Lipscomb cheerleader splits her time as basketball reporter at rival Belmont

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Lindsey Nance is the first Belmont sideline reporter who does not have ties to Belmont. By Mike Organ

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Lindsey Nance, a senior cheerleader at Lipscomb and OVC Digital Network sidelines reporter at Belmont, interviews Bruins assistant coach Tyler Holloway during a timeout at Curb Event Center.(Photo: MIKE ORGAN / THE TENNESSEAN)Buy Photo

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Lindsey Nance has been a Lipscomb Bison since she was a baby.

She was a versatile three-sport athlete at Lipscomb Academy where her older brothers Matthew and Jonathan had been star athletes before her.

It wasn‘t much of a stretch for her to make the transition to cheerleader when she moved on to Lipscomb University. Her father, Paul, graduated from there and is now director of athletic marketing. 

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Her boyfriend is Lipscomb‘s best basketball player — Garrison Mathews.

Lipscomb is deeply ingrained into her DNA, and that‘s why it‘s strange to see Nance spending so much time these days at the Bisons‘ arch-rival Belmont.

Lindsey Nance played basketball, volleyball and ran track at Lipscomb Academy and his now a cheerleader at Lipscomb University. (Photo: Submitted)

That‘s where Nance‘s career ambition has led her in hopes of becoming a television sports reporter. 

Nance is Belmont‘s new sideline reporter for the OVC Digital Network. She is the first person without Belmont ties to have the job.  

Not having Belmont ties is one thing. Having such a strong attachment to Lipscomb is something altogether different. 

Her family‘s allegiance to Lipscomb and Nance‘s new job at Belmont have the dynamics to create a rift, which is precisely what has happened.

“My dad will not even say the word ‘Belmont;‘ he hates them so much,” Nance said. “When I come home he‘s like, ‘How did it go down the street? How was your reporting of the school down the street?‘ The hatred runs deep.”

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It’s such a touchy subject that Nance hasn’t even told her grandmother Betty Nance, a Lipscomb graduate and lifelong Bisons fan, about her new job.

“I‘m just very afraid to tell my grandma,” she said. 

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Taking some good-natured grief from her family about being a traitor is worth it for Nance if it means getting to further her pursuit.

“I grew up around sports with my dad and my older brothers playing football, baseball and everything,” Nance said. “I was a ballpark baby.”

Nance played basketball, volleyball and ran track at Lipscomb Academy.

She landed the gig as Belmont‘s sideline reporter because of her extensive experience in the field.

She started out working part-time in Lipscomb‘s athletics department as a freshman. That‘s where former Lipscomb cheer coach Pam Pearson spotted her. 

Lindsey Nance played volleyball when she was in high school at Lipscomb. (Photo: Submitted)

“Pam said, ‘Have you ever cheered?‘ and I was like, ‘No ma‘am; I played sports,‘” Nance said. “She kept hounding me to start cheering. It was something that really was out of my comfort zone and that‘s what I strive for; I try to say ‘yes‘ to everything. I thought, ‘This will help me. I want to go into broadcasting and this will conquer my biggest fear, which was to be in front of a crowd like that.‘”

Nance gained valuable experience as a sophomore working for The Zone 104.5-FM on the show Midday 180. One of her primary duties was to line up guests, and her biggest coup was landing an interview with LaVar Ball

“I ed LaVar Ball before he was huge,” she said. “I talked to him on the phone and he was so nice. It was before all the Ball madness, just as they were getting to be well-known.”

Nance also did an internship with the Predators where she conducted locker room interviews and then an internship with WKRN-2 sports where she covered the Predators‘ Stanley Cup run.

“That was amazing,” she said. “It was a great time to be there. They let me do my on-air stand-ups whenever I asked. I spent the majority of my days at Bridgestone Arena. I would get to the station at 10 a.m. Monday through Friday and then I wouldn‘t get home until about 1 a.m. It was a grind, but it was so fun.”

Ex-Vandy player named Notre Dame defensive coordinator

Clark Lea (Photo: Notre Dame Athletics)

Former Montgomery Bell Academy and Vanderbilt football player Clark Lea was promoted to defensive coordinator at Notre Dame earlier this week.

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Lea joined the Fighting Irish staff in 2017 as linebackers coach. He coached a unit that included four players — Te‘von Coney, Drue Tranquill, Nyles Morgan and Greer Martini — who recorded at least 75 tackles each, a first in school history.

