Tennessee Head Coach Butch Jones was named the Tennessee Press Association inaugural Headliner of the Year Thursday afternoon in Nashville.
The Headliner of the Year Award is presented by the TPA to the person or group who has generated the most positive press within Tennessee over the previous year.
The award was established by the TPA Board of Directors in 2013, modeled on a similar award that has been given for many years by the Arkansas Press Association.
"There were many positive headlines generated by many different Tennesseans this year, but we weren't surprised when Butch Jones was voted the winner," said Jason Taylor, chair of the Winter Convention and TPA vice president for dailies. "Tennessee loves football, and the renewed optimism he has brought to the program definitely saw its fair share of headlines across the state."
"When the Tennessee Press Association Board of Directors were charged with looking for a Headliner of the Year - someone who has generated a great deal of `positive press' across the state, one name rose to the top - Tennessee Volunteers Coach Butch Jones," said Lynn Richardson, TPA president.
"When Jones was named the University of Tennessee's 24th head football coach in early December 2012, he took on quite a challenge. "Beyond trying to rebuild a lackluster football program, marred by his recent predecessors, he also had the huge task of trying to rebuild trust and restore integrity to the program."
Part of that foundation includes success in the classroom - something that has marked Jones' football programs.
"Tennesseans love their football, so it was no surprise that University of Tennessee head football coach Butch Jones was nominated and selected for the inaugural Tennessee Headliner of the Year award," said Greg Sherrill, executive director of the Tennessee Press Association.
The Tennessee Press Association is the trade association of Tennessee's daily and non-daily newspapers. It was founded in 1870-71 to create a unified voice for the newspaper industry in Tennessee. Today it provides assistance to its 124 member newspapers by monitoring legislative activities, providing training programs, issuing press credentials, maintaining a website and employment database and providing regular meetings nad forums to foster the exchange of information and ideas. Through its foundation, the TPA provides scholarships and other support for journalism and oversees the Tennessee Newspaper Hall of Fame, located in the Communications Building at the University of Tennessee.