First recipients of Tom Jernstedt award named
Indiana Sports Corp. has named the recipients of the inaugural 2023 Tom Jernstedt Lifetime Achievement Award. Last month, the ISC announced the creation of the award to honor Jernstedt who worked for the NCAA for nearly four decades and is often regarded as the “The Father of the Final Four,” for his efforts to build March Madness into what it is today.
The 2023 recipients include Jim Delaney, Dave Gavitt and C.M. Newton for their distinguished professional careers dedicated to the advancement of Division I men’s basketball.
Gavitt and Newton will be honored posthumously.
Delaney played basketball at the University of North Carolina where he was a member of two Final Four teams. In 1975, he pursued a career in college athletics administration. In 1989, he was appointed commissioner of the Big Ten Conference.
During his tenure, he oversaw the creation of the Big Ten Network and expansion of the conference. Delany retired and stepped down from the Big Ten Conference on January 1, 2020.
Dave Gavitt played hoops in 1959-60 for Dartmouth College. He also held coaching positions at three winning programs, but then transitioned into administration. in 1979, he founded the Big East Conference and became its first commissioner.
Gavitt also served as CEO of the Boston Celtics from 1990 to 1994 and president of the NCAA Foundation from 1995 to 1997.
Gavitt passed away in 2011 at the age of 73.
C.M. Newton played college basketball at the University of Kentucky, where he was a member of the national championship-winning 1950-51 team under head coach Adolph Rupp. Newton then spent more than 30 years as a college coach at Transylvania, Alabama, and Vanderbilt.
While serving as chair of the NCAA Rules Committee in the early 1980s, the NCAA adopted the shot clock and three-point line.
He was appointed athletic director at the University of Kentucky in 1989.
Aside from college basketball, Newton served as an assistant coach under Bob Knight for the gold medal-winning 1984 United States men’s Olympic basketball team.
Newton passed away in 2018 at the age of 88.
All award recipients will be honored at the 2023 Men’s Final Four in Houston on April 3.