Lea previously served as an assistant at Syracuse (2013-2016), Bowling Green (2012), UCLA (2009-2011) and South Dakota (2007-2008).

After graduating from MBA in 2000, Lea played baseball at Birmingham Southern (2001) and Belmont (2002). He transferred to Vanderbilt after his sophomore season and finished his college career playing fullback on the Commodores football team. 

Lea‘s father, also named Clark, served for many years as the Nashville Sounds team physician.

Court to be named in honor of Vanderbilt great Joe Ford

The court at Mayfield (Ky.) High School will be named in honor of former Vanderbilt basketball star Joe Ford, who died in a car accident last June. (Photo: Eric Walker / Mayfield Messenger)

The court at Mayfield (Ky.) High School will be named in honor of former , who played there.

Ford died in a car accident last summer. His name already is on the court, and the official dedication ceremony will be on Feb. 9.

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Ford was a high school All-American at Mayfield (1971-72) who went on to play basketball and baseball at Vanderbilt.

He helped form the famed F-Troop at Vanderbilt, which also included Butch Feher, Jeff Fosnes, Lee Fowler and Rod Freeman. He scored 1,193 career points and was the Commodores captain in his junior and senior seasons.

Bill Justus subs on Vols radio broadcast

Tennessee Hall of Fame basketball player Bill Justus, who lives in Nashville, joined Bob Kesling on the radio broadcast as the color analyst for the Vols win Tuesday at Vanderbilt. 

It gave Bert Bertelkamp, who has been the analyst since 1999, the chance to take the night off and watch his son Hank, a junior at Knoxville Catholic High, play.

Justus will also work the Vols game at Missouri on Wednesday and the Feb. 6 game at Kentucky. 

Justus was a three-time All-SEC player (1966-67, 1967-68, 1968-69) who was inducted into Tennessee‘s Sports Hall of Fame in 2005. He is a regular contributor on Doug Mathews‘ Big Orange Sunday radio show on The Zone.  

Miller-Bowers is first female president of USATF Tennessee

Catherine Miller-Bowers (Photo: Submitted)

Former Whites Creek track star Catherine Miller-Bowers, who went on to coach track at Hume-Fogg, has been elected president of the USA Track & Field Tennessee Association. 

She is the first female president of the association, which has been around since 1992.

One of Miller-Bowers‘ goals is to add para athletes to the USATF‘s national competitions.

Riverdale retiring Horton‘s jersey, inducting 2018 hall of fame class

The Riverdale girls basketball team will retire the jersey No. 43 of former standout Krystal Horton and induct six into its hall of fame on Jan. 30 at halftime of its game against crosstown rival Oakland.

Horton, who already is in the school‘s hall of fame, scored 2,093 career points (2000-03) and then went on to star at Middle Tennessee State where she scored 1,523 career points. She as an assistant coach in 2015.

The 2018 inductees: Lisa Harrison, Valerie Malone, Angela Garrett, Melissa Weiland, Shacobia Barbee and assistant coach Scott Pryor.

