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INDIANAPOLIS – Indiana Sports Corp will present the 2024 Tom Jernstedt Lifetime Achievement Award to Jim Host and will posthumously honor Gene Corrigan for their distinguished professional careers dedicated to the advancement of Division I men’s basketball.

The Tom Jernstedt Lifetime Achievement Award was created in 2023 to honor those who best exemplify the leadership and service demonstrated by Jernstedt during his 38-year tenure at the NCAA, and who have made a meaningful impact on college basketball.

Jim Host was a trailblazer in college sports marketing by pioneering the concept of bundled licensing, which encouraged corporate partners to become official sponsors of athletic programs across media formats. He was founder and CEO of Host Communications, a collegiate sports marketing and production services company, that first bought the radio broadcast rights to University of Kentucky basketball in 1974 and was awarded the rights for the NCAA Radio Network in advance of the 1976 championship. Six years later, Host Communications would co-produce the NCAA Radio Network with CBS Radio. The radio deal marked the beginning of a decades-long business relationship with the NCAA. Host is credited with starting what is now called the NCAA’s Corporate Partner and Champion program in 1983, and two years later the first collegiate corporate marketing program was in place.

Host is a recipient of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame Chairman’s Cup Award and is a lifetime trustee. Host retired and officially stepped down from Host Communications in 2003 before the organization was purchased by IMG in 2008.

Gene Corrigan’s experience in college basketball launched in 1971 when he was named Athletics Director at the University of Virginia following a successful coaching career in men’s lacrosse and men’s soccer at Washington and Lee University and UVA. After 10 years in Charlottesville, he moved to become the Athletics Director at the University of Notre Dame and simultaneously served on the Division I men’s basketball committee for the 1982-87 championships.

During his time on the men’s basketball committee, the bracket expanded to 52 teams in 1983 and 53 teams in 1984. In addition, the NCAA tournament Selection Show was shown on national television for the first time in 1982, and the committee determined that the minimum capacity for a venue to host a Final Four was 17,000 in 1983. Corrigan would then go on to become the Commissioner of the ACC from 1987-95, where he oversaw the addition of Florida State to the conference, and then NCAA President from 1995-97. Corrigan passed away on January 25, 2020. He was 91.

Host and Corrigan will be honored at the 2024 Men’s Final Four in Phoenix, Ariz. on Monday, April 8 while fans, former colleagues, and friends celebrate the life of Tom Jernstedt - the “Father of the Final Four.”


About Tom Jernstedt
Tom Jernstedt joined the NCAA in 1972 and throughout his career worked behind the scenes to transform the Division I Men’s Basketball Championship to the premier event we know and love today. He served as executive vice president and oversaw the day-to-day operations of March Madness, the expansion of participating teams from 25 to 68 and the selection of larger sites, including domed stadiums, for the Final Four games. Beyond his tournament work, Jernstedt was a passionate leader and administrator whose connection with many impacted countless lives and careers. Many people described him as the type of person to make time for everyone, thoughtful, respectful, likable, and honest.

Throughout his 38-year career, Jernstedt served on many boards of directors and committees that include the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame; United States Olympic Committee; United States-International University Sports Federation; Indianapolis Convention and Visitors Association; Federation of International Basketball Association; and the University of Oregon Alumni Association as well as serving as the President of USA Basketball from 2001-2004. The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame awarded Jernstedt the John Bunn award in 2001 which is the highest honor given by the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame recognizing an individual who has contributed significantly to the sport of basketball. He went on to receive the Distinguished Service Award from the United Sports Academy and the Bill McGowan Leadership Award from the Indiana Convention and Visitors Association in 2007. USA Basketball then awarded him the Edward S. Steitz award in 2009 which recognizes an individual for his or her valuable contributions to international basketball. Jernstedt was eventually inducted into the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame in 2010 and then inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2019, and finally inducted into the State of Oregon’s Sports Hall of Fame in 2020. Indiana Sports Corp awarded Jernstedt the National Pathfinder Award posthumously in 2021 during the Men’s Final Four weekend.

About Indiana Sports Corp
Founded in 1979 as the nation’s first sports commission, Indiana Sports Corp is a not-for-profit organization focused on bringing premier sporting events to Indiana to drive economic vitality, facilitate a vibrant community with civic pride and garner positive media attention. Because of this, Indiana Sports Corp is able to provide positive, sports-related opportunities for youth in the community. For more information, please visit

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