Lebanon Democrat outdoors columnist Larry Woody has been named to the Tennessee Sports Writers Association Hall of Fame.
Enshrined with Woody in the hall will be longtime Chattanooga News-Free Press writer Roy Exum.
A native of Crossville, Woody started working for The Tennessean part-time while finishing his studies at Belmont College. He served two years in the Army, including a tour in Vietnam as a combat infantryman, before rejoining The Tennessean in late 1970. Woody covered high schools, the Ohio Valley Conference, the Southeastern Conference and the NFL. He also was a beat writer covering Vanderbilt, NASCAR, an outdoors writer and a general columnist being named Tennessee Sportswriter of the Year three times. He also won a UPI Columnist Award and a Best of Gannett Writing Award during his tenure before retiring in 2007.
Woody wrote six books and still writes a syndicated outdoors column and contributes to sports, travel and outdoors magazine. He co-hosts a weekly national radio show. He is a member of the International Motorsports Hall of Fame, the Fairgrounds Speedway Hall of Fame and Martin Methodist’s College Hall of Fame where he studied for two years.
He writes three outdoors pieces per week for The Democrat as well as a monthly racing story.
“I'm honored by the induction,” Woody wrote in an e-mail. “I'd like to acknowledge the late Tennessean sports editor Raymond Johnson, who hired me as a rookie in 1966, and his successor, John Bibb, who allowed me to travel the country for over 30 years and meet the greatest sports figures of my generation. Interviewing such legends as Bear Bryant, Mickey Mantle, Arnold Palmer, Richard Petty and Muhammad Ali was pretty heady for a country boy from Crossville.
“It's not the games, but the people -- especially my press box pals -- that I remember best, and who made going to 'work' so much fun. I'll always treasure my years at The Tennessean, and in semi-retirement I'm thoroughly enjoying my 'second career' with The Democrat.”
Woody, Exum and 2013-inductee John Adams will be honored July 10 at the TSWA Hall of Fame dinner at Cumberland University’s Baird Chapel. They will join another ’13-inductee, Lebanon-resident Joe Biddle, in the hall.