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Buy Photo Piedmont Natural Gas and Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt announced Mike Fisher as the grand marshal of the 64th Annual Piedmont Natural Gas Nashville Christmas Parade. Tuesday Oct. 31, 2017, in Nashville, TN  Larry McCormack / The Tennessean Former Predators captain Mike Fisher waves to the crowd as he arrives on the ice during pregame activities of the home opener at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tenn., Tuesday, Oct. 10, 2017.  George Walker IV / Tennessean Former Predators captain Mike Fisher speaks to the media between the first and second periods of the home opener Oct. 10, 2017, at Bridgestone Arena.  George Walker IV / Tennessean Nashville Predators center Mike Fisher (12) moves the puck during the third period of game 6 of the Stanley Cup Final at Bridgestone Arena Sunday, June 11, 2017, in Nashville, Tenn.  George Walker IV / Tennessean Nashville Predators center Mike Fisher (12) questions the referee on the no-goal during the second period of game 6 of the Stanley Cup Final at Bridgestone Arena Sunday, June 11, 2017, in Nashville, Tenn.   George Walker IV / Tennessean Nashville Predators center Mike Fisher (12) and Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Ron Hainsey (65) are separated by a referee at the end of the first period of game 5 of the Stanley Cup Final at PPG Paints Arena Thursday, June 8, 2017, in Pittsburgh, Pa.  George Walker IV / Tennessean.coBuy Photo Predators captain Mike Fisher had 42 points during his first season in that role.  Andrew Nelles / The Tennessean Nashville Predators center Mike Fisher (12) fights for the puck with Pittsburgh Penguins goalie Matt Murray (30) during the second period in game two of the Stanley Cup Final at PPG Paints Arena in Pittsburgh, Pa., Wednesday, May 31, 2017.  Andrew Nelles / Tennessean The puck is up in front of Pittsburgh Penguins goalie Matt Murray (30) as Nashville Predators center Mike Fisher (12) moves in front of the net during the second period of game 2 in the Stanley Cup Final at PPG Paints Arena Wednesday, May 31, 2017, in Pittsburgh, Pa.   Andrew Nelles / Tennessean Nashville Predators center Mike Fisher (12) celebrates the goal by Nashville Predators left wing Pontus Aberg (46) during the first period of game 2 in the Stanley Cup Final at PPG Paints Arena Wednesday, May 31, 2017, in Pittsburgh, Pa.   Andrew Nelles / Tennessean Nashville Predators center Mike Fisher (12) takes Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Brian Dumoulin (8) into the boards during the second period of game 1 in the Stanley Cup Final at PPG Paints Arena Monday, May 29, 2017, in Pittsburgh, Pa.   George Walker IV / Tennessean Nashville Predators center Mike Fisher (12) and Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Olli Maatta (3) scuffle along the boards during the first period of game 1 in the Stanley Cup Final at PPG Paints Arena Monday, May 29, 2017, in Pittsburgh, Pa.   Andrew Nelles / TennesseanBuy Photo Fans cheer as Mike Fisher arrives at the Nashville International Airport in Nashville, Tenn., before the Nashville Predators travel to Pittsburgh for the beginning of the Stanley Cup Final Saturday, May 27, 2017.  Josie Norris / The TennesseanBuy Photo Predators defenseman P.K. Subban (76) joins injured players Mike Fisher and Ryan Johansen as well as goalie Pekka Rinne after winning the Campbell Trophy on Thursday, May 18, 2017, in Nashville, Tenn.  Tom Stanford / The TennesseanBuy Photo Anaheim Ducks defenseman Josh Manson (42) knocks away the puck to help goalie John Gibson (36) during the third period as Nashville Predators center Mike Fisher (12) attacks the goal during game four of the Western Conference finals at Bridgestone Arena Thursday, May 18, 2017 in Nashville, Tenn.  George Walker IV, George Walker IV / The TennesseanBuy Photo Nashville Predators center Mike Fisher (12) tries to push the goal past Anaheim Ducks goalie John Gibson (36) during the first period of game 3 of the Western Conference finals at Bridgestone Arena Tuesday, May 16, 2017 in Nashville, Tenn.  George Walker IV / The Tennessean Nashville Predators center Mike Fisher (12) takes a shot at the Anaheim Ducks goal during the first period in game 1 of the NHL Western Conference Finals at Honda Center. Defending is Anaheim Ducks goalie John Gibson (36).   Robert Hanashiro / USA TODAY Nashville Predators center Mike Fisher (12) reaches for the puck after getting tangled up with Anaheim Ducks right wing Ondrej Kase (86) during the first period of game 1 of the NHL Western Conference Finals at Honda Center. Photo by Robert Hanashiro, USA TODAY Staff  Robert Hanashiro / USA TODAY Nashville Predators center Mike Fisher (12) tries to shoot past St. Louis Blues defenseman Joel Edmundson (6) during the second period of game 5 of the second round NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at the Scottrade Center Friday, May 5, 2017, in St. Louis, Mo.   