The Moody College of Communication’s Texas Program in Sports and Media (TPSM) has created the Dan Jenkins Medal for Excellence in Sportswriting.
The Jenkins Medal is named in honor of the legendary Dan Jenkins, an award-winning sportswriter and best-selling author and iconoclast Texan. The Jenkins Medal will be awarded for the first time this fall in two categories: one for lifetime achievement in sportswriting, and one for the most outstanding work of sportswriting published in the previous calendar year. Both annual awards will accompany a cash prize.
“Dan Jenkins is a born-and-bred Texan whose name needs to be celebrated and whose work deserves to be studied,” TPSM Executive Director Michael J. Cramer said. “Dan is a quintessentially original writer with a creative and resonant voice that has entertained readers — and inspired writers — for decades. As a seminal chronicler of sport’s rise in American culture, he introduced or innovated many conventions in what we have come to accept as common sports writing practice today.”
Dan Jenkins is a native of Fort Worth and graduate of Texas Christian University. Jenkins covered sports for the Fort Worth Press and Dallas Times Herald before moving to New York City in the early 1960s to write more than 500 articles for Sports Illustrated, cementing himself as the nation’s authority on golf, college and professional football. Since 1985, Jenkins has written a monthly column for Golf Digest. He has written 23 books, including the novels “Semi Tough,” “Dead Solid Perfect” and “Baja Oklahoma,” each of which was made into a feature film. In 2005, he served as official historian of the National Football Foundation and in 2012 Jenkins became one of only three writers to be inducted in the World Golf Hall of Fame.
The Jenkins Medal will be determined by a 16-member jury of working writers and editors. Inaugural members include: co-chair Sally Jenkins, Dan’s daughter and writer for the Washington Post; Kirk Bohls of the Austin American-Statesman; Chuck Culpepper of the Washington Post; Gerald Early, author and professor of humanities at Washington University in St. Louis; Houston-area sportswriter Melanie Hauser; Joe Posnanski of MLB.com; John Walsh, long time executive editor of ESPN; Gene Wojciechowski of ESPN; co-chair Michael MacCambridge, author of numerous books; Karen Crouse of The New York Times; Bryan Curtis of The Ringer.com; Vahe Gregorian of the Kansas City Star; Kathleen McElroy, associate director of UT’s School of Journalism and former editor of The New York Times; Steve Rushin of Sports Illustrated; Seth Wickersham of ESPN The Magazine; and Alexander Wolff, author and contributing writer at Sports Illustrated.
The list of finalists for the Jenkins Medal for Excellence in Sportswriting for calendar year 2016 will be announced on Monday, April 10. Links to all the finalists’ stories will be available on the award website at www.JenkinsMedal.com. The first pair of winners will be announced and honored at the inaugural Dan Jenkins Medal Awards dinner in Dallas on Friday, Oct. 13, 2017.