By Maurice Patton
Longtime Maury County sports journalist Marion Wilhoite, along with eight other honorees, will officially be inducted into the Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association Hall of Fame during a November luncheon that was rescheduled because of the coronavirus pandemic.
The TSSAA 2020 Hall of Fame class was originally set to be recognized during an April luncheon in Murfreesboro, before the global COVID-19 outbreak forced a shutdown of most gatherings – including the Division I high school girls and boys basketball state tournaments.
Wilhoite, a 2012 inductee into the Tennessee Sports Writers Association’s Hall of Fame, died in November 2017. He was posthumously inducted into the Columbia Central Athletic Hall of Fame as part of its charter class in 2018. He was also recognized by the Tennessee Press Association for a career spanning more than 50 years, prior to his September 2016 retirement from the Columbia Daily Herald that ended a 54-year tenure.
Additionally, he is a charter member of the Columbia Parks and Recreation Hall of Fame, and was named Tennessee Prep Writer of the Year by the Lawrenceburg Quarterback Club in 1984. The TSSAA recognized Wilhoite previously with its Distinguished Service Award, and the press box at Maury County Park’s Lindsey Nelson Stadium is named in his honor.
“Marion is a Maury County treasure who lived up to the nickname ‘The Icon’,” former Daily Herald publisher Keith Ponder said when the induction class was announced in January. “An entire career spent telling the stories of athletes, young and old, in one place is a rare thing in the news business. We are all richly blessed that he did it in and for Maury County.”
The TSSAA Hall of Fame’s 39th induction class will also include Barbara Daush, an administrator from Memphis; Turner Jackson, an administrator from Cleveland; Clint Parnell, an administrator from Nashville; Bobby Alston, a coach from Memphis; Buck Coatney, a coach from Knoxville; Carolyn Jackson, a coach from Chattanooga; Jeff Morris, a coach from Milan; and Shelby Miller, an official from Elizabethton.
The luncheon and induction ceremony is now scheduled for Nov. 21 and is to take place at the Embassy Suites in Murfreesboro. Tickets will be made available at a later date via TSSAA.org.
Maurice Patton is the editor for Southern Middle Tennessee Sports. He can be reached by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter at @mopatton_sports.