jerry Tipton of the Lexington Herald-Leader was one of three people and two organizations named Tuesday as winners of the seventh annual Bluegrass Sports Awards presented by Alltech.
The Bluegrass Sports Awards banquet is scheduled for Feb. 7 at the Lexington Convention Center’s Bluegrass Ballroom. In addition to the awards presented by the Bluegrass Sports Commission, the Herald-Leader will again present its annual Sports Figure of the Year Award live to cap off the evening.
“The Bluegrass Sports Awards has become one of the great events in Lexington,” said Bluegrass Sports Commission president and CEO Brian Miller. “The night celebrates the absolute best of sports business, media and accomplishment. We’re fortunate in this community to have so many outstanding leaders and contributors. This year we’re honoring some of the biggest difference makers in athletics across this state. Organizations and people who have made a lasting impact across the Bluegrass.”
Tipton will receive the Tom Hammond Kentucky Sports Media Award. John Rooney, Stewart Perry, the Kentucky High School Athletic Association and the Lexington Center Corporation will also be honored.
“Since the early ’80s, the one constant in UK men’s basketball has been Jerry Tipton of the Lexington Herald-Leader,” Hammond said in a news release announcing the honor. “Because of the intense interest associated with UK basketball, covering the program is a task of extreme pressure and controversy. Through numerous coaching changes and the revolving door of players, Jerry has done his job with remarkable journalistic professionalism while under the microscope of the ‘Big Blue Nation.’”
Tipton, who has covered Kentucky men’s basketball since the 1981-82 season, has chronicled three national championships, numerous coaching changes and more than 1,100 games. Before coming to Lexington, he worked eight years for the Huntington (W.Va.) Herald-Dispatch, where he covered Marshall’s basketball team for two seasons. The Hamtramck, Mich., native attended Marshall University at the time of the tragic plane crash involving the Thundering Herd football team.
Rooney, a longtime sports broadcaster who calls baseball games for the St. Louis Cardinals, will receive the Tom Hammond Sports Media Award, a national award presented to a broadcaster who has achieved outstanding accomplishments in the field. Rooney worked alongside Kentucky broadcasting legend Cawood Ledford on NCAA Tournament broadcasts for a number of years.
Perry becomes the third recipient of the Bobby Flynn Volunteer of the Year Award. Perry is co-owner of Perry and Perry State Farm Insurance and is board president of the Land Rover Kentucky Three Day Event, held annually at the Kentucky Horse Park among other works.
The KHSAA, organized in 1917 and the agency designated by the Kentucky Department of Education to manage high school athletics in the commonwealth, will receive the Jim Host Youth Sports Award.
Lexington Center Corp., which manages the Lexington Center and Rupp Arena, will receive the 2018 Jim Host Sports Business Award.
The Feb. 7 banquet will consist of a reception with award winners and keynote speakers, a sit-down dinner and the awards program. Proceeds from the evening will benefit the Bluegrass Sports Commission. Tables of 10 are available for purchase for $1,250. Individual tickets are available for $150.