By Tennessee Tech
COOKEVILLE, Tenn. - As a Tennessee Tech student-athlete, J. Michael (Mike) Winchester gave great attention and effort in the classroom and on the playing field.
Winchester has never stopped giving his best efforts to Tennessee Tech. As an alumnus and philanthropist, Winchester has supported university athletics and academics with the same passion he had as a student-athlete. For his work and generosity, Tennessee Board of Regents Vice Chancellor David Gregory awarded Winchester the Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Philanthropy at a recent ceremony at TTU.
Winchester played baseball on scholarship at TTU from 1971 to 1975; the last three years he was named to the All-Ohio Valley Conference team. His finest year came in 1975 when he was a member of the NCAA All-South team and the American Association of Baseball Coaches All-American baseball team. He is now a member of the Tennessee Tech Sports Hall of Fame.
Off the field, Winchester graduated first in his class and received the Derryberry Award, TTU’s most prestigious student award for a graduating senior. He continued to excel at the University of Tennessee College of Law and was admitted to the Tennessee Bar and the U.S. District Court of East Tennessee.
Winchester is a founding member and president of Winchester, Sellers, Foster & Steele, a law firm formed in 1983 concentrating on creditor’s rights, banking, commercial and business litigation in Knoxville and surrounding areas.
Early in his career he started giving back to Tennessee Tech. His more than a quarter of a million dollars in contributions place him in the TTU President’s Club 1915 Society. He won the 2010 TTU Outstanding Alumni Award because his involvement benefits students in many ways. He created the Winchester History Lecture series that brings nationally prominent speakers to campus. He also established a scholarship endowment to support history majors.
Winchester also has been an advocate for the Tech Athletics Association and the baseball team, and he shows his appreciation each year by hosting the baseball team for a dinner and encouraging others to support TTU athletics.
A Nashville native, Winchester is married to Patty M. Winchester and has two grown children, Jared and Celia. He also is the proud grandfather of Gavin Luke and Caroline.