Joe Tait Named Recipient of Basketball Hall of Fame's Curt Gowdy Media Award
The Gowdy Media Award is named in honor of the legendary sports broadcaster and former Hall of Fame Board member and President, the late Curt Gowdy. The prestigious award is presented annually to members of the print and electronic media whose longtime efforts have made a significant contribution to the game of basketball.
“The Gowdy Media Award is an honor that is proudly presented by the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in honor and memory of the late Curt Gowdy, one of the pioneers of sports media and a former Hall of Fame President,” said John L. Doleva, Hall of Fame President & CEO. “Joe Tait and Jackie MacMullan excelled by sharing their unique and informative insights on our sport while they entertained millions of loyal listeners and readers. The Basketball Hall of Fame is proud to recognize Joe’s longtime dedication to the game, and we are thrilled to honor Jackie for her many contributions as a writer and as the first female reporter to receive a Curt Gowdy Award.”
Jackie MacMullan, the 2010 honoree for the Print Media, is widely recognized as one of the most respected reporters ever to cover the NBA. She began her career at The Boston Globe in 1982 and quickly forged her reputation covering sports that were predominantly played and reported on by men. While she gained national recognition for her work on numerous NBA and NCAA basketball assignments, MacMullan also covered Major League Baseball’s World Series in 1986, the NHL’s Stanley Cup Finals in 1987 and the 1988 Olympic Games.
After working at The Boston Globe through the ‘80s and early ‘90s, MacMullan accepted a position covering NBA basketball for Sports Illustrated, where she worked as a senior writer from 1995-2000 and frequently contributed to CNN/SI cable news network. She returned to her New England roots in January 2002 when she was named columnist and associate editor back at The Boston Globe.
MacMullan has won numerous national writing awards from the Associated Press Sports Editors, including a first place award for investigative reporting for her coverage of the death of Celtics great Reggie Lewis. In addition, MacMullan won awards for feature writing and was recognized by Tufts University as recipient of the 1995 Distinguished Achievement Award. She was named the New England Women’s Leadership Award winner in 1997 and was inducted into her alma mater’s Hall of Honor at the University of New Hampshire in 2001.
In 2009, MacMullan collaborated with Larry Bird and Magic Johnson on the best seller When the Game Was Ours, a compelling account of the rivalry and relationship between Bird and Johnson, published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt publishing. Most recently, MacMullan has been a frequent contributor to ESPN.com and a regular panelist on ESPN’s “Around the Horn” show.
Joe Tait, the 2010 Gowdy Award winner representing the Electronic Media, is currently in his 38th season covering NBA basketball as the voice of the Cleveland Cavaliers. He began as Cleveland’s play-by-play announcer eight games into the club’s inaugural season of 1970, and during his first 11 years with the team, Tait earned his reputation as one of the nation’s top sportscasters.
After stints in New Jersey (1981) and Chicago (1982), Tait returned to call the Cavs’ games in 1983 when owners George and Gordon Gund acquired ownership of the team, as one of their first moves was to re-hire the most recognizable and popular voice of the franchise. In 1987, Tait was named Vice President, Broadcasting for the Cavaliers and worked on all aspects of the club’s radio and television broadcasts, calling games on WOIO-TV/19 and the Cavaliers Television Network. For the past 15 seasons, Tait has called Cavaliers’ games on News Radio WTAM 1100 and the team’s radio network that reaches most of Ohio.
Tait is an eight-time winner of Sportscaster of the Year in Ohio, spanning from 1974 to 2004. He was inducted into the Broadcasters Hall of Fame in 1992 and was awarded the group’s C.S. Williams Founders Award for his longstanding and meritorious service in broadcasting in 1996. In 2008, Tait received the “Lifetime Achievement Award” from the Greater Cleveland Sports Commission, joining Cleveland sports legends such as Jim Brown and Bob Feller as recipients of the honor. In addition, Tait was inducted to the Cleveland Sports Legends Hall of Fame in 2001 and the Cleveland Press Club Hall of Fame in 2003.
A graduate of Monmouth College in Illinois, Tait began his career in radio during college, calling local sporting events in the Illinois and Indiana area. In 1969, he worked as the voice of Indiana University college football and as the pre-game host of Indiana Pacers basketball in the old ABA. He went on to broadcast Cleveland Indians baseball for 16 years before finding his full-time home with the Cavaliers in 1970.
The Gowdy Awards will be presented at the Basketball Hall of Fame in a special ceremony scheduled for August 12. The Class of 2010 will be enshrined at the Springfield Symphony Hall on August 13, following a week of festivities in Springfield, Massachusetts to be staged August 7-14, 2010. Ticket packages to the 2010 Enshrinement Ceremony and all Enshrinement Events are on sale now and available by calling the Hall of Fame at (413) 231-5500. Additional information on the weeklong “Celebration of Basketball” will be announced in the near future and fans seeking updates can visit http://www.hoophall.com/enshrinement-tickets/.