COOKEVILLE, Tenn. -- Tennessee Tech football coach Watson Brown and his brother, former Texas coach Mack Brown, received the Lifetime Achievement Award, while former Golden Eagle golf All-American Scott Stallings and all-OVC guard Diamond Henderson were also among those honored Thursday at the first Cookeville/Putnam County Hometown Champions Dinner.
* Diamond Henderson receives Katherine Brown
Female Athlete of the Year Award
* Scott Stallings given Bobby Greenwood
Outstanding Professional Athlete Award
* Rich Froning accepts Primetime Award
Stallings received the Bobby Greenwood Outstanding Professional
Athlete Award, while Henderson was named winner of the Katherine
Brown Female Athlete of the Year Award. A two-time first-team
all-OVC guard for the Tech women's basketball team, Henderson was
on hand to accept her award, while Tech golf coach Polk Brown
accepted the award for Stallings, who is currently on the PGA Tour.
Brown was a teammate of Stallings' for the Golden Eagles.
A handful of other awards were presented to a nearly full Leslie Towne Centre in the first event of its kind hosted by the Cookeville Sports Council. Among those was the Primetime Award, which went to three-time CrossFit Games champion Rich Froning, a former assistant performance coach at Tech's Athletic Performance Center.
The night began with comments from Sports Council Chairman Clarence Smith, and was emceed by the Voice of the UT Vols, Bob Kesling. The highlight of the evening was the presentation to Watson and Mack Brown, who last year became the winningest brother combination in NCAA Division I history. The pair just completed a combined 82 years in collegiate coaching, posting 41 years apiece. While Mack retired from coaching after his 16th season at Texas, Watson heads into his ninth year at the Golden Eagle helm.
Each coach made comments upon accepting the award, given for their successful playing and coaching careers, then sat on stage and answered questions posed by Kesling and members of the audience.
Watson, Mack, and younger brother Mel, grew up in Cookeville and
were decorated athletes throughout their high school careers. The
trio are the grandsons of Eddie “Jelly” Watson, who was
a legendary athlete and coach in Putnam and Clay counties. Their
dad Melvin owned a sporting goods store in Cookeville and their
mom, Katherine, was an outstanding athlete in her own right, and
the biggest fan of her three sons. Mel presented the Eddie Watson
Coach of the Year Award and the Katherine Brown Female Athlete of
the Year honor.
In photo above, from left, Cookeville Sports Council Chairman Clarence Smith, Watson Brown, Diamond Henderson and Mack Brown.