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.
Florida Atlantic opened an on-campus football stadium in 2011 and now has a title sponsor.
The Miami Herald reported Tuesday that FAU has announced they will name the two-year old football facility, "GEO Group Stadium" after the private correctional facilities management corporation for a $6 million donation. The GEO Group's CEO George Zoley is an FAU alumn and the company is based out of Boca Raton.
It seems not everyone is thrilled with the new naming deal.
Shortly after the announcement, the Sun Sentinel reported that a petition was started "calling for the removal of the GEO Group name from FAU Stadium, has received middling support to this point, but the Dream Activist staff have seemed keen on using the 'Owlcatraz' nickname proposed by FAU play-by-play announcer Ken LaVicka."
Florida Atlantic University has said they have no qualms in aligning themselves with the private correctional facility management group, but students and South Florida pro-immigration activists do.
GEO owns the Broward Transitional Center in Pompano Beach which is located about 10 miles from the stadium. The facility has recently been a center of controversy after people detained there complained about not getting proper care.
Noor Fawzy, a political science student and elected member of the student government at FAU, whose parents are Palestinian immigrants, is not happy with the news.
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