Joan Cronan, the former Lady Vols Athletic Director has spent thirty years with Tennessee Athletics. In that time, the Lady Vols have become one of the most visible and well-respected programs in the country, amassing ten NCAA national championship titles, forty-six top-five NCAA finishes, and twenty-nine Southeastern Conference regular-season championships. “She has led with humility and grace and demands excellence from everybody that works with her,” said University of Tennessee Chancellor, Jimmy Cheek. “She’s built a powerhouse of a program that also graduates and educates young ladies.”
2012 Area 4 Special Olympics Athlete of the Year
Andrew began participating in Special Olympics as a freshman in high school. His name was drawn to attend the National Games in Lincoln, Nebraska in 2010 where Andrew brought home a bronze medal. In 2011 Andrew was chosen to participate in the National Invitational Golf Tournament where on the last hole was able to beat his opponent by 1 stroke to bring home the gold medal. In 2012 Andrew was again chosen to attend the N.I.T. Golf Tournament, and brought home a silver medal. As a member of the Chattanooga Chill Unified Volleyball Team, his team won the gold in 2010 in Arizona and in 2012 in Utah. Andrew was Area 4’s Athlete of the Year in 2012, and carried the torch to light the big cauldron at the annual Area 4 Special Olympics Track & Field Meet. He also led all the athletes in the Special Olympics oath.
The U.S. Champion Goodlettsville Little League Team
The Goodlettsville All-Stars proved they had the making of a championship team when they defeated Warner Robbins to advance to the Little League World Series becoming the first team from Tennessee in 25 years. The final step to the United States Championship had Goodlettsville playing a rematch against California. The sequel had Goodlettsville defeating California 24-16 in what was THE game for the ages. The win gave Goodlettsville and the state of Tennessee their first United States Championship in Little League World Series history. The team’s accomplishments prove that with hard work and a positive attitude under stressful circumstances, anything is possible.
Middle Tennessee Head Coach Rick Stockstill
In his seventh year at the helm of the Middle Tennessee State University Blue Raiders football Coach Rick Stockstill turned in arguably his best coaching effort. Following a tough 2-10 campaign in 2011, Stockstill worked day and night to get the program back to the success it enjoyed the previous two seasons. His Blue Raiders responded by going 8-4, finishing second in the Sun Belt Conference, and getting a huge upset win at Georgia Tech in late September. The six-game turnaround from 2011 to 2012 matched the nation’s top win improvement with Ohio State and Kent State. Individually, eight players earned all-conference honors while safety Kevin Byard was voted to the FWAA Freshman All-American Team. Byard is just the third freshman All-American in school history.
COURAGE AWARD RECIPIENT
Peggy Michaels, PE teacher and chair of the Physical Education Department at GPS
Ms. Michaels is recognized across the state and the Southeast for the SHAPE (Starting Habits to Attain Physical Excellence) fitness and wellness program that she designed to use in PE classes at the Girls Preparatory School in Chattanooga, TN. It has been recognized as one of the top high school physical education programs in the Southeast.
Lettering in two sports, volleyball and basketball, at Tyner High School in the 1960s, Ms. Michaels attended Tennessee Tech University, from which she received the Flavious Smith Distinguished Alumnus of the Year Award. Diagnosed with multiple sclerosis over 25 years ago, Ms. Michaels has adapted her teaching style due to her physical limitations, but her interaction with students is ongoing and personal. She is a member of the Tennessee Multiple Sclerosis Hall of Fame.
Ninety year old Rachel Bevans has been an inspiration and advocate for tennis for many years. A 1941 graduate of Columbia High School she continued to play tennis at Lipscomb University, which was a junior college at the time. After putting her athletic career on hold while raising her family, she started playing tennis again in a league at the Donelson YMCA where she still plays tennis every Tuesday. Bevans said “I’ve been blessed with pretty good health, and I think you need to keep going as long as you can. That’s my plan”.
After a stellar Junior career in which Brian was ranked number 2 in the world in singles and number5 in doubles he turned pro in 2003. Brian’s promising pro career was soon sidetracked by numerous injuries that required significant surgeries and rehab. Then from an Assistant Coaching position at Belmont Baker made an unprecedented climb back into the A.T.P. rankings and back in Grand Prix tournaments. His climb back on the tour was again detoured this year when a knee injury forced Brian to withdraw from the Australian Open while leading in his second round match. During 2013 he was ranked 53 in the world, his highest ranking on the tour.
MIKE REED TSSAA Nomination
During his 31 years in Hamblen County school system at Morristown West, Mike Reed has seen a lot of athletic success as a coach, principal and athletic director. He was a teacher/coach for 16 years from 1967-1983. He served as Athletic Director for a total of 18 years (1987-1993 and from 2003-Present.) He was Principal for 12 years (1993-2005,) TSSAA Board of Control 27 years (1986-Present.) Reed was the recipient of the A. F. Bridges Sportsmanship Award for Principal of the Year—First Athletic District for the 1999 – 2000 school year. He was selected by Hamblen County Director of Schools to participate in Tennessee Leadership Institute for Exemplary Superintendent Training through East Tennessee State University/Bellsouth Foundation during the 1994 – 1995 school year. Reed was a Member of the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP) from 1993 to 2005; Member of the Tennessee Education Association (1966 – 2005); Member of the National Education Association (1966 – 2005); District and Regional Basketball Tournament Director numerous times. Reed retired as Principal from Morristown-West in 2005, and at that time became an Assistant Principal in charge of athletics working a 100-day contract—he is still in that position today.