2022 Jenkins Medal Sports Legend: Charles "Mean Joe" Greene
CSCM is pround to announce that NFL Hall of Famer Charles “Mean Joe” Greene is the 2022 Sports Legend award winner for the Dan Jenkins Medal for Excellence in Sportswriting. A quick and overpowering defensive lineman, Greene helped lead the Pittsburgh Steelers to four Super Bowl victories and six AFC Championship game appearances. Greene also broke ground as an athlete featured in an iconic national advertising campaign, “Have a Coke and a Smile.” The Jenkins Medal Sports Legend award will be presented at a September 23 dinner ceremony in Austin.
2022 Jenkins Medal/Best Sportswriting finalists named
The Moody College of Communication Center for Sports Communication & Media has announced 12 articles (by 14 writers) as nominees for Best Sportswriting of the year for the sixth iteration of the Dan Jenkins Medal for Excellence in Sportswriting. The awards are presented annually in honor of the legendary Texas sportswriter and best-selling author, who defined the sportswriter’s craft for a generation.
The Jenkins Medal is awarded in two categories:
- The Dan Jenkins Medal for Lifetime Achievement in Sportswriting Award
- The Dan Jenkins Medal for Best Sportswriting Award
The Best Sportswriting award cites accomplishment for a single piece published in the previous calendar year (2021). Both awards accompany a cash prize. The nominees for the 2022 Best Sportswriting category are:
- Sam Anderson, “Kevin Durant and (Possibly) the Greatest Basketball Team of All Time,” June 2, 2021, New York Times
- Kent Babb, “After the Violence in Football City, USA,” May 17, 2021, Washington Post
- Katie Barnes, “The Power of Layshia Clarendon,” June 24, 2021, ESPN.com
- Camonghne Felix, “Simone Biles Chose Herself,” September 27, 2021, The Cut,
- Thomas Fuller, “Underdog No More, a Deaf Football Team Takes California by Storm,” November 15, 2021, New York Times
- Sally Jenkins, “Nobody Believes Urban Meyer. That’s Why He’s Failing,” December 14, 2021, Washington Post
- Caoimhe O’Neill, “This Is What You Endure Watching England as a Woman,” July 14, 2021, The Athletic
- Jeff Passan, “San Francisco Giants Outfield Drew Robinson’s Remarkable Second Act,” May 11, 2021, ESPN.com
- Steve Politi, “The Search for New Jersey’s Lost Basketball Legend,” May 19, 2021, NJ.com,
- Louisa Thomas, “Hou Yifan and the Wait for Chess’s First Woman World Champion,” July 26, 2021, The New Yorker
- Don Van Natta, Jr. and Seth Wickersham, “The Inside Story of How the NFL Got a 17th Game, from Union Boss DeMaurice Smith,” February 23, 2021, ESPN.com,
- Wufei Yu and Will Ford, “172 Runners Started This Ultramarathon. 21 of Them Never Came Back,” October 15, 2021, Runner’s World
"Sports reflect the full spectrum of the human experience, which is made clear by this year's outstanding nominees” said Dr. Michael Butterworth, director of the Center for Sports Communication & Media. “Looking back at these defining stories from 2021, we see moments of devastation and inspiration, behind-the-scenes insights about the past and glimpses into the future, and reflections on the ongoing contests over identity and power. These 12 pieces are a testament to sports as a source of joy, loss, struggle, and redemption, and they beautifully represent the art of sportswriting symbolized by the legacy of Dan Jenkins."
Final voting for Best Sportswriting award will be conducted by a jury of sportswriters that include co-chairs Sally Jenkins and Michael MacCambridge and committee members Kevin Blackistone, Kirk Bohls, Bryan Curtis, Melanie Hauser, Jackie MacMullan, Kathleen McElroy, Wright Thompson, Grant Wahl and Alexander Wolff.
The voting for lifetime achievement in sportswriting will be conducted by the co-chairs Jenkins and MacCambridge with a committee that includes Karen Crouse, Chuck Culpepper, Gerald Early, Vahe Gregorian, Will Leitch, Joe Posnanski, Steve Rushin, John A. Walsh and Seth Wickersham. Nominees for the lifetime achievement award are not made public.
The 2022 Lifetime Achievement and Best Sportswriting winners will be announced in the coming month. CSCM will host an in-person dinner on September 23 in Austin to celebrate this year’s the winners and those from the previous two years, whose awards dinners have been canceled by the COVID-19 pandemic. The upcoming dinner will also feature the 2022 Jenkins Medal Sports Legend, who will be announced soon.
