UT's Ford, Jennings honored

The two have been longtime fixtures on almost every Tennessee sideline. Now Harris "Bud" Ford and Debby Jennings, both UT associate athletics directors for media relations, are being inducted into the Tennessee Sports Writers' Association Hall of Fame.

The TSWA Hall of Fame induction ceremony takes place Thursday at Cumberland College in Lebanon, Tenn.

Ford handles the media relations tasks for Tennessee's men's sports, while Jennings does the same with the Lady Vols' teams.

"It's kind of ironic we are going in together," Jennings said. "We both love the University of Tennessee and have a passion for promoting the accomplishments of our student-athletes."

This isn't the first hall of fame induction for either. Both Ford and Jennings are members of the College Sports Information Directors of America and the Greater Knoxville Sports Halls of Fame.

Both also received CoSIDA's Arch Ward Award, given to those whose outstanding contributions to collegiate sports information bring honor to the profession.

"I am honored that a local group would want to recognize my achievements during my time at Tennessee," Ford said. "I've been blessed with great mentors, many of them already in this hall of fame, and it's an honor to be recognized with them."

Ford joined UT's staff in 1964 as a student assistant and was hired full-time in 1966. For the next 35 years, he worked alongside legendary UT SID Haywood Harris. In 1989, Ford was named assistant athletics director for sports information. Since that time, he has worked diligently to serve the Vols and in 2005 was given Honorary Letterman status by Tennessee's T-Club for his faithful service to the university.

Jennings enters her 34th year on The Hill as the first and only director of media relations for the Lady Vols. She was named associate athletics director for media relations in 1998. During her time at UT, her department has accumulated more than 300 national publications awards with more than half of those earning "Best in the Nation" distinction. Jennings is also an adjunct professor at Tennessee and became the first sports information director to win the Mel Greenberg Award for outstanding contributions to women's basketball.

Both Tennessee graduates. Both sports information directors. Both hall of famers — again.

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