George Walker IV / The TennesseaBuy Photo St. Louis Blues left wing David Perron (57) and Nashville Predators center Mike Fisher (12) battle along the boards during the first period in game 4 of the second round NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at the Bridgestone Arena Tuesday, May 2, 2017, in Nashville, Tenn.   Andrew Nelles / The TennesseanBuy Photo Predators center Mike Fisher (12) tries to get the puck past Blues goalie Jake Allen (34) during the third period in game 1 of the second round NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at the Scottrade Center Wednesday, April 26, 2017, in St. Louis, Mo.  George Walker IV / The TennesseanBuy Photo A pileup in front of the net with Nashville Predators goalie Pekka Rinne (35), center Mike Fisher (12) and defenseman Mattias Ekholm (14) and Chicago Blackhawks center Artem Anisimov (15) in the second period of game four in the first-round NHL playoff series at the Bridgestone Arena, Thursday, April 20, 2017, in Nashville, Tenn.  Andrew Nelles / The TennesseanBuy Photo Nashville Predators center Mike Fisher (12) slams Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Brian Campbell (51) into the boards during the first overtime of game three in the first-round NHL playoff series at the Bridgestone Arena, Monday, April 17, 2017, in Nashville, Tenn.  George Walker IV / The TennesseanBuy Photo Fans welcome home Nashville Predators captain Mike Fisher and other players and staff during an airport pep rally in Nashville on Sunday, April 16, 2017.  Shelley Mays/The Tennessean , Shelley Mays Toronto Maple Leafs goalie Frederik Andersen (31) blocks a shot by Nashville Predators center Mike Fisher (12) during the first period at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tenn., Thursday, March 30, 2017.  Andrew Nelles / TennesseanBuy Photo Nashville Predators center Mike Fisher (12) scores past Winnipeg Jets goalie Connor Hellebuyck (37) during the first period at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tenn., Monday, March 13, 2017.  Andrew Nelles / The Tennessean Columbus Blue Jackets left wing Matt Calvert (11) collides with Nashville Predators center Mike Fisher (12) during the third period at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tenn., Thursday, Jan. 26, 2017.  Andrew Nelles / Tennessean Colorado Avalanche goalie Semyon Varlamov (1) reacts after Nashville Predators center Mike Fisher (12) scores during the third period on Jan. 14, 2017.  Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports Predators center Mike Fisher battles with Canucks center Henrik Sedin for a loose puck during the first period on Jan. 10, 2017.  Christopher Hanewinckel / USA TOBuy Photo Nashville Predators center Mike Fisher (12) celebrates his goal against Chicago Blackhawks with teammates during the third period at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tenn., Thursday, Dec. 29, 2016.  Andrew Nelles / The TennesseanBuy Photo General manager David Poile, left, and coach Peter Laviolette, right, announce the Predators‘ decision to name Mike Fisher captain on Thursday, Sept. 8, 2016.  Larry McCormack / The Tennessean Predators captain Mike Fisher, 36, is leading the team‘s leadership transition.  Rick Osentoski / USA TODAY SportBuy Photo Carrie Underwood and her husband, Nashville Predators player Mike Fisher, on the red carpet at the 2016 CMT Music Awards Wednesday June 8, 2016 at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tenn.  George Walker IV / The TennesseanBuy Photo Tim McGraw chats with Mike Fisher and Carrie Underwood at the 2016 CMT Music Awards Wednesday June 8, 2016 at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tenn.  Larry McCormack / The TennesseanBuy Photo Predators center Mike Fisher (12) celebrates his goal over Blackhawks goalie Corey Crawford (50) during the second period at Bridgestone Arena Friday, Oct. 14, 2016, in Nashville, Tenn.  George Walker IV, George Walker IV / The Tennessean Predators center Mike Fisher (12) goes to the puck as the Predators play against the St. Louis Blues Thursday Nov. 10, 2016, in Nashville, Tenn.  Larry McCormack / The TennesseanBuy Photo Predators center Mike Fisher (12) and Ducks right wing Jared Boll (40) fight to gain control of the puck in the third period at the Bridgestone Arena on Saturday, Nov. 12, 2016, in Nashville, Tenn.  