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.
Oh man, oh man, oh man. It does not stop.
Wednesday was a relatively normal day at One Buc. Then at night, another headline-grabbing story: the Bucs have twice in the last month fined Josh Freeman for "conduct detrimental to the team".
Which, really, when you get into the details...are things they could have gotten around without a fine. It's almost as though there's some sort of friction there?
And now there's a chance there could be a suspenion. Click HERE to read what Rick had to write about the situation.
And THIS is the link to our Bucs podcast page which includes some honest comments from Davin Joseph on what the team could have done to help Freeman... and Donald Penn absolutely lighting into the media for its coverage of the situation.
#Bucs QB Josh Freeman was fined at least twice for a total of $31,500. He is appealing. $10,500 was for his unauthorized ESPN interview— Rick Stroud (@NFLSTROUD) October 3, 2013
Among the fines QB Josh Freeman acquired was for missing the team meal before the Jets game. It was a buffet at the Quincy Marriott.— Rick Stroud (@NFLSTROUD) October 3, 2013
Freeman also was fined for being late to the team bus before the Jets game.— Rick Stroud (@NFLSTROUD) October 3, 2013
Make that the Hilton Short Hills NJ. Team hotel for the Jets game.— Rick Stroud (@NFLSTROUD) October 3, 2013