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School of Media and Communication

Rick Cleveland

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Rick Cleveland, author of four books, is the most decorated sports writer in Mississippi history, having been selected Mississippi Sports Writer of the Year a record 10 times. In 2000, Cleveland won the Distinguished Mississippian Award from the Mississippi Press Association’s Education Foundation. In 2011 he became the first sports writer to win the prestigious Richard Wright Award for Literary Excellence. In 2017, he was inducted into the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame, joining many of the sports figures he has written about in 50-plus years covering Mississippi sports. Cleveland began writing sports for the Hattiesburg American at age 13. He later spent 33 years with the Jackson Daily News and Clarion-Ledger where his sports sections won numerous regional and national awards, as did his writing. In 2012, he became executive director of the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame and Museum, and in 2016 he returned to full-time sports writing as a syndicated columnist for more than two dozen newspapers and as sports columnist for Mississippi Today. Having been inducted into the Mass Communication and Journalism Hall of Fame in 2018, Cleveland’s roots at USM are deep. His father, Ace Cleveland, was the university’s public relations director and sports information director and is a USM Alumni and Sports Hall of Famer. His brother Bobby also graduated from USM and enjoyed a long, award-winning journalism career. Son Tyler also majored in journalism at USM.

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School of Media and Communication

School of Media and Communication
106 College Hall
118 College Dr. #5121
Hattiesburg, MS 39406

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