Jacksonville State announced that Dr. Kenneth G. Bodiford, along with Mrs. Sarah Ballard and the late Neal Ballard, have been selected as this year's recipients of the Jimmy Bryan Award, which will be presented at the Athletic Hall of Fame Banquet next weekend.
The Jimmy Bryan Award is selected by members of the Athletic Hall of Fame Committee and honors individuals for their contributions and years of dedication to the success of Jacksonville State University Athletics and is named for the longtime Birmingham News sports writer.
Dr. Bodiford's association with Jacksonville State University spans more than 25 years, including the last 20 years as the Director of Bands for the Marching Southerners.
After earning his BS in Music Education at Jacksonville State and serving as Director of Bands at Kecoughtan High School in Hampton, Va., Dr. Bodiford assumed the role of Director of Bands at his alma mater in 1994.
Since Dr. Bodiford's appointment to the director's position, the band program has consistently grown in numbers and quality each year. Since 1994 the Marching Southerners have grown from approximately 144 members to more than 450 this year.
From JSU home football games, to the 1996 Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade to the 2012 Diamond Jubilee New Year's Day Parade in London, England, to Alabama Governors inaugural festivities and numerous appearances at band competitions, festivals and parades last year alone, the Marching Southerners continue to entertain thousands each year.
In addition to directing The Marching Southerners, he teaches all of the instrumental conducting classes at JSU, and is the conductor of the JSU Chamber Winds. Most recently, Dr. Bodiford was nominated for the 2013 Music Educator Award, presented by The Recording Academy and the GRAMMY Foundation.
The Ballard's association with Jacksonville State University dates back for almost 50 years.
Mrs. Sarah Ballard graduated from JSU in 1969, where she was a Ballerina with the Marching Southerners. She also received her master's degree in 1975 and her EDS in 1982.
She is a retired educator, but has been remained very involved with the University. She is a Life Member of the Alumni Association and former President of the Alumni Board.
Her late husband, Neal, graduated with a degree in Business in 1976 and worked at Tyson Foods before his retirement. He also was a United States Navy Veteran, who was very active in the community. He served as an auxiliary board member of the Knox Concert Series, a member of the Anniston Kiwanis Club, volunteered for Habitat for Humanity, and was a Life Member of the JSU Alumni Association. He served many years as a member of the Gamecock Club board of directors.
Four record-setting performers, including two in football and two in basketball, comprise the 2012-13 Class of the Jacksonville State University Athletic Hall of Fame. Basketball's Charles Burkett and Wayne Wigley and football's Joe Kines and Rusty Fuller will be formally inducted next week.
The banquet will be held Friday, November 22, in the Stadium Club at the Dorm Stadium Towers and tickets are available by calling the JSU Athletic Department at 256-782-8499.