Returning as master of ceremonies will be Chris Lincoln who emceed the eighth annual awards in 2001.
For more than four decades Lincoln has been covering sports. He has written and talked about it in newspapers, magazines, radio, television and the Internet. Wherever there have been major sporting events to cover, Chris has gone. On American Airlines alone he has logged over 7.8 million miles of travel. He has been to 48 states and traveled to 16 foreign countries on four continents.
He started his sports career in high school in Warren, Michigan writing for the school newspaper, yearbook and the Royal Oak Tribune. At the University of Missouri he worked as a student assistant in the Sports Information office. He was also a sportswriter for the Columbia Daily Tribune and then a sportscaster at KFRU Radio in Columbia, Missouri. It was there that he did his first play-by-play broadcast as the “Voice of the Hickman High School Kewpies,” along with special reporting on the University of Missouri Sports Network and network cut-ins for ABC Radio.
In 1974, he became the Sports Director at KTUL. He also hosted OU’s national football replay show with Coach Barry Switzer. At the same time, he hosted shows for OSU, TU and ORU. He produced numerous sports specials and did play-by-play of many sports events for the station.
In 1976 he was tabbed by ABC sports as one of the network’s four regional college football play-by-play announcers and later did college and Canadian pro football and basketball play-by-play for ESPN.
Lincoln left KTUL at the end of 1981 to form Winner Communications (now Winnercomm), a television sports production company, with former leading KTUL salesman, Jim Wilburn. The two built the company into the nation’s largest independently owned sports production company with over 200 employees in Tulsa and another 2,000 independent contractors across the nation. The company annually produced more than 1,000 hours of live and taped sporting events and specials for over a dozen networks. Winnercomm also owned and operated Skycam and Cablecam, Lincoln and Wilburn sold a majority of the company to outside investors in 2006.
In 2007 Lincoln returned to KTUL as Executive Sports Director and main anchor. In 2012 he stepped down and now does special reports and covers feature events for the station plus freelance broadcasting.
Throughout his 25-years at Winnercomm, Lincoln became known to millions of television viewers around the world as “The Voice of the Thoroughbreds” as the host from 1982-1998 of thoroughbred and quarter horse races and the weekly “Racehorse Digest” show on ESPN. In 1999 he was hired as the global presenter for the World Racing Championship Series. He was the main presenter for five years of the world’s top international thoroughbred races held in nine countries and four continents.
Lincoln’s work has been recognized with a national sports Emmy Award along with an Eclipse Award and many other honors from the thoroughbred racing industry, as well as multiple Sprint Awards, from quarter horse racing.
By his own count, he has been to more than 50-race tracks across North America and 22 more international tracks in Dubai, Hong Kong, Tokyo, Singapore, Australia and Europe.
In his travels, Lincoln has been in the presence of royalty from Her Royal Highness, the Queen of England, The Aga Khan, sheikhs, sultans, ambassadors, prime ministers, princes, princesses and three U.S. presidents.
He has announced network television play-by-play of over 20 different sports and has been to major sporting events including the Super Bowl, the World Series, winter and summer Olympics, Indianapolis 500, the Triple Crown, The Breeders’ Cup, NCAA & NIT basketball tournaments, World Cup soccer, golf, tennis, the National Finals Rodeo, etc.
Lincoln has also written, produced and voiced many national sports specials including ESPN Sports Classic shows.
In Tulsa he is remembered as the “Voice of the Tulsa Roughnecks” (NASL soccer team), the Oklahoma Outlaws (USFL Pro Football) and the Tulsa Twisters (professional team rodeo). He was featured on radio locally as a weekly announcer on the Sports Animal 97.1 FM show. He has also announced local high school football play-by-play for KRMG radio and events for Cox Cable.
Lincoln is constantly in demand as a speaker locally, regionally, nationally and internationally including corporate meetings for General Electric, IBM, Visa, Kentucky Fried Chicken, etc. He is also an accomplished master of ceremonies and donates hours his time to host and speak at charity fund-raising events.
He is an active board member of the Tulsa Boys’ Home, Tulsa Sports Commission, Tulsa Sports Charities and is a long-time member of Boston Avenue Methodist Church. Nationally he is an active supporter of the Racetrack Chaplaincy of America and has worked with the Shoemaker Foundation and the Don Macbeth Memorial Jockey Fund to help disabled jockeys.
The Iba Awards were created in 1994 by the Rotary Club of Tulsa to recognize an influential male and a female premier athlete for their success in their sport, and more importantly, for being positive role models who give back to their communities – not only by donating to worthy causes, but by being personally dedicated and involved in their chosen charities.
The awards are named after Henry P. Iba, former Oklahoma State University basketball coach and coach of three U.S. Olympic basketball teams. He was an unparalleled success as a coach, a leader and a citizen and these awards recognize and honor athletes who best exemplify a high degree of citizenship in his image.
Keynote speakers for the event will be Shannon Miller, the most decorated Olympic gymnast in American History, and Chris Herren, former NBA player for the Denver Nuggets and Boston Celtics. This year’s recipients have not yet been announced.
The prestigious black-tie-optional event will be held at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tulsa on June 26, 2017. Sponsor of the general reception is CommunityCare. Proceeds benefit the Rotary Club of Tulsa Foundation, which supports local non-profits, statewide initiatives benefitting young people and the club’s International Projects Committee.
For table sponsorship information, contact the Rotary Club of Tulsa at 918-584-7642 or online at ibaawards.com.