NATCHITOCHES – Acclaimed north Louisiana writer Teddy Allen and influential central Louisiana reporter, editor and publisher Garland Forman Jr. have been selected for the 2022 Distinguished Service Award in Sports Journalism from the Louisiana Sports Writers Association.
The duo will be inducted in the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame next June, LSWA president Raymond Partsch III and Hall of Fame chairman Doug Ireland announced Tuesday.
Allen, who has been north Louisiana’s preeminent feature columnist for over 30 years, has been nationally recognized for his writing while working in Shreveport, New Orleans and Ruston. Author of three books, Allen has been a focal figure for the university communications department at his alma mater, Louisiana Tech, since 2008, and has been part of the Hall of Fame selection committee for two decades-plus.
Forman is the only person to serve as president of both the Louisiana Press Association and the LSWA. While winning hundreds of state writing and editing awards including news, sports and outdoors coverage from both organizations, the Pineville native and Louisiana Christian University alumnus has been a pivotal leader for the LSWA and for over 25 years has been on the Hall of Fame selection committee.
The DSA honor, to be made official next summer in Natchitoches, means Allen and Forman will be among an elite 12-person Class of 2022 being inducted in the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame. They were selected from a 29-person pool of outstanding nominees for the state’s top sports journalism honor.
The Distinguished Service Award in Sports Journalism recipients are chosen by the 40-member Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame selection committee based on nominees’ professional accomplishments in local, state, regional and even national circles, with leadership in the LSWA as a beneficial factor and three decades of work in the profession as a requirement.
Distinguished Service Award winners are enshrined in the Hall of Fame along with the 455 current athletes, sports journalists, coaches and administrators chosen since 1959. Just 69 leading figures in the state’s sports media have been honored with the Distinguished Service Award since its inception 39 years ago in 1982.
Allen and Forman will be among the 2022 Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame Induction Class to be spotlighted in the annual Induction Ceremony on Saturday evening, June 25, at the Natchitoches Events Center. The Induction Ceremony culminates the 2022 Induction Celebration beginning Thursday afternoon, June 23, with press conference at the Hall of Fame museum at 800 Front Street in Natchitoches.
A pair of six-time Pro Bowl NFL linemen, New Orleans Saints’ offensive guard Jahri Evans and Buffalo Bills defensive tackle Kyle Williams, join the late Tony Robichaux, No. 1 on the wins list for state college baseball coaches, among a star-studded group of nine 2022 competitive ballot inductees.
The LSHOF Class of 2022 also includes two of the greatest women athletes in LSU history, three-time national champion gymnast Susan Jackson and two-time first-team All-America softball pitcher Britni Sneed Newman. Williams, who helped the Tigers’ football team win the 2003 national championship, is joined by another of LSU’s all-time great linemen, the late Eric Andolsek, and pro rodeo great Steve Duhon among the 2022 inductees.
Baton Rouge-Episcopal High School track and field/cross country coach Claney Duplechin enters the Hall next summer still active, with his teams capturing an astounding 64 LHSAA crowns in his career. Rounding out the Class of 2022 is the late Dr. Eddie Flynn, who as a Loyola-New Orleans student won the 1932 Olympic welterweight boxing gold medal for the USA, the last gold medal for an American boxer for 20 years.
Also honored with enshrinement in the Class of 2022 will be the Dave Dixon Louisiana Sports Leadership Award winner, to be announced Wednesday.
The 2022 inductees will be showcased in the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame Museum, operated by the Louisiana State Museum system in a partnership with the Louisiana Sports Writers Association. The striking $23 million, two-story, 27,500-square foot structure faces Cane River Lake in the National Historic Landmark District of Natchitoches and has garnered worldwide architectural acclaim and rave reviews for its contents since its grand opening during the 2013 Hall of Fame induction weekend.
The selection of Allen and Forman was announced Tuesday by LSWA president Raymond Partsch III.
“We could probably fill a wing of the Hall of Fame with the amount of hardware that Teddy and Garland have won in their storied careers, which is saying something. But for me, what stands out about this year’s DSA honorees is how they are truly two of the most unselfish individuals that you will be blessed to encounter in our business,” said Partsch.
