National Football Foundation

News Detail

Holly Rowe, Don McPherson to Emcee Events Before the 60th NFF Annual Awards Dinner
On Dec. 5, ESPN broadcaster Rowe will moderate the NFF Annual Awards Press Conference and College Football Hall of Famer McPherson will emcee the NFF Chapter Awards Luncheon, presented by Under Armour.
Published: 11/30/2017 11:00:00 AM
(Pictured: On Dec. 5, ESPN broadcaster Holly Rowe will moderate the NFF Annual Awards Press Conference and College Football Hall of Famer Don McPherson will emcee the NFF Chapter Awards Luncheon, presented by Under Armour.)

IRVING, Texas (Nov. 30, 2017)
– The National Football Foundation (NFF) & College Hall of Fame announced today that ESPN broadcaster Holly Rowe will serve as the moderator for the NFF Annual Awards Press Conference from 9 a.m. to Noon ET, while College Football Hall of Famer Don McPherson (Syracuse) will emcee the NFF Chapter Awards Luncheon, presented by Under Armour, at 11:30 a.m. ET. Both events will take place Dec. 5 at the New York Hilton Midtown.

“Holly Rowe has built a reputation as a leader in the field of sports journalism, and we are thrilled she will moderate our press conference,” said NFF President & CEO Steve Hatchell. “Don McPherson was an outstanding quarterback at Syracuse, and he is a great example for the youth to emulate. Their presence significantly enhances the stature of the NFF Annual Awards Dinner, and we thank them both.”

The press conference will be streamed live on ESPN3, and Rowe will interview the NFF Major Award honorees, the 2017 College Football Hall of Fame Class and the finalists for The William V. Campbell Trophy®, presented by Fidelity Investments, during the event while moderating questions for the media in attendance. The press conference will also feature the announcements of the 2017 Wuerffel Trophy recipient, the 2017 MEAC Offensive and Defensive Players of the Year and the finalists for the 2017 FWAA Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year Award. See below for the full list of 2017 Hall of Fame inductees, major award winners and Campbell Trophy® finalists.

Media who wish to cover the press conference or want more information should email NFF Director of Communications Phil Marwill at or call 917.579.4256.

NFF Annual Awards Press Conference Timeline:
(All Times Eastern and Subject to Change)

·         9:00 a.m. – Welcome from moderator Holly Rowe

·         9:03 a.m. – Remarks from NFF President & CEO Steve Hatchell

·         9:08 a.m. – Announcement of the 2017 MEAC Players of the Year

·         9:26 a.m. – Announcement of the 2017 Wuerffel Trophy recipient

·         9:37 a.m. – Announcement of 2017 FWAA Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year finalists

·         9:45 a.m. – 2017 NFF Major Award Winners

·         10:00 a.m. – 2017 College Football Hall of Fame Class

·         11:15 a.m. – 2017 Campbell Trophy® finalists, presented by Fidelity Investments

The NFF Major Award honorees, College Football Hall of Famers and Campbell Trophy® finalists will be honored later in the evening during the 60th NFF Annual Awards Dinner on Dec. 5 at the New York Hilton Midtown. Fans will be able to watch a live stream of the NFF Annual Awards Dinner starting at 8:30 p.m. ET on ESPN3.

2017 College Football Hall of Fame Class:
Bob Crable (Notre Dame), Marshall Faulk (San Diego State), Kirk Gibson (Michigan State), Matt Leinart (Southern California), Peyton Manning (Tennessee), Bob McKay (Texas), Dat Nguyen (Texas A&M), Adrian Peterson (Georgia Southern), Mike Ruth (Boston College), Brian Urlacher (New Mexico) and coaches Danny Ford (Clemson, Arkansas), Larry Kehres (Mount Union [Ohio]) and Steve Spurrier (Duke, Florida, South Carolina).

2017 Finalists for the Campbell Trophy®, presented by Fidelity Investments:
Sam Benger (Carnegie Mellon [Pa.]), Braxton Berrios (Miami [Fla.]), Mason Hampton (Boise State), Justin Jackson (Northwestern), Micah Kiser (Virginia), Justin Lea (Jacksonville State), Brad Lundblade (Oklahoma State), Marcus Martin (Slippery Rock [Pa.]), Chandon Sullivan (Georgia State), Blaise Taylor (Arkansas State), Marlon Walls (Stephen F. Austin), Chris Weber (Nebraska), and Jake Wieneke (South Dakