That’s a young Doughty (right), Bill Brill and me (mustache) in the center at a Virginia high school all-star game in the 1970s at the Salem Civic Center.
Just saw where my long-time journalism colleague Doug Doughty was named to the Virginia Sports Hall of Fame in a truly distinguished class that includes Virginia Tech football coach Frank Beamer, Tech baseball coach Chuck Hartman and basketball player/announcer Kara Lawson. They’re all more famous than Doug, but none is more accomplished.
A young Doughty at the Roanoke Civic Center.
Doug and I worked at the Roanoke Times sports department together in the late 1970s, him joining us just out of college at UVa where he was Phi Beta Kappa. I’m a few years older and had been at the RT for several years when he was hired.
From the beginning, Doug was good, intensely interested, ambitious and a guy who never lost his enthusiasm. He approaches junior golf and the Masters with the same interest and attention to detail. He has covered UVa sports for many years, never letting his degree from there interfere with being fair and neutral.
Doug latched on to sports editor Bill Brill (inducted into the Hall in 1999) from Day 1 and learned a great deal from the best newspaper sports writer/editor I ever knew. He still knows how to write to the reader, how to present news first and opinion somewhere down the list. I’ve never seen his ego overwhelm a story, which is rare in sports writing.
Doughty and a couple of drinking buddies.
He married his college sweetie, Beth, after she graduated and she became quite a professional force in the Roanoke Valley pretty quickly after moving here, beginning in advertising/PR and working up to the executive director’s position and in 2016 was named one of North America’s top 50 economic developers by Consultant Connect. She heads the Roanoke Regional Partnership and has been director of the Roanoke Regional Chamber of Commerce. She and Doug have a bunch of kids, who are making names of their own.
Doug has always kept his personal and professional lives separate, but if there were a Roanoke Valley Swimming Hall of Fame, my guess is that he’d be one of its first inductees because of his intense connection with every level of swim competition in the Valley since his kids were, well, kids. He even recruited my grandgirl, Madeline, to the Hunting Hills squad when Maddie couldn’t even swim. It was a real highlight for her and I’m forever grateful to Doug for being so insistent.
Doug deserves the Hall citation every bit as much as Beamer. Know that.
Doughty with wife of 35 years, Beth (right) and daughter Allison.