Lacy Atkins / The TennesseanBuy Photo Dallas Stars defenseman Johnny Oduya (47) battles Nashville Predators center Mike Fisher (12) during the third period of an NHL hockey game at Bridgestone Arena, Tuesday, Oct. 18, 2016, in Nashville, Tenn.  Andrew Nelles / The TennesseanBuy Photo Nashville Predators center Mike Fisher (12) greets fans before the home opener against the Blackhawks at Bridgestone Arena Friday, Oct. 14, 2016, in Nashville, Tenn.  George Walker IV, George Walker IV / The TennesseanBuy Photo Nashville Predators center Mike Fisher (12) signs autographs and poses for selfies with fans before the home opener against the Blackhawks at Bridgestone Arena Friday, Oct. 14, 2016, in Nashville, Tenn.  George Walker IV / The TennesseanBuy Photo Chicago Blackhawks goalie Corey Crawford (50) watches the goal by Nashville Predators defenseman Roman Josi (59) go in as Nashville Predators center Mike Fisher (12) celebrates in the first period at Bridgestone Arena Friday, Oct. 14, 2016, in Nashville, Tenn.  Andrew Nelles / The TennesseanBuy Photo Nashville Predators center Mike Fisher (12) celebrates his goal against the Minnesota Wild with teammate Ryan Johansen during the second period at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tenn., Thursday, Dec. 15, 2016.  Andrew Nelles / The Tennessean Mark Zaleski / AP Predators center Mike Fisher scores the go-ahead goal against Blues goalie Jake Allen (34) during the third period Tuesday. Nashville Predators center Mike Fisher (12) scores the go-ahead goal against St. Louis Blues goalie Jake Allen (34) during the third period of an NHL hockey game Tuesday, Dec. 13, 2016, in Nashville, Tenn. The Predators won 6-3. (AP Photo/Mark Zaleski)  Mark Zaleski / APBuy Photo Nashville Predators‘ Mike Fisher greets a fan while arriving at Signature Flight Support before boarding a plane to depart for game 5, Friday, May 6, 2016, in Nashville, Tenn.  Andrew Nelles / The TennesseanBuy Photo Nashville Predators left wing Colin Wilson (33) and Predators center Mike Fisher (12) celebrate the game winning goal during the third overtime of Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Playoffs at Bridgestone Arena on May 6, 2016 in Nashville, Tenn.  Shelley Mays / The TennesseanBuy Photo Nashville Predators center Mike Fisher (12) celebrates with goalie Pekka Rinne (35) and Ryan Johansen (92) after scoring the game winning goal during overtime in Game 4 in an NHL hockey Western Conference semifinal series at the Bridgestone Arena, Friday, May 6, 2016, in Nashville, Tenn.  Andrew Nelles / The TennesseanBuy Photo Nashville Predators center Mike Fisher (12) reacts as teammate James Neal scores past San Jose Sharks goalie Martin Jones (31) during the third period in Game 4 in an NHL hockey Western Conference semifinal series at the Bridgestone Arena, Thursday, May 5, 2016, in Nashville, Tenn.  Andrew Nelles / The TennesseanBuy Photo Nashville Predators center Mike Fisher (12) scores the game winning goal during the third overtime of Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Playoffs at Bridgestone Arena on May 6, 2016 in Nashville, Tenn.  Shelley Mays / The TennesseanBuy Photo Nashville Predators center Mike Fisher (12) exits the ice after scoring the game winning goal during overtime in Game 4 in an NHL hockey Western Conference semifinal series at the Bridgestone Arena, Friday, May 6, 2016, in Nashville, Tenn.  Andrew Nelles / The TennesseanBuy Photo Nashville Predators center Mike Fisher (12) and Nashville Predators goalie Carter Hutton (30) celebrate after Fisher scored the game winning goal during overtime in Game 4 in an NHL hockey Western Conference semifinal series at the Bridgestone Arena, Friday, May 6, 2016, in Nashville, Tenn.  Andrew Nelles / The TennesseanBuy Photo Nashville Predators celebrate Mike Fisher‘s goal inGame 4 of the Stanley Cup Playoffs at Bridgestone Arena on May 5, 2016 in Nashville, Tenn.  Shelley Mays / The TennesseanBuy Photo Nashville Predators center Mike Fisher (12) moves the puck down the ice in the second period in game four of round two of the Stanley Cup Playoffs at Bridgestone Arena on May 5, 2016 in Nashville, Tenn.  Andrew Nelles / The Tennessean Predators center Mike Fisher (12) skates during the warm-up period against the Flames at Scotiabank Saddledome in Calgary on Jan. 27, 2016.  Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports Predators forward Mike Fisher (12) next to a fan with a sign during the warm-up period at the Bell Centre in Montreal on Feb. 22, 2016.  Eric Bolte-USA TODAY SportsBuy Photo Predators center Mike Fisher (12) advances between Stars left wing Antoine Roussel (21) and center Colton Sceviour (22) during the third period at Bridgestone Arena on Feb. 15, 2016.  