Donovan ‘Jug’ Shane Stewart, beloved son, son-in-law, father, and husband, ended his life July 29, 2023, at the age of 49. He is survived by his wife of twenty years, Kristi; his daughter Kyla; his twin sons, Konner and Kohl; and his parents, Coach Don and Sheila Stewart.
A lifelong resident of Tennessee, Donovan graduated from Marion County High School, where he proudly suited up in his #12 jersey to represent the Warrior basketball team. As a shooting guard, he loved playing from behind the arc, shooting 3-pointers. Following graduation, he matriculated to Middle Tennessee State University, where one of his proudest achievements was working alongside the Tennessee Titans media staff, fulfilling his degree-required internship. Cheered on by his loved ones, he went on to earn his bachelor of science in journalism from MTSU in 2005.
Donovan’s lifeblood was prep sports. If it had a ball, he covered it, well he even covered swimming a time or two… Every offseason, he would begin preparation for the coming season, scouring rosters, making calls, noting coaching changes, and compiling stats, all the while leaving a wake of scribbled yellow legal pads scattered about.
But Donovan’s love for Midstate high school football was unmatched; it was ingrained in his DNA. He could often be found squatting down on some Middle Tennessee stadium sideline illuminated by the Friday night lights. With notepad in hand, meticulously scratching down jersey numbers and player stats, all the while summarizing each play-by-play, he’d have the teams’ rosters folded and tucked into his back pocket for quick reference. His ability to read the play before the snap was mesmerizing. His ability to rattle off statistics from years previous was baffling. Watching him work was indeed a sight to behold. The number of calories burned pacing from end zone to end zone were countless.
His words poured out to fans across the state and nation during his time at The Tennessean, The Review Appeal, among other outlets statewide, including, most recently, MainStreetPreps.com. Lovingly referred to as ‘Scoop’ within some circles of the family, his integrity and devotion to the game fostered an immeasurable number of friendships over his many years of reporting.
As an active board member of the Tennessee Football Coaches Association, Donovan helped shepherd a number of coaching clinics along with the annual recruiting fair organized as an opportunity to foster connections between high school athletes and collegiate scouting programs.
Off the sidelines, his pride and joy were his children. Always the avid storyteller, he was quick to boast of Kyla’s many achievements or share a short funny story about Konner and Kohl’s latest antics to anyone who might listen. His infectious smile beamed whenever he had the opportunity to mention their names.
The outpouring of prayers and love during this difficult time are genuinely appreciated. Donovan’s reach was far and wide, and that is evident through the hundreds of messages received over the past few days. Please continue to uplift his children, family, loved ones, and friends as they prepare to navigate the world without him.
Services will be held at Layne Funeral Home (32871 TN-108, Palmer, TN) on Saturday, August 5 with viewing available from 10AM – 12PM followed by visitation from 12PM – 2 PM . Funeral services will be held at 2:00 in the funeral home chapel led by Pastor Danny Coffelt, followed by burial services at Fall Creek Cemetary, Gruetli-Laager.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made in Donovan’s name to the TnFCA electronically via bit.ly/DonovanStewart or by check to TnFCA, 221 Black Thorn Lane, Gallatin, TN 37066. All donations will be used to honor Donovan’s legacy of support for Midstate high school football.
Layne Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.
Marion Tribune – Aug. 3, 2023