Tom Jones was born and raised in a suburb of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and studied English at the University of South Florida from 1982 to 1986.
He began his writing career with the St. Petersburg Evening Independent in 1985. He then went on to work for the St. Petersburg Times from 1987 to 1991, the Tampa Tribune from 1991 to 1996, the St. Petersburg Times again from 1996 to 2000 and the Minneapolis Star-Tribune from 2000 to 2003. He then rejoined the St. Petersburg Times for a third time in his career in 2003, where he worked ever since.
Jones has spent most of his career covering the NHL, including being a beat writer for more than 15 years of the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Minnesota. Wild. He also spent two years on the Tampa Bay Rays beat. He then become a columnist at Times starting in 2007. Jones has won several national and state writing awards, including a top 10 game story in the nation in 1998 as named by the Associated Press Sports Editors.
Over the course of his career, Jones has covered the Olympics, the World Series, the Super Bowl, the Stanley Cup finals, baseball and hockey all-star games, the NCAA basketball tournament and the Frozen Four.
Jones lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Patty, and sons, Sam and Andy.
With over two decades of reporting on professional and collegiate sports for the Tampa Bay Times, through performance and work experience in journalism and broadcasting in television and radio, Rick Stroud has cultivated an impressive list of sources and utilized his knowledge to produce an outstanding body of work in both print and electronic mediums.
During his career, Stroud has reported on national sporting events including 22 Super Bowls, the NCAA Final Four, and the Major League Baseball Playoffs. While working as the beat writer assigned to the University of Florida at the Times, Stroud’s stories documented NCAA rules violations by the football and basketball programs. The stories for which Stroud won second place for Best Investigative Reporting from the Associated Press Sports Editors, led to sanctions against both Gators programs.
Since 2004, Stroud has appeared as an NFL Insider for ESPN2’s First Take and is a regular contributor to ESPN’s SportsCenter, NFL Live, Outside the Lines and Herd with Colin Cowherd on ESPN Radio. He also contributes to NFL Network’s Total Access.
Stroud becan covering the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the National Football League in 1990. Since then, the Bucs have undergone seven coaching changes, the death of owner Hugh Culverhouse and the sale of the franchise to billionaire owner Malcolm Glazer and a stadium referendum. They also celebrated a Super Bowl XXVII victory. His reporting was referenced in Tony Dungy’s best seller, Quiet Strength, particularly because it was Stroud who informed Dungy of the Bucs’ plan to replace him with Giants Super Bowl coach Bill Parcells.
A former Div. I-A baseball player at Arkansas , Stroud brings a unique perspective to sports reporting. During the NFL lockout in 2011, he also served as one of the Times’ beat writers responsible for covering the Tampa Bay Rays.
(via Tampa Bay Rowdies Communications) - Today St. Petersburg businessman and philanthropist Bill Edwards announced he has purchased controlling interest in the North American Soccer League’s Rowdies, becoming Principal Owner and team representative on the NASL Board of Governors.
In addition to the ownership change, Mr. Edwards also announced the re-signing of Coach Ricky Hill and immediate plans to add premium midfield seating for the 2014 season. More than 1,100 seats will be erected along the west sideline at Al Lang Stadium, the Rowdies’ home venue, including approximately 212 premium Midfielder’s Club seats. Midfielder’s Club seats will be just feet from the touchline, and will surround players’ benches integrated into the stands. Additionally, Club members will have access to a pitch-side member’s lounge. New midfield seating, including the limited number of Midfielder’s Club seats are now available through www.rowdiessoccer.com or by calling 813-287-1539.
“The Rowdies are a fantastic part of downtown St. Petersburg,” said Edwards. “It is my goal to build the best team in American soccer and create the best fan experience in American soccer. I am confident we can do both.”
“When we purchased rights to the team in 2008, we knew we wanted to bring the Rowdies brand back in a major way,” said team Director and Owner David Laxer. “We have achieved great success in a short period of time. With the leadership of Bill Edwards, we will be able to move the team to the next level – quickly.”
Perry Van Der Beck, Rowdies Executive Vice President, Technical Director and Director of Player Development added "Having met with Mr. Edwards, I am pleased that he shares the Rowdies dedication of building onto this club's rich history of winning championships and actively participating in the local community. We've accomplished a lot in the past four seasons and with Mr. Edwards at the helm, we will continue to develop quality players, aim for another NASL Championship and provide an entertaining game experience for the fans."
“We are delighted to welcome Bill Edwards to the NASL family,” said NASL Commissioner Bill Peterson. “We are excited by Bill’s vision for the future of the great Rowdies brand and for the club’s supporters, the league and soccer as a thriving sport in Florida. It is very clear from discussions we have had with Bill Edwards that he cares passionately for the region he calls home and that his ownership will establish the Rowdies as one of North America’s premier soccer clubs.”
Bill Edwards is a businessman, financier, real estate developer, recording company executive, entertainment promoter, philanthropist and now professional sports team owner. In 2013 he was inducted into the Tampa Bay Business Hall of Fame for his business expertise and forward-thinking leadership. Mr. Edwards’ philanthropy is widespread, with a focus on children and veterans. He has donated several million dollars to All Children’s Hospital in St. Petersburg, has organized an annual Holiday Donation Drive for more than ten years, providing food and gifts to hundreds of disadvantaged families from throughout the area, and supports the Class Acts Arts Education series for youth. Edwards is the largest single donor to the Veterans Airlift Command, which transports injured veterans for medical and personal reasons. He has sponsored numerous community events over the years including the annual Taste of Pinellas and First Night St. Petersburg. In 2012, Mr. Edwards was honored with the “Gandhi, King, Ikeda Community Bridge Builder Award” for his philanthropic work with children and veterans. Previous recipients include Nelson Mandela, Mikhail Gorbachev and Archbishop Desmond Tutu.
The Rowdies were the first professional sports franchise in the area and remain one of the most recognizable and well-loved brands in soccer. Originally established in 1975, the team won the NASL Soccer Bowl championship in its inaugural year and created a unique, entertaining and memorable franchise with the Fannies, Wowdies and unforgettable Kick in the Grass theme song. In 2008, a group of investors announced the purchase of rights to a professional soccer franchise and the newly established team began play in 2010. In 2012, the Rowdies won the NASL Soccer Bowl Championship after a thrilling shoot-out victory in front of a sold out crowd at Al Lang Stadium in downtown St. Petersburg. NASL clubs play a split season format from April through June and July through November with the winners of each season earning the right to compete for the NASL Soccer Bowl Championship.
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — An auction company says Michael Jordan's shoes from the famous flu game of the 1997 NBA finals have sold for more than $100,000.
The shoes were owned by a Utah Jazz ball boy who befriended Jordan when the Chicago Bulls visited Salt Lake City. Jordan was playing with what he thought was the flu, but still led the Bulls to a key victory in the NBA Finals.
Preston Truman has said he asked for Jordan's shoes after the game.
Truman kept the shoes locked in a safe-deposit box at a Utah bank for 15 years. He recalls turning down an $11,000 offer for the red-and-black shoes from a collector the next season. The recent sale was first reported by ESPN.com.
Grey Flannel Auctions says online bidding started at $5,000 before soaring to more than $104,000 when bidding closed Thursday. The buyer wasn't identified.
BY: John Mamola / 620wdae.com
Leave it to Steve Spurrier "The Ol Ball Coach" to take a jab at a former employer when Spurrier has a better year than that said former employer. During the Capital One Bowl press conference on Thursday afternoon, the South Carolina Gamecocks head coach took a jab that most Florida Gators fan won't soon forget.