TENNESSEAN OF THE YEAR
Peyton Manning– The Tennessean of the Year is the premier honor of the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame that is presented to the individual or organization that has made significant contributions to our state through sports or other methods, demonstrating outstanding character and leadership. Peyton is not Tennessean of the Year because of his athletics excellence but because of his character, work ethic, perseverance and the way that he has always represented himself, the game, his university and the great state of Tennessee.
FEMALE AMATEUR ATHLETES OF THE YEAR
Felicia Brown– In 2016, Tennessee senior Felicia Brown cemented her status as one of the nation’s elite sprinters. Brown earned 2016 USTFCCCA Indoor Track & Field First Team All-American honors for the 200m and the 4x400m relay and Second Team All-American recognition for the 60m. She was the 2016 NCAA National Champion and SEC Champion in the women’s 200m. Brown also ran the anchor leg of UT’s SEC Indoor Championship 4x400m relay. She clocked a 200m PR of 22.45 at SEC Indoor Championships to hit both the IAAF Rio 2016 Olympic Games A entry standard and the U.S. Trials standard. That time is also the fastest indoor 200m in Tennessee history. Brown was named USTFCCCA South Regional Athlete of the Year, earned SEC Women’s Runner of the Week three times and was named to the Watch List for college track and field’s top honor, The Bowerman, in early March.
MALE AMATEUR ATHLETE OF THE YEAR
Christian Coleman– Christian Coleman has enjoyed a spectacular sophomore season at the University of Tennessee. Coleman was named a 2016 USTFCCCA Indoor Track & Field First Team All-American for the 60m, 200m, and 4x400m relay and captured the 200m national title. He was the 2016 SEC Indoor Champion in the 60m and garnered league runner-up honors in the 200m and 4x400m. Coleman earned the 2016 SEC Men’s Runner of the Year Award and USTFCCCA South Regional Athlete of the Year accolades. He set a 60m PR of 6.52 at the NCAA Championships, good for second-best in Tennessee history, and his PR of 20.54 in the 200m at SEC Championships ranks fourth. Coleman opened his 2016 outdoor season with a 10.16 time in the 100m at the Florida Relays, good for the fourth best mark in the nation. That 10.16 was also an IAAF Rio 2016 Olympic Games A entry standard and a U.S. Trials standard.
Keenan Reynolds– Naval Academy Quarterback Midshipman 1st Class Keenan Reynolds from Antioch, TN and Goodpasture High School has made quite a name for himself as a Midshipman. He finished his career with an NCAA Division I record of 88 career touchdowns and an NCAA FBS record 4,559 rushing yards by a quarterback.In his senior game against SMU, Reynolds broke the record for the most careerrushing touchdowns in FBS history with 78. Later in the season in the Army Navy Game, Reynolds surpassed Adrian N. Peterson’s record for the most rushing touchdowns in NCAA Division I history with 85. He later broke the record for most career total touchdowns with 88 and most rushing yards by a quarterback with 4,559. Reynolds also holds other quarterback records including the most career rushing attempts and touchdowns, most rushing touchdowns and most rushing touchdowns in a game. Reynolds finished fifth in the Heisman Trophy running, the highest by a service academy player since Navy quarterback Roger Staubach’s win in 1963. Reynolds helped contribute to the first Navy team to achieve 11 wins in a season, the first time in school history. At the end of their collegiate careers, Reynolds and his senior class picked up their 36th win, which tied the Midshipmen class of 1909
MALE PROFESSIONAL ATHLETE OF THE YEAR
Eric Berry– In 2015 former University of Tennessee Volunteer All-American and current Kansas City Chiefs safety Eric Berry showed the world the definition of courage and determination while in the middle of chemotherapy treatments facing an uncertain NFL future. Diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma in December 2014, Berry immediately left the Chiefs to begin treatment at Emory University’s Winship Cancer Institute in Atlanta. He continued to work out during those treatments and was declared cancer free last summer, shortly before reporting to training camp. The Chiefs tried to ease Berry back to work, but he was participating in full-contact drills by early August and back in the starting lineup in Week 2. He made his first interception in Week 7. Berry posted 61 tackles (55 solos), two interceptions and 10 passes defended during the 2015 regular season. His impressive season earned him a spot in the Pro Bowl, the AP All-Pro team, and was named the 2016 AP Comeback Player of the Year.
Marc Gasol– Marc Gasol is an eight-year veteran in the National Basketball Association with the Memphis Grizzlies. He holds career averages of 14.3 points, 7.8 rebounds and 3.1 assists. He became the first player in franchise history to be named to multiple All-NBA Teams (2014-15 First Team; 2012-13 Second Team) and the first to be recognized as either a First Team or Second Team All-NBA selection.