Distinguished accomplishment: Angell, Jackson
Roger Angell and Mitchell S. Jackson have been named 2021 award winners by the Dan Jenkins Medal for Excellence in Sportswriting jury.
Angell, who died in 2022, was a senior editor and a staff writer at The New Yorker, where he first began working in 1944. He wrote more than a hundred Sporting Scene pieces for the magazine, mostly on baseball but also on tennis, hockey, football, rowing, and horse racing. He is the author of numerous books - many on baseball - including, “The Summer Game,” “Five Seasons,” “Late Innings,” “Season Ticket,” “Once More Around the Park,” “A Pitcher’s Story,” and “Game Time.” The only writer ever elected by both the American Academy of Arts and Letters and the Baseball Writers' Association of America.
Jackson received the 2021 Jenkins Medal for Best Sportswriting for "Twelve Minutes and a Life" which was published in Runner's World. The article recounts the death of Ahmaud Arbery who was murdered after going out for a jog. In the piece, Jackson recounts the circumstances that led to Arbery’s murder in Glynn County, Georgia. Jackson’s piece also won the 2021 Pulitzer Prize in Feature Writing and the 2021 National Magazine Award in Feature Writing.
Telander, Merrill recognized in 2020
Rick Telander and Elizabeth Merrill have been named 2020 award winners by the Dan Jenkins Medal for Excellence in Sportswriting jury.
Telander receives the Lifetime Achievement award while Merrill is recognized for the best sportswriting of the year (2019). The winners will be celebrated in a video compilation under production. They will participate in the 2021 Jenkins Medal dinner and award ceremony when in-person events resume post-coronavirus.
This is the fourth year these national awards have been presented. They are named in honor of Jenkins, the legendary Texas sportswriter, to celebrate the craft and culture of sportswriting he personified through his storied career.
Smith, Spain, Sheinin (and Nicklaus!!!) celebrated for 2019
Gary Smith, Sarah Spain and Dave Sheinin have been named 2019 award winners by the Dan Jenkins Medal for Excellence in Sportswriting jury.
Smith receives the Lifetime Achievement award, while Spain and Sheinin are recognized for the best sportswriting of the previous year. The winners will be celebrated and receive their medals at a banquet at the Colonial Country Club in Fort Worth on Oct. 25, hosted by The University of Texas at Austin’s Center for Sports Communication & Media. This year’s ceremony honored the legacy of Dan Jenkins, who passed away in March 2019 at age 90, featuring a conversation with legendary golfer Jack Nicklaus, who received the inaugural Jenkins Medal Sports Legend award.
Kindred, Ballard recognized with 2019 Medals
Dave Kindred and Chris Ballard were among dozens of distinguished sports journalists, faculty members and university officials who attended the second annual awards banquet hosted by the Center for Sports Communication & Media at UT-Austin's DKR Texas Memorial Stadium. NBC Sports broadcaster Mary Carillo emceed the event, attended by Jenkins and his family, including his daughter, Sally Jenkins, a columnist at The Washington Post.
Kindred, a beloved figure in the sportswriting community, was recognized with the Jenkins Medal for Career Achievement in sportswriting, for an body of work, featuring stints at Atlanta Journal Constitution, The National Sports Daily, Sporting News, The Washington Post and Golf Digest. Ballard, a writer for Sports Illustrated, was presented with the Jenkins Medal for Best Sportswriting of 2017 for his profile, “You Can't Give In,” a moving profile of NBA coach Monty Williams, enduring tremendous personal loss.
Deford, Thompson honored at innaugural dinner
Frank Deford and Wright Thompson were named winners of the first-annual Dan Jenkins Medals for Excellence in Sportswriting during a ceremony in Dallas on Oct. 13, hosted by The University of Texas at Austin Center for Sports Communication & Media. The national awards, named after the legendary Texas sportswriter Dan Jenkins, were presented before a sellout crowd of 150 at the Pecan Room in Dallas.
Deford, a sportswriting icon, was recognized posthumously with the Jenkins Medal for Career Achievement in sportswriting, for an unsurpassed career that defined cultural engagement with and observation of American and international sports. Thompson, a writer for ESPN The Magazine, was presented with the Jenkins Medal for Best Sportswriting of 2016 for his profile, “The Secret History of Tiger Woods.”