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Fred Mitchell

Adjunct Lecturer

Fred Mitchell is an award-winning sportswriter and columnist who spent over 41 years with the Chicago Tribune. In 2015, he was presented the Ring Lardner Award by the Chicago Union League Club for outstanding sports journalism.

Mitchell has written 11 books, including biographies with Bears Hall of Famer Gale Sayers and Cubs Hall of Famers Billy Williams and Ryne Sandberg. He also wrote “Playing Through” with Earl Woods, the late father of PGA champion Tiger Woods. Mitchell received the “Jim Murray Award” as the outstanding sportswriter in 2000 from the American Football Foundation.

Mitchell, who previously served as an adjunct professor of journalism at Columbia College and a high school English teacher, is the only sportswriter in Chicago Tribune history to have been the main beat reporter covering the Bulls, Bears and Cubs during his career. His work also has appeared in national publications such as The Sporting News, The Saturday Evening Post, Ebony, Sport Magazine and Baseball Digest. 

A frequent television/radio guest and public speaker, Mitchell's athletic accolades include inductions into the Wittenberg University Hall of Honor (1995), the American Football Association Semi-Pro Football Hall of Fame (1999) and the American Football Kicking Hall of Fame (2013). As a journalist, he also was honored with the Bill Gleason Outstanding Sportswriter of the Year award by the Pitch & Hit Club (2010), the Irv Kupcinet Media Award (2010) and the Gale Sayers Foundation "Outstanding Journalist Award" in 2015. 

Since 2009, the National Football Foundation has given annually "The Fred Mitchell Award" to the nation's most outstanding college placekicker, in honor of Mitchell. The award recognizes that student-athlete's on-field excellence, as well as his community service.

A longtime member of Wittenberg's Board of Directors, Mitchell was awarded an honorary doctorate from his alma mater in 2000. The endowed Fred Mitchell Scholarship is bestowed annually to the Wittenberg student who combines athletic and journalistic achievement. Mitchell, who was named a Wittenberg Fellow in 2001, continues to share his sports views on his blog.