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.
DENVER (AP) — Caleb Moore was a Texas kid drawn to the snow, rehearsing complicated tricks on a snowmobile into a foam pit back home until they became second nature and ready for the mountains.
With his younger brother following along and constantly pushing him, Moore became a rising talent in action sports.
The innovative freestyle snowmobile rider, who was hurt in a crash at the Winter X Games in Colorado, died Thursday morning. He was 25.
Moore had been undergoing care at a hospital in Grand Junction since the Jan. 24 crash. Family spokeswoman Chelsea Lawson confirmed his death, the first in the 18-year history of the X Games.
"He lived his life to the fullest. He was an inspiration," Lawson said.
A former all-terrain vehicle racer, Moore switched over to snowmobiles as a teenager and quickly rose to the top of the sport. He won four Winter X Games medals, including a bronze last season when his younger brother, Colten, captured gold.
Caleb Moore was attempting a backflip in the freestyle event in Aspen last week when the skis on his 450-pound snowmobile caught the lip of the landing area, sending him flying over the handlebars. Moore landed face first into the snow with his snowmobile rolling over him.
Moore stayed down for quite some time, before walking off with help and going to a hospital to be treated for a concussion. Moore developed bleeding around his heart and was flown to a hospital in Grand Junction for surgery. The family later said that Moore, of Krum, Texas, also had a complication involving his brain.
Colten Moore was injured in a separate crash that same night. He suffered a separated pelvis in the spill.
The family said in a statement they were grateful for all the prayers and support they have received from people around the world.
X Games officials expressed their condolences and said Moore, a four-time X Games medalist, would be remembered "for his natural passion for life and his deep love for his family and friends."
The Twitter accounts of many athletes from a wide range of sports expressed their sympathy Thursday:
— New York Jets quarterback Tim Tebow: "So sad to hear about the passing of snowmobiler Caleb Moore. My prayers go out to his younger brother Colten & their entire family."
— Freestyle skier Kaya Turski: "The spirit of Caleb Moore will be floating among us forever. RIP."
— Surfer Kelly Slater: "Tragic. Don't even know what to say."
— Snowboarder Gretchen Bleiler: "Our world has lost another bright light. Sending my deepest condolences to the family and friends of Caleb Moore."
— Tampa Bay third baseman Evan Longoria, who made a visit to Winter X last weekend: "Tragic day for the family of Caleb Moore. Our deepest sympathies go out to all who he influenced and touched. RIP."
— Motorsports standout Travis Pastrana: "So sad to hear about Caleb Moore. My condolences and prayers go out to his family and friends."
— NASCAR driver Austin Dillon: "Just heard about Caleb Moore. I don't know what to say other than I'm praying for his family and friends. He was a true Action Sports Hero."
B.C. Vaught, Caleb Moore's agent for almost a decade, said he first saw Moore when he was racing an ATV in Minnesota and signed him up to star in some action sports movies.
Later, Moore wanted to make the switch from ATVs to snowmobiles and Vaught helped him. A natural talent, it only took Moore two weeks to master a difficult backflip.
Moore honed his skills in Krum, a town about 5,000 people 50 miles northwest of Dallas that rarely sees snow. Instead, he worked on tricks by launching his sled into a foam pit. After a brief training run on snow ramps in Michigan, he was ready for his sport's biggest stage — the 2010 Winter X Games.
In that contest, Moore captured a bronze in freestyle and finished sixth in best trick. Two years later, his biography on ESPN said, "Caleb Moore has gone from 'beginner's luck' to 'serious threat.'"
That was hardly a surprise to Vaught, who said, "Whatever he wanted to do, he did it."
Vaught said Moore didn't believe his sport was too extreme, but rather "it was a lifestyle." He was good at it — along with ATV racing — as he accumulated a garage full of trophies.
Still, Moore's death is sure to ignite the debate over safety of the discipline. Whether action sports are too dangerous is an issue that's been raised before.
When freestyle skier Sarah Burke died in a training accident a little more than a year ago in Park City, Utah, there were questions about the halfpipe. Before that, the sport was examined when snowboarder Kevin Pearce suffered a severe brain injury in a fall in the same pipe as Burke two years earlier. Pearce has recovered and served as an analyst at Winter X.
But in general, the athletes accept the risks and defend their disciplines.
"I just look at it like this: Yes, we're in a dangerous sport," fellow snowmobile rider Levi LaVallee said. "Anytime you're doing a backflip on anything, it's dangerous. But we're training to do this. This is what we practice, what we do day in and day out. We're comfortable with doing this stuff."
LaVallee recently described Moore as a "fierce competitor."
"A very creative mind," LaVallee said. "I've watched him try some crazy, crazy tricks and some of them were successful, some of them not so much. But he was first guy to get back on a sled and go try it again. It shows a lot of heart."
X Games officials said in a statement that they would conduct a thorough review of freestyle snowmobiling events and adopt any appropriate changes.
"For 18 years, we have worked closely on safety issues with athletes, course designers and other experts. Still, when the world's best compete at the highest level in any sport, risks remain," they said, noting that Moore was hurt performing a move he had done several times before.