Chuck McGill, good tennis player and great sportswriter

April 30, 2014 by Brad McElhinny

Congratulations to Daily Mail sports editor Chuck McGill for a pair of honors.

Chuck already knew he’d been named the sportswriter of the year for West Virginia by the National Sportswriters and Sportscasters Association.

Chuck McGill

Chuck McGill

Now comes word that Chuck has won the related Tennis Media Award, the inaugural version of that honor.

This is a particularly fitting honor for Chuck, who was a high school tennis player at Dupont. He was himself the subject of tennis journalism in a 1998 story by the Daily Mail’s Mike Cherry. In the West Virginia State Tennis Tournament that year, the 17-year-old McGill won a first-round, three-set, No. 1 singles AAA match before his eventual elimination.

Chuck had been 7-5 during the regular season. He was a self-taught player who worked a summer at the Players Club to pay for some private lessons.

Chuck was also an emerging master of the quote. Asked by Cherry to describe his disadvantages on the court, McGill responded: “Experience and I’m short.”

Chuck has not let those factors get in the way of his sportswriting career.

He’ll be honored by the National Sportswriters and Sportscasters Association this June in Salisbury, N.C., along with 104 other state sportscasters and sportswriters of the year, National Sportscaster of the Year Mike ‘Doc’ Emrick (NHL on NBC), National Sportswriter of the Year Peter King (Sports Illustrated), and Hall of Fame inductees Marv Albert (CBS, Turner Sports) and Rick Reilly (, Sports Illustrated, author).

While he’s there, Chuck will also pick up the tennis award hardware. The story he submitted was one from last summer about Tera Winfree, a Campbell’s Creek resident who underwent a 2009 double lung transplant but rallied to continue her competitive tennis interest. Winfree competed last summer in Charleston’s Public Courts tournament.

“Congratulations to Chuck McGill and all the winners for helping to spread the word about tennis and its benefits, for both adults and children,” said stated Jolyn de Boer, executive director of the Tennis Industry Association, which sponsors the award. “We’re very pleased to see these wonderful stories about how tennis touches and improves lives in all ways. The TIA is the main source for all types of tennis information and research, and we’re looking forward to continued collaboration with the NSSA and its members.”

Chuck has made the Daily Mail proud with his great work.

But if he gets the chance to make an acceptance speech, I hope he does better than his first quote in that 1998 Mike Cherry story.

As Chuck said back when he was 17 and on the other side of the notepad, “It’s really hard to put into words.”


Author:  Brad McElhinny is editor and publisher of The Charleston Daily Mail. I’m a Parkersburg native and a Marshall graduate. I live in Charleston with my wife — we’ll call her “Karen” — my two little girls, an easily excitable terrier, an aging obese cat and, now, a kitten named “Sweetie.” Read more from this author


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One Response to “Chuck McGill, good tennis player and great sportswriter”

  1. Tony says:

    Congratulations Chuck. Perhaps you could give a certain sportswriter at a newspaper to the west a few tips on journalistic integrity?

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