Andrew Nelles / The Tennessean Predators center Mike Fisher (12) reacts as he scores a goal during the first period against the Lightning at Amalie Arena in Tampa, Fla., on Feb. 12, 2016.  Kim Klement-USA TODAY SportsBuy Photo Predators center Mike Fisher (12) advances against the Flyers during the third period at Bridgestone Arena on Feb. 4, 2016.  Andrew Nelles / The Tennessean Predators forward Mike Fisher (12) warms up before a game against the Canucks at Rogers Arena in Vancouver on Jan. 26, 2016.  Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports Predators forward Mike Fisher (12) screens Oilers goaltender Cam Talbot (33) during the third period at Rexall Place on Jan. 23, 2016.  Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports Predators center Mike Fisher (12) during the game against the Sabres at First Niagara Center on Nov. 25, 2015.  Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports Ducks defenseman Kevin Bieksa (2) and Nashville Predators center Mike Fisher (12) exchange words in the first period at Bridgestone Arena on Nov. 17, 2015.  Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports Predators forward Mike Fisher (12) leaves the ice after being injured in the second period against the Phoenix Coyotes at Bridgestone Arena on Dec. 1, 2015.  Mark Humphrey / APBuy Photo Predators center Mike Fisher goes airborne as he takes a shot against Maple Leafs goaltender James Reimer at Bridgestone Arena on Nov. 12, 2015.  Larry McCormack / The Tennessean Blues defenseman Alex Pietrangelo and Predators center Mike Fisher chase down the puck at Bridgestone Arena on Nov. 7, 2015.  Mark Zaleski / APBuy Photo Predators center Mike Fisher could return from his lower-body injury Monday against the Rangers.  George Walker IV / The TennesseanBuy Photo Predators center Mike Fisher is greeted by fans during the Gold Walk before the season opening game at Bridgestone Arena on Oct. 8, 2015.  Shelley Mays/The TennesseanBuy Photo Predators center Mike Fisher delivers 2015-2016 season tickets to Linda Griffin of the Davidson County Sheriff‘s Office on Sept. 8, 2015.  George Walker IV / The TennesseanBuy Photo Mike Fisher hugs wife Carrie Underwood as she gets up to accept an award at the 2015 CMT Music Awards in Nashville on June 10, 2015.  Larry McCormack / The TennesseanBuy Photo Mike Fisher hugs wife Carrie Underwood as she gets up to accept an award at the 2015 CMT Music Awards in Nashville on June 10, 2015.  Larry McCormack / The TennesseanBuy Photo Hair stylist to the stars Melissa Schleicher styles Mike Fisher‘s hair at her Barbour 3 in Brentwood on June 5, 2015.  Larry McCormack / The TennesseanBuy Photo Predators center Mike Fisher waits for a drill to begin during practice at United Center in Chicago before a playoff game against the Blackhawks on April 25, 2015.  George Walker IV / The TennesseanBuy Photo Predators center Mike Fisher skates during a practice in Chicago on April 20, 2015.  George Walker IV / The TennesseanBuy Photo Predators center Mike Fisher poses for a photograph at Bridgestone Arena on Feb. 11, 2015.  Jae S. Lee / The TennesseanBuy Photo Predators center Mike Fisher works in front of the goal against the Rangers at Bridgestone Arena on Feb. 7, 2015.  Larry McCormack / The TennesseanBuy Photo Predators center Mike Fisher (12) celebrates with left wing James Neal (18), who just scored against the Ducks at Bridgestone Arena on Feb. 5, 2015.  Larry McCormack / The TennesseanBuy Photo Predators center Mike Fisher, center, celebrates his goal against the Maple Leafs at Bridgestone Arena on Feb. 3, 2015.  Larry McCormack, Larry McCormack / The Tennessean Predators center Mike Fisher celebrates after scoring against Blues goalie Brian Elliott in St. Louis on Jan. 29, 2015.  Jeff Roberson / APBuy Photo Predators center Mike Fisher poses with a child during a visit to Monroe Carell Jr. Children‘s Hospital at Vanderbilt on Dec. 15, 2014.  Jae S. Lee / The TennesseanBuy Photo Predators center Mike Fisher during a visit to Monroe Carell Jr. Children‘s Hospital at Vanderbilt on Dec. 15, 2014.  Jae S. Lee / The TennesseanBuy Photo Predators center Mike Fisher plays against the Blue Jackets at Bridgestone Arena on Nov. 29, 2014.  Jae S. Lee / The TennesseanBuy Photo Nashville Predators center Mike Fisher carries the puck against the Columbus Blue Jackets during the first period at Bridgestone Arena on March 8, 2014.  Sanford Myers / The TennesseanBuy Photo Nashville Predators center Mike Fisher against the Washington Capitals at Bridgestone Arena on March 30, 2014.  Sanford Myers / The TennesseanBuy Photo Nashville Predators center Mike Fisher get tripped up going for the puck against the Chicago Blackhawks on April 12, 2014, at Bridgestone Arena.  