Gasol was named the Defensive Player of the Year and selected to the All-Defensive Second Team for the 2012-13 campaign. A two-time All-Star selection (2012, 2015) and the franchise’s first player ever named an All-Star Game starter in 2015. He and his brother Pau became the first pair of brothers to start an All-Star Game as they met for the opening tip. He moved to Memphis for the first time in 2001 with his family when Pau played for the Grizzlies. Gasol spent two seasons playing for Lausanne Collegiate School before graduating and moving back to Spain, returning as a member of the Grizzlies in 2008.
AMATEUR TEAM OF THE YEAR
Vanderbilt Women’s Tennis Team– Vanderbilt’s Women’s Tennis Team made history in 2014-15 with a memorable run through the Southeastern Conference and NCAA Tournaments. In April, the Commodores defeated Georgia to win the SEC Championship in a thrilling, 4-3, match that was clinched by senior Marie Casares. Exactly one month later, Vanderbilt defeated defending National Champion UCLA in Waco, Texas to win the program’s first-ever NCAA team championship. The Commodores’ Astra Sharma won three matches in a row to earn the NCAA’s Most Valuable Player award. Vanderbilt head coach Geoff Macdonald was later voted the Wilson/ITA National Coach of the Year and Aleke Tsoubanos was voted the Assistant Coach of the Year by their fellow coaches.
PAT SUMMITT LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT
Doug Dickey– A former college football player, coach and athletics administrator, Doug Dickey graduated from the University of Florida in 1954. He is best known as the head coach of the University of Tennessee and the University of Florida football teams, and afterward, as the Athletic Director at Tennessee.
Doug Dickey began his ties with Tennessee as head football coach from 1964-69. His tenure included a 46-15-4 record that took the Vols from mediocrity to national prominence in the late 1960’s. Two SEC championships (1967 and 1969) were brought to Knoxville during Dickey’s term as head coach and he was named SEC Coach of the Year in 1965 and 1967. Dickey ended his college coaching career with an overall record of 104–58–6 (.637).
Dickey returned to the University of Tennessee in 1985, where he served as Athletic Director until retirement in 2003, leading one of the premier inter-collegiate athletic programs in the nation. His time as Athletic Director was notable for the improvements and expansion of the university’s athletic facilities. Dickey was widely recognized as one of the nation’s best, earning numerous awards for his work and molding of the UT Athletics Department.
His efforts in support of the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame are profound, from contributing gate revenue receipts of a Tennessee football game in Nashville to gain legislative support to ensure the success of ongoing programs. Dickey was inducted to the Hall of Fame in 1991, served as its president twice, first in 1995-96 and again from 1998-2000. He was also named as Tennessean of the Year in 2000.
Dickey was the recipient of the National Football Foundation’s John Toner Award recognizing his abilities as a sports administrator and the Robert Neyland Memorial Trophy recognizing his contributions to college football. He is also a member of the Gator Bowl Hall of Fame, Knoxville Sports Hall of Fame, and was recognized as a “Distinguished Letter Winner” by the University of Florida Athletic Hall of Fame. His election to the National Football Foundation College Football Hall of Fame in 2003 was a fitting tribute to an outstanding career.
SIGNIFICANT HISTORICAL ACHIEVEMENT
1899 University of the South Football Team– The University of the South in Sewanee, Tennessee made its place in the history of College Football in 1899. That year the Sewanee Tigers went 12-0-0, produced a College Football Hall of Famer HB Henry G. Seibels, and outscored their opponents 322 to 10. The 10 points were scored by a John Heisman coached team at Auburn. Ten of their twelve victories were against Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Association opponents, which put Sewanee in the record books for most conference games played and most won in a season. What further distinguishes the Sewanee Iron Men in college football history is the remarkable schedule they played. Sewanee took the ultimate road trip to play five games in six days, and all five games were won in shutouts. The Tigers travelled over 2500 miles on a train defeating Texas, Texas A&M, Tulane, Louisiana State, and Ole Miss. This amazing team shut out the five best teams in the southern half of the United States. The iron men of Sewanee accomplished defeat that will be hard to match. Though not the most famous, they are the greatest football team of all time. How could they accomplish what they did was a question asked of team captain Diddy Seibels in 1931. He replied,”To what was Sewanee’s brilliant success due? I attribute it to one thing alone and it is the greatest thing any team can have: teamwork. … There were no jealousies, only the indomitable will to win, that unconquerable never-say-die Sewanee spirit.”