Longtime Alabama sports writer Cecil Hurt, who covered Alabama sports for the Tuscaloosa News for nearly 40 years, has passed away Tuesday afternoon at UAB Medical Center after a long illness. He was 62 years old.
Born in Tuscaloosa, Hurt began his career as an Alabama beat writer in 1982 during Paul "Bear" Bryant's final season. An Alabama alumnus, he rose to the paper's sports editor in 1989 and spent three decades as a sports columnist, according to Creg Stephenson of the Alabama Media Group.
Hurt had been hospitalized for almost two weeks after experiencing complications from pneumonia. His family said in a statement that the pneumonia was complicated by "underlying issues." Hurt was surrounded by family and a close friend as he passed peacefully.
Alabama athletic director Greg Byrne issued a statement after news of Hurt's passing broke, calling the veteran writer "one of a kind."
“As good a sportswriter as Cecil was, he was an even better person,” Byrne’s statement read. “So many of us considered him a dear friend, and we will certainly miss him. He had an incredible way with words, coupling his knowledge and wit in a way only Cecil could do…
“Writers both young and old respected and looked up to Cecil for his work, professionalism and ability to build relationships. He was one of a kind. We will continue to keep his family, friends and all those who cared for Cecil in our prayers.”