John Partipilo / The TennesseanBuy Photo Nashville Predators center Mike Fisher fires a shot against the Phoenix Coyotes during the third period at Bridgestone Arena on April 10, 2014.  Sanford Myers / The TennesseanBuy Photo Nashville Predators center Mike Fisher speeds past Phoenix Coyotes defenseman Keith Yandle during the first period at Bridgestone Arena on April 10, 2014.  Sanford Myers / The TennesseanBuy Photo Nashville Predators center Mike Fisher avoids colliding into Colorado Avalanche goalie Semyon Varlamov as he makes a save during the first period at Bridgestone Arena on March 25, 2014.  Sanford Myers / The TennesseanBuy Photo Nashville Predators center Mike Fisher tries to bring the puck down in front of Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Matt Niskanen during the third period at Bridgestone Arena on March 4, 2014.  Sanford Myers / The TennesseanBuy Photo Nashville Predators center Mike Fisher against the Pittsburgh Penguins at Bridgestone Arena on March 4, 2014.  Sanford Myers / The TennesseanBuy Photo The stick of Nashville Predators center Mike Fisher catches the face of Anaheim Ducks right wing Daniel Winnik during the second period at Bridgestone Arena on Feb. 8, 2014.  Sanford Myers / The TennesseanBuy Photo Nashville Predators center Mike Fisher collides with Colorado Avalanche goalie Semyon Varlamov during the first period at Bridgestone Arena on Jan. 18, 2014.  Sanford Myers / The TennesseanBuy Photo Nashville Predators center Mike Fisher smiles towards center Colin Wilson after scoring against the Detroit Red Wings during the third period at Bridgestone Arena on Dec. 30, 2013.  Sanford Myers / The Tennessean Nashville Predators center Mike Fisher and Dallas Stars center Vernon Fiddler fight for the puck during the second period at the American Airlines Center. on Dec 27, 2013.  Jerome Miron / USA TODAY SportsBuy Photo Nashville Predators center Mike Fisher readies to take the faceoff against the San Jose Sharks during the first period at Bridgestone Arena on Dec. 14, 2013.  Sanford Myers / The TennesseanBuy Photo Carrie Underwood and her husband Mike Fisher at the 2013 CMT Music Awards at Bridgestone Arena on June 5, 2013.  Shelley Mays / The TennesseanBuy Photo Mike Fisher and Carrie Underwood on the red carpet during the 2013 CMT Music Awards at Bridgestone Arena on June 5, 2013.  Sanford Myers / The TennesseanBuy Photo Nashville Predators center Mike Fisher skates on the ice moments before the Predators play Columbus at Bridgestone Area on Jan. 19, 2013.  Mark Zaleski / The TennesseanBuy Photo Nashville Predators center Mike Fisher stretches during practice at Centennial Sportsplex on Jan. 11, 2013.  Mark Zaleski / The TennesseanBuy Photo Nashville Predators center Mike Fisher fires the puck behind Flames goalie Miikka Kiprusoff for his second goal of the game on March 21, 2013.  Sanford Myers / The TennesseanBuy Photo Carrie Underwood with her husband Mike Fisher arrive at the 46th Annual CMA Awards on Nov. 1, 2012.  George Walker IV / The Tennessean Carrie Underwood and Mike Fisher on the red carpet at the 2012 CMT Artists of the Year at The Factory in Franklin on Dec. 3, 2012.  Steve Harman / The TenesseanBuy Photo Nashville Predators center Mike Fisher skates during an informal practice at A-Game Sportsplex on Sept. 20, 2012.  George Walker IV / The Tennessean Nashville Predators forward Mike Fisher received the NHL Foundation Award for charitable service during the NHL Awards in Las Vegas.  Julie Jacobson / AP Carrie Underwood, Oprah Winfrey and Mike Fisher  SubmittedBuy Photo Nashville Predators center Mike Fisher guards against Detroit Red Wings defenseman Ian White during a penalty kill in the first period of Game 5 at Bridgestone Arena on April 20, 2012.  Sanford Myers / The TennesseanBuy Photo Nashville Predators center Mike Fisher slips the puck past Tampa Bay Lightning goalie Mathieu Garon during the first period at Bridgestone Arena on Oct. 27, 2011.  Sanford Myers / The Tennessean The TennesseanBuy Photo Nashville Predators forward Mike Fisher poses for a portrait on Oct. 4, 2011.  Sanford Myers / The TennesseanBuy Photo Nashville Predators center Mike Fisher brings the puck up ice against the Colorado Avalanche during the first period at Bridgestone Arena on Feb. 12, 2011.  Sanford Myers / The TennesseanBuy Photo Nashville Predators center Mike Fisher celebrates his first goal as a Predator by beating Vancouver Canucks goalie Roberto Luongo during the second period at Bridgestone Arena on Feb. 17, 2011.  Sanford Myers / The Tennessean Carrie Underwood and Mike Fisher arrive at the Grammy Awards on Jan. 31, 2010, in Los Angeles.  Chris Pizzello / AP

