Jenkins Medal for Excellence in Sportswriting
Kindred, Ballard named 2018 Jenkins Medal winnersThe jury for the Dan Jenkins Medal for Excellence in Sportswriting has named Dave Kindred and Chris Ballard the 2018 award winners. As the second annual medal recipients, Kindred won the Lifetime Achievement award while Ballard was honored for the best sportswriting of the previous year. The national awards, named in honor of the legendary Texas sportswriter, celebrate the craft and culture of sportswriting that Dan Jenkins has personified through his storied career. The winners will be honored and will receive their medals – presented by Jenkins, himself – at a banquet on September 21, hosted by The University of Texas at Austin’s Center for Sports Communication & Media and emceed by Mary Carillo of NBC Sports.
Kindred, a beloved fixture in the sportswriting community, will be honored with the Jenkins Medal for Lifetime Achievement in sportswriting. He has been a sportswriter across seven decades and has written 11 books. Kindred has been a columnist at the Louisville Courier-Journal, Washington Post, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, and Golf Digest. He is a winner of the Associated Press Sports Editors Red Smith Award and the ESPN/PEN America award for Lifetime Achievement in Literary Sportswriting. A native of Atlanta, IL Kindred is a graduate of Illinois Wesleyan University.
Dr. Michael Butterworth, director of the Center for Sports Communication & Media, states, “Dave Kindred has been a standard-bearer for sportswriting for nearly half a century. Whether as a columnist or book author, he has consistently displayed a gift for bringing stories—and people—to life. His gift for language and his love of the poetry inherent in sport make him an ideal recipient of this award.”
Ballard, a senior writer for Sports Illustrated, will be awarded the Jenkins Medal for Best Sportswriting of 2017 for his profile of NBA coach Monty Williams. Ballard’s winning article topped a field of 13 writers shortlisted as candidates for Jenkins Medal for Best Sportswriting. He was also a finalist for the inaugural Jenkins Medal for Best Sportswriting last year.
In addition to his work at SI, Ballard is a lecturer at the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism, and the author of four books, most recently “One Shot at Forever”. He has written for The New York Times Magazine and his work has been anthologized in The Best American Magazine Writing and The Best American Sports Writing. He is a National Magazine Award finalist and six of his stories have been optioned for film. He writes features, columns, and longform stories for Sports Illustrated. After attending Pomona College, he received a Master’s in Journalism from Columbia University.
“Chris Ballard’s winning piece beautifully captures the humanity of sports and its ability to forge relationships,” Butterworth says. “As a testament to loss, forgiveness, and resilience, it is an exemplar of contemporary sportswritng.”
Winners of the 2017 Jenkins Medals were Frank Deford in the Lifetime Achievement category and Wright Thompson in Best Sportswriting.
The Dan Jenkins Medal for Excellence is awarded by a jury of renowned sportswriters and editors from across the country, including co-chairs Sally Jenkins and Michael MacCambridge. Jury members for lifetime achievement in sportswriting include Karen Crouse, Chuck Culpepper, Vahe Gregorian, Will Leitch, Joe Posnanski, Steve Rushin, and Seth Wickersham. For best sportswriting of the previous year, jury members include Kirk Bohls, Bryan Curtis, Tracee Hamilton, Melanie Hauser, Kathleen McElroy, John Walsh and Gene Wojciechowski.
By Dan Jenkins
A documentary commissioned to celebrate the creation of the Dan Jenkins Medal for Excellence in Sportswriting
By Dan Jenkins was commissioned by the Center for Sports Communication and Meda and debuted at the 2017 Jenkins Medal awards dinner in Dallas. The film was shot, edited and directed by Kelly Lipscomb and Matt Tisdale and co-produced by Michael MacCambridge.
Dan Jenkins bio
Dan Jenkins is an award-winning sportswriter and best-selling novelist whose career spans more than six decades. To date, he is the author of 23 books—12 novels and 11 works of non-fiction. After 15 years of writing for newspapers in Fort Worth and Dallas, Jenkins became nationally known for his stories in Sports Illustrated for more than a quarter of a century, and afterward for his five-year stint of writing a sports column for Playboy, and since then for his columns, features, and tweets in Golf Digest. Three of his best-selling novels—Semi-Tough, Dead Solid Perfect, and Baja Oklahoma—have been made into movies. He is one of only three sportswriters to be inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame. He has also been inducted into the National Sportswriters and Sportscasters Hall of Fame, the Texas Sports Hall of Fame, the Texas Golf Hall of Fame, and the TCU Lettermens Hall of Fame. For a lifetime of excellence in his profession, Jenkins has received the Red Smith Award from the Associated Press Sports Editors Association, the Ring Lardner Award from the Union League of Chicago, the PEN/ESPN Award for literary sports writing, the lifetime achievement award in sports journalism from the PGA of America, the William D. Richardson Award for outstanding contributions to the game from the Golf Writers Association of America, the Old Tom Morris Award from the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America, the Lincoln A. Werden Memorial Award from the Metropolitan Golf Writers Association for a lifetime of contributions to golf journalism, and the Amateur Football Award from the National Football Foundation and College Football Hall of Fame. But Jenkins says he is proudest of the fact that he has managed to stay employed by one publication or another throughout his long career.