Although they have spent their careers reporting the news, two William & Mary staff members will be making their own headlines Saturday.
Jim “Duce” Ducibella and Jennifer Williams will be inducted into the Hampton Roads Sports Media Hall of Fame during a ceremony at Langley Speedway in Hampton, Virginia. The two communications specialists in the W&M Office of Communications are part of the hall of fame’s inaugural class of recipients.
Ducibella, who is also a member of the Virginia Sports Hall of Fame, worked as a sports writer for The Virginian-Pilot for 27 years, much of that time covering the Washington Redskins. Williams, who started at W&M last year, covered local high school and college sports during her 25-year career as a journalist for the Daily Press.
“It’s wonderful that Jen and Jim are being honored this way,” said Brian Whitson, W&M’s chief communications officer. “Both are insightful reporters, exceptional writers and absolute professionals. They came to the university with well-established careers in newspapers and since that time have contributed so much to University Communications and our broader mission of telling the William & Mary story. Congratulations, Duce and Jen!”
The two compose 40 percent of the inaugural hall of fame class, with three others — Carol Hudson, former sports information director for Old Dominion University; the late Mike Minium, a sports reporter and editor for the Daily Press; and Bruce Rader, sports director for WAVY-TV and WVBT-TV — joining them as honorees.
“We want to congratulate the winners. This is an outstanding first class of inductees,” said Greg Bicouvaris, co-founder of the Hampton Roads Sports Media Hall of Fame, in a press release. “We look forward to growing every year and making this a signature event in Hampton Roads.”
According to the release, the hall of fame was founded in July 2017 by Bicouvaris and Chuck Hall, Langley Speedway promoter, to “honor broadcast, public relations and print professionals who have worked at least five years at a media organization in the greater Hampton Roads area and have been a productive member of the community in which they live.”
At W&M, Williams and Ducibella are part of the University News & Media Team and write for W&M News, covering general assignment stories and beats that include departments across Arts & Sciences. They also serve as liaisons to other W&M communications offices and work with local, regional and national press outlets to garner coverage of the university.
“The people whose stories we told were the reason we did the job,” Williams said. “So it’s great to have reporters recognized in this way in the community, and we’re very appreciative of this new Hall of Fame for media being established.”
Ducibella, who has worked at W&M since 2009, is also the author of the book King of Clubs: The Great Golf Marathon of 1938, which was voted golf book of the year in 2012 by the International Network of Golf."Although the media landscape is changing, and more and more newcomers to the business seem to crave fame over traditional strong reportage, I don't know any writers who sought to cover sports for that reason," Ducibella said. "I know I didn't, so to have my work remembered and celebrated so long after I left the industry is both humbling and tremendously flattering. I am grateful to the selection committee."