April 19, 2013

Baines to be awarded Jeff Byrd Memorial Scholarship

BRISTOL, Tenn. – The Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame has announced King University senior Tiffany Baines will be awarded the inaugural Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame Jeff Byrd Memorial Scholarship.  Baines will receive the award alongside the inductees of the King University Tornado Athletics Hall of Fame Class of 2013.  The ceremony will take place at 6 p.m. on Saturday, April 20 at a banquet conducted as part of King's annual Dogwood Weekend festivities.

"It is amazing to be the first person to receive this award; I just want to be a role model to other future winners that hard work and dedication does pay off and does not go unnoticed," said Baines upon learning of her selection.  "I feel that all of my hard work in the classroom, on the volleyball court, and just my overall demeanor about always staying humble and placing others before myself helped me stand out during the application process.  I plan to be a great representative of this scholarship."

The Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame Jeff Byrd Memorial Scholarship is awarded to a college junior or senior who is a resident of the state of Tennessee and displays a high level of character, leadership, and integrity in sports, classroom, and community involvement.

The $2000 scholarship will be awarded to a student that wishes to follow in Jeff Byrd's footsteps with an interest in sports journalism, sports management or a related sports field.

Jeff Byrd, for whom the award is named, joined Bristol Motor Speedway as general manager in March of 1996.  In October 2002, Byrd became president of Bristol Motor Speedway and Dragway.  Prior to his employment at Bristol Motor Speedway, he served as vice president of development for Sports Marketing Enterprises, a division of R. J. Reynolds Nabisco.

A 35-year veteran in the sports marketing profession, Byrd had been involved in the development and implementation of a multitude of sports and event marketing programs across the sports spectrum, including this basketball tournament.

Byrd was a man best known by family, friends and professional colleagues for his visionary leadership, community service, and generosity.  In addition to his sports marketing involvement, Byrd was involved in a number of civic activities. He served as president of the United Way in Bristol, Tenn., Bristol Chamber of Commerce, and the Bristol Rotary Club. 

Byrd was also a member of numerous boards throughout the Tri-Cities (TN/VA) region. Among those affiliations were the King College Board of Trustees (now King University), ETP TV board, The ETSU Roan Scholars Program, The Regional Alliance for Economic Development, NETWORKS – Sullivan County Partnership, First Tennessee Bank advisory board and the national board of Speedway Children's Charities.

The evening's ceremony will also include award presentations to the King University Tornado Athletics Hall of Fame Class of 2013.  The new inductees include the 1984 Men's Soccer team, Erin (Reed) Reaves ('04) (Women's Volleyball) and Bobby James ('88) (Baseball).  They will join the ranks of King's all-time great student-athletes and coaches in recognition for their tremendous careers for the Tornado.

"This is a tremendous class of inductees, and we are very proud to have such outstanding people to induct," said Director of Athletics David Hicks.  "Not only are these individuals and teams among the best to ever wear a Tornado uniform, but they have also gone on to be successful beyond their years at King."

The 1984 Men's Soccer team finished with an 18-2 overall record, and became the first King team to qualify for the NAIA National Tournament.  Coached by Danny Farrar, the team won the Tennessee Virginia Athletic Conference Championship, the NAIA Area 7 Championship, and the NAIA District 24 Championship en route to its appearance in the NAIA National Tournament. 

The path to the national tournament did not prove easy for the Tornado, as they won three games in three days, with the final win a 2-0 win over the #1 team in the country, the University of Alabama-Huntsville.  The win over Alabama-Huntsville earned the team a trip to Fresno, Cal., for the NAIA National Championships.  After knocking off Concordia (N.Y.) in double overtime in the first round of the national tournament, the Tornado fell to eventual National Champion West Virginia Wesleyan in the second round. 

The team was led by NAIA All Americans Babourcarr Foon and Lee Ramon, both of whom have already been inducted into the King Athletic Hall of Fame as individuals, and goal keeper Brett Teach, also a King Athletic Hall of Fame Member.  The team boasted the top scoring offense (4.18 goals per game) and defense (0.54 goals per game) in the nation, and hold the King records for wins in a season (18), and goals in a season (71). 

Teach, the current assistant Soccer coach at NCAA Division I Virginia Commonwealth, led the nation in goals against average (0.45), and coach Farrar was named NAIA Area 7 and District 24 Coach of the Year.   

Erin (Reed) Reese played as a left-side hitter for Hall of Fame Coach Susie Toomey during the 1999-2002 seasons, leading the Tornado on one of the more impressive four-year runs of Coach Toomey's career.  During her career, the Tornado posted a 136-37 overall record, including a 63-1 record in the Appalachian Athletic Conference and four consecutive regular season and tournament championships.  The run also included a pair of NAIA Region XII Championships in 1999 and 2001, appearances in the NAIA National Tournament both years and a 78-match home winning streak. 

Erin earned spots on multiple All-Tournament teams during her career, and was named the AAC Freshman of the year in 1999.  She earned spots on the AAC All-Conference and NAIA Region XII teams each year from 2000-2002, including being named the Region XII Player of the Year in 2002, a year which she was also named to the NAIA Honorable Mention All-American Team.

Erin grew up in Kingsport and graduated from Sullivan South High School.  Since graduating from King, she has earned master's degrees in Collaborative Teaching (2010) and Educational Leadership (2013) from the University of Alabama-Birmingham, and currently teaches special education at Irondale Middle School in Birmingham, Ala., where she has twice (2008-09 and 2012-13) been named Teacher of the Year.  She and her husband Clark Reaves reside in Moody, Ala. 

Bobby James will be making his second consecutive appearance at the Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, after being inducted last year as a member of the 1987 NCCAA National Championship Baseball team.  He's no stranger to Hall of Fame inductions, as he is also a member of the Wythe County (Va.) Sports Hall of Fame.

In addition to posting a .374 batting average on the 1987 National Championship team, James hit .504 during his sophomore campaign in 1986, which was good for 4th in the NAIA, and notched a .350 average during his senior season of 1988.  Led by James' offensive output, which included 13 home runs, the 1988 team repeated as NCCAA National Champions, and James earned NCCAA First Team All-American honors.

James married Teresa (Umberger), also a 1988 King graduate; the two have three children.  Bobby works as a claims representative for State Farm Insurance in Vinton, Va., and is a volunteer football coach at Fort Chiswell High School. 

The Induction Ceremony for the Class of 2013 along with the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame Jeff Byrd Memorial Scholarship award presentation will be held at 6 p.m. on Saturday, April 20 in King's Student Center Complex as part of King's annual Dogwood Weekend festivities. 

For additional information on Dogwood Weekend, visit http://dogwood.king.edu.