Cecil Hurt, the iconic Tuscaloosa sports columnist, passed away at age 62 Tuesday afternoon at UAB Medical Center in Birmingham.

Hurt was being treated for pneumonia complicated by underlying issues. He passed peacefully while surrounded by family and a close friend.

The story was first announced by The Tuscaloosa News. Hurt joined the News in 1982 as a sports writer, and later became the paper's sports editor and columnist in 1989.

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A prepared statement was posted to Hurt's Twitter shortly after the news broke:

"His family sincerely appreciates the outpouring of love and support shown to Cecil throughout this process," the statement read. "They also would like to thank the doctors, nurses and staff at UAB ICU for the exemplary care and compassion they provided to Cecil and his family."

As reported by The Tuscaloosa News, Hurt is a 1981 graduate from the University of Alabama, where he earned a degree in English and a minor in psychology. He was born in Tuscaloosa and grew up in Huntsville, where he graduated from Butler High School.

At UA, he worked as a student assistant in the sports information office during the latter years of Paul W. "Bear" Bryant's time as Bama's head coach.

He earned over a dozen 'top 10' national awards for his column writing by the Associated Press Sports Editors in several categories including column writing, breaking news reporting and project reporting.

In 2019, he received the Mel Allen Media Award from the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame and was named the National Sports Media Association’s Alabama Sportswriter of the Year in 2016 and 2019.

He also received numerous state honors from the Alabama Sports Writers Association, Alabama Press Association and Associated Press Managing Editors.

 

"Please keep Cecil's family in your prayers as they cope with his passing," the statement read.

Hurt is survived by his mother Carol Messin, brother Cary Hurt and his wife Aimee, and sister Caren Hidgon and her husband Ray.

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