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Mike Fisher is Pro Athlete of the Year

Retired Predators captain Mike Fisher was named the 2018 Professional Athlete of the Year by the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame.

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Fisher spent 17 seasons in the NHL and played in a total of 1,088 games. He had 18 goals and 24 assists and helped lead the Predators to the Western Conference title and Stanley Cup final last spring.    

Boxer Billy Collins Sr. dies

Former professional boxer “IrishBilly Collins Sr. died Tuesday. He was 80.

Collins was Nashville‘s first Golden Gloves national champion in the 1950s and then enjoyed a 10-year pro career that included a welterweight title bout in 1966.

He later trained and managed his son Billy Collins Jr.‘s career, which ended tragically in 1983 when he was severely injured in a bout at Madison Square Garden with Luis Resto. It was later discovered that much of the padding had been removed from Resto‘s gloves.  

Ex-TSU quarterback is coach of the year

Central coach Bryson Rosser during the game against South-Doyle on Thursday, October 19, 2017.  (Photo: SAUL YOUNG/NEWS SENTINEL)

Former Tennessee State quarterback Bryson Rosser, now the coach at Knoxville Central High, received the Knoxville Focus‘ Coaches‘ Award for Coach of the Year. 

Rosser received half of the 18 votes from among his peers. Central rebounded from a 1-3 start and advanced to the semifinals of the Class 5A state playoffs.

Rosser threw for 3,030 career yards and 32 touchdowns at TSU (2002-05). He began his coaching career as a graduate assistant at TSU and then as the offensive coordinator at Hillsboro.

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Father Ryan standout Roger Leaver dies

Former Father Ryan football and basketball star Roger “The Bull” Leaver died on Dec. 25. He was 73.

Leaver made the 1963 Tennessean and Nashville Banner All-NIL basketball teams and the 1962 Tennessean All-City football third team. 

Two longtime Goodlettsville Little League coaches die

Two of the top coaches in Goodlettsville Little League baseball history — Dennis Birdwell and Bo Boguski — passed away recently.

Birdwell died on Tuesday. He was 65. Boguski died on Jan. 6. He was 78.

Birdwell spent 45 years in several different roles in Goodlettsville Little League,  including president. In 2014 he earned the Mr. Baseball award from the Nashville Old Timers Baseball Association.

Boguski spent 39 years coaching in Goodlettsville. In 1998 he led the league’s AAA team to the Dixie Youth World Series, where it finished runner-up.

Nashville SC adds central midfielder from San Antonio

Michael Reed (Photo: Nashville Soccer Club)

Nashville Soccer Club announced its first transfer as it purchased central midfielder Michael Reed from San Antonio FC. 

Transfer players are acquired by another club while still under contract with their former club. The contract is transferred from club to club.

Reed spent the last two seasons with San Antonio. He was the team captain in 2017 and appeared in 27 games with 24 starts.

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Sports on Nashville TV

The top five local ratings for sporting events from Jan. 1-7:
1. NFL playoffs: Titans-Chiefs, 31.7
2. College football playoffs: Alabama-Clemson, 23.1
3. NFL playoffs: Bills-Jaguars, 23.0 
4. NFL playoffs: Panthers-Saints, 22.8 
5. College football playoffs: Georgia-Oklahoma, 21.8 
Each rating point is equal to 10,307 Nashville homes.
Source: Mark Binda, WTVF-5 senior programming director

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