NATCHITOCHES, La. – Two highly decorated and transformative figures in the state’s sports journalism field, Lafayette writer and editor Bruce Brown and longtime New Orleans Times Picayune Lori Lyons, a prep writer, was shortlisted for the 2022 Distinguished Service Award in Sports Journalism by the Louisiana Sports Writers Association.
The duo will be inducted into the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame on July 29, LSWA President Raymond Partsch III and Hall of Fame President Doug Ireland announced Wednesday.
Brown, whose journalism career is approaching 50, is an acclaimed writer whose 20 years as a sports editor at the Lafayette newspaper advertiser saw the paper earn well over 100 LSWA honors as the industry and advertiser underwent dramatic change.
Lyons, a Houma native, rose through the ranks from starting as an Agate sports employee to twice winning LSWA Prep Writer of the Year honors and becoming the second female president of the state sports writers association.
Both are book authors and have branched out into other aspects of journalism, with Brown contributing to online publications and being a regular panelist on an award-winning sports talk show, and Lyons also dabbles in broadcasting and continues as a correspondent for various publications as she is now teaching vocation to high school students.
The DSA honor, which will be made official next summer in Natchitoches, means Brown and Lyons will be among a 12-person elite class of 2023 to be inducted into the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame. They were selected from a 29-person pool of outstanding nominees for the state’s top sports journalism honor.
Recipients of the Distinguished Service Award in Sports Journalism are chosen by the 40-member Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame selection committee based on the candidates’ professional achievements in local, state, regional, and even national circles, with leadership in the LSWA as the beneficial factor and three decades of work in the profession as a requirement.
Distinguished Service Award winners are enshrined in the Hall of Fame along with the 467 current athletes, sportswriters, coaches and administrators chosen since 1959. Only 71 prominent figures in state sports media have been honored with the Distinguished Service Award since its inception 39 years ago in 1982.
Brown and Lyons will be among the 2023 Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame induction class that will be in the spotlight at the annual induction ceremony Saturday night, July 29, at the Natchitoches Events Center. The induction ceremony culminates with the 2023 Induction Celebration beginning Thursday afternoon, July 27, with a press conference followed by a public opening reception in the Hall of Fame museum at 800 Front Street in Natchitoches.
Two-time Super Bowl MVP Eli Manning joins four-time WNBA All-Star Alana Beard and College World Series champion LSU baseball coach Paul Mainieri in a stellar 10-member roster of 2023 competitive voting candidates announced in September.
The LSHOF class of 2023 also includes New Orleans native Ron Washington, who managed the Texas Rangers to a pair of World Series appearances and helped the Atlanta Braves win the world championship last year; two-time world champion and US Olympian in LSU track and field Walter Davis; and native of Slidell, Tulane great and Chicago Bears two-time Pro Bowl running back Matt Forte.
Also up for induction next summer are LSU All-American pitcher Paul Byrd, a 14-year Major League Baseball veteran who made the 1999 All-Star Game; Shreveport native Wendell Davis, who shattered LSU football receiving records before moving to the NFL; multiple-time national champion and world-class weightlifter Walter Imahara, a UL-Lafayette legend; and retired Baton Rouge-Parkview baseball coach Baptist ML Woodruff, whose teams have won 11 state championships.
The 2023 inductees will be displayed in the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame Museum, operated by the Louisiana State Museum system in partnership with the Louisiana Sports Writers Association. The impressive $23 million, two-story, 27,500-square-foot structure overlooks Cane River Lake in Natchitoches’s National Historic Landmark District and has garnered worldwide architectural acclaim and rave reviews for its contents since its inception. unveiling during the 2013 Hall of Fame induction weekend.
“Lori Lyons and Bruce Brown are the epitome of ‘service’ when it comes to sports reporting in Louisiana,” said Partsch, president of the LSWA. “Yes, you could easily mention the plethora of award-winning work Lori was responsible for during her time on the job The Times-Picayune. But what stands out to me is what he did behind the scenes for the Louisiana Sports Writers Association. Bruce was one of the most respected scribes in our state, but what stands out to me are the journalists he has helped mentor and develop a The Daily Advertiser.
“We are extremely fortunate to have both Lori and Bruce help us tell Louisiana’s legendary sports story. I can think of no better way to honor them, and their tireless work over the years, than by inducting them into the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame.”
Brown served on the athletic staff of the Lafayette newspaper advertiser for 21 years, and worked altogether for 37 years as part of the Advertiser editorial staff. Most of that time – 20 years – he worked as a sports editor and helped lead the Advertiser through sweeping changes in both that journal and the industry.
During that time, the Advertiser The sports department has won more than 100 LSWA awards for writing, layout, and photography, as well as multiple Louisiana Press Association honors. The Advertiser he also earned a coveted national Best of Gannett award in 2005 for his coverage of the Lafayette team in the Little League World Series.
Brown began his career as a part-timer in January of 1975, covering a prep basketball game between Pecan Island and Meaux as his first assignment. He joined the Advertiser full-time staff in August 1975 under then-editor Bob Tompkins, and took over as sports editor a year later, serving in that capacity for two decades. In 1995, she left that role to focus on writing and has covered prep, college and professional sports, as well as military, faith and values, and non-profit organizations for the Advertiser. He returned to full-time sports coverage in 2011 before retiring in 2012.
In 1980, Brown wrote “Prides of Acadiana,” a book about legendary UL sports champions including Hall of Famer Walter Imahara (a fellow 2023 inductee), Ron Guidry, Bo Lamar, Harold Porter, and Chris Cagle. He served two years as LSWA vice president and another two years as secretary, and was a member of the Hall of Fame selection committee for two decades. In retirement, he has been a freelance writer for UL Athletics Networkfor Fast slopes And Tiger rag magazines, the Crowley’s post-signal and the Southern of Abbevilleand still contributes pieces to the Baton Rouge/Acadiana attorney and the UL Athletics Network.
Lyons began his journalism career as an assistant company editor at the Houma Courier while still in high school. He was a member of The mirror personnel of the Terrebonne High School and, subsequently, The Brown while majoring in English and journalism at Loyola University New Orleans. She started out as a sports agate employee at The Times-Picayune in 1986 and became president of the LSWA (the second woman in that role) with an impressive collection of writing awards.
Climbing a steep hill at a time when female sports reporters were rare in Louisiana, she became a high school reporter for TP’s River Parishes Bureau in 1991, remaining there until 2012. She continued to cover River Parishes freelance until when he didn’t he became the sports editor of The Observer in LaPlace, winning a Louisiana Press Association writing award and an award for best picture. After leaving The Observer in 2017, he continued to freelance for multiple outlets.
Lyons was twice chosen by out-of-state judges as LSWA’s Prep Writer of the Year, was honored by the Louisiana High School Athletic Association as Prep Writer of the Year in 2008, and won LSWA’s prestigious Mac Russo Award that year for contributing to the ideals and progress of the organization.
She served as president of the LSWA from 2012 to 2014, helping to oversee the opening of the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame and the Northwest Louisiana History Museum in Natchitoches. Lyons created, launched and continues to maintain the LSWA website (lswa.info) and Facebook page.
He is a longtime member of the LSHOF selection committee and served on the selection panel of the Allstate Sugar Bowl Greater New Orleans Sports Hall of Fame for 25 years.
An occasional mom blogger, Lyons is also an author Adoption in America: the diary of an expectant mother, an account of her and husband Marty Luquet’s quest to adopt a child. Their daughter is now a senior at Northwestern State University and the director of The current sauce the centenary student newspaper.
Lyons now teaches high school journalism, creative writing and multimedia at Riverside Academy in Reserve and is a consultant for the Rebel Express student news website. She is also the social media manager and content provider for the Baton Rouge Rougaroo Summer Collegiate League baseball team.
The 2023 Induction Celebration will begin on Thursday, July 27 with a press conference and reception. The three-day festivities include two receptions, a youth sports clinic, a bowling party and a Friday night riverside concert in Natchitoches. Tickets for the induction ceremony on Saturday night, July 29, along with congratulatory advertising and sponsorship opportunities, are available through the LaSportsHall.com website.
Anyone can receive quarterly emails about the 2023 Induction Celebration and other Hall of Fame news by registering on the LaSportsHall.com website.
The Induction Celebration Weekend will be hosted by the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame Foundation, the supporting organization for the Hall of Fame. The LSHOF Foundation was chartered as a 501c3 non-profit corporation in 1975 and is governed by a state board of directors. For information on sponsorship opportunities, contact the President/CEO of the Ronnie Rantz Foundation at 225-802-6040 or [email protected] Standard and customized sponsorships are available.
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