Bears tight end Cole Kmet recognized as Jeff Dickerson Good Guy Award winner
LAKE FOREST, Ill. — One year later, there’s still a great void.
That seat in the media center inside Halas Hall remains empty. The unparalleled perspective and constant laughs have been dearly missed. On Wednesday, one year since colleague and friend Jeff Dickerson passed away at the age of 43 following a brave battle with cancer, there was the feeling of loss that has remained but also a remarkable soul to celebrate.
The Jeff Dickerson Good Guy Award was presented Wednesday afternoon to Bears tight end Cole Kmet, recognizing his professionalism with the local media. The award was first presented in 2013 in conjunction with the Pro Football Writers Association and has since been renamed after the late Dickerson, who simply put, was the best of us.
The award was presented by Jeff’s parents, George and Sandy Dickerson, while members of the media donned shirts with “JD” across the chest.
It was fitting that the winner was the 23-year-old Kmet, who grew up in nearby Lake Barrington as a diehard Bears fan and followed the work of Jeff Dickerson.
“To get an award in his name is really special,” Kmet said of the honor.
Dickerson was diagnosed with colon cancer in early 2021 but maintained his incredible positivity and strength, continuing to work his job with ESPN throughout his own battle and shining a light to those in his life. Even as he went into hospice late last December, Dickerson was strong in his faith that he would still win his fight with cancer.
Last October, as Dickerson’s battle with cancer continued, he served as the emcee for the Vaughn McClure Foundation’s inaugural charity gala while few realized the strength it took from him. The foundation has since been renamed the Vaughn McClure & Jeff Dickerson Foundation, which keeps their legacies strong by funding research on heart disease, mental illness, lupus, plus journalism scholarships.
Caitlin Dickerson, Jeff’s wife, died in 2019 following an eight-year battle with cancer. Her brave battle served as inspiration for Jeff as he began his own bout with cancer. Dickerson is survived by his son, Parker, and his parents, George and Sandy.
Donations can be made to the Vaughn McClure & Jeff Dickerson Foundation through this link: https://tvmjdfoundation.org/donations/donation-form/