“From Teddy stepping up to serve as master of ceremonies for the LHSOF Induction year after year to Garland’s tireless work with both the LSWA and LPA, their sacrifices and behind-the-scenes efforts have been immensely valuable to both the LSWA and the LSHOF. We have been truly blessed to have both Teddy and Garland to be a part of our state’s storied sports history and there is no better way to honor them than having them inducted into the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame.”
One of Louisiana’s more beloved writers, of sports and other things, Allen has piled up awards from the LSWA and many other entities since the mid-1980s. He worked for the Shreveport Journal and The Times in Shreveport, then for the Times-Picayune in New Orleans, first covering LSU and then expanding his role to step into the slot as primary columnist as the iconic Peter Finney gradually downshifted his contributions. Recently joining the Online Journals group of 10 northwest Louisiana parish publications, headlined by the Lincoln Parish Journal and the Natchitoches Parish Journal, Allen was previously a featured columnist for Gannett’s north Louisiana papers over the last three decades.
After returning to Shreveport with The Times in the early ‘90s, Allen moved east to his beloved alma mater, Louisiana Tech (bachelor’s 1982, master’s 1984), in 2008 as a writer and editor in the university communications department. Over the last decade, he has done radio broadcasting for Tech sports (football color analyst, and recently, some baseball play-by-play) and serving as a master of ceremonies for many events at the university and for the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony for the better part of the last two decades.
He has multiple times won prestigious honors including the Associated Press Sports Editors national feature writing award and the LSWA Story of the Year, Columnist of the Year, and Sportswriter of the Year awards. For his general interest columns, he has earned both the Ernie Pyle Award as the top columnist in Mississippi and Louisiana and been named Columnist of the Year in the LPA.
Allen’s work has been featured in the Poynter Institute’s annual “Best Newspaper Writing.”
He is co-founder of DesignatedWriters.com, an online publication including columns, features and video segments.
For four-plus decades, Forman has developed a reputation for being one of the most honored, well-respected sports journalists in not only Central Louisiana but the entire state.
Forman started reporting while a student at then-Louisiana College in the late 1970s. That led to freelance work for both the Eunice News and Ville Platte Gazette in 1980. Seven years later, Forman was named managing editor of the Bunkie Record and remained there until the fall of 2018 when he was named publisher of the Ville Platte Gazette and six other papers.
During his 31 years at The Bunkie Record in Avoyelles Parish, Forman served as the primary reporter for high school athletics and outdoors. In addition to his duties covering news as the managing editor, he was the parish high schools’ beat reporter, an outdoors writer, and photographer. Forman also covered the LSU Tigers and other college programs throughout the state.
While at the Bunkie Record he received over 400 Louisiana Press Association (LPA) awards for his writing including over an estimated 150 awards in sports writing, sports photography and layout.
In addition to his prolific work as a journalist or as some have called him, a “country journalist,” the affable Forman is known for his tireless service with the LPA and LSWA. Forman served on numerous LSWA All-State selection boards. In 2005, he was awarded the prestigious Mac Russo Award for his contributions to the progress and ideals of the LSWA. Forman has also served for 25 years and counting on the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame selection committee.
Now based in Ville Platte, he currently oversees 13 weekly newspapers as publisher for the Louisiana State Newspapers group across north and central Louisiana.
The 2022 Induction Celebration will kick off Thursday, June 23, with a press conference and reception. The three-day festivities include two receptions, a youth sports clinic, a bowling party, and a Friday night riverbank concert in Natchitoches. Tickets for the Saturday night, June 25 Induction Ceremony, along with congratulatory advertising and sponsorship opportunities, are available through the LaSportsHall.com website.
Anyone can receive quarterly e-mails about the 2022 Induction Celebration and other Hall of Fame news by signing up on the LaSportsHall.com website.
The Induction Celebration weekend will be hosted by the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame Foundation, the support organization for the Hall of Fame. The LSHOF Foundation was established as a 501 c 3 non-profit entity in 1975 and is governed by a statewide board of directors. For information on sponsorship opportunities, contact Foundation President/CEO Ronnie Rantz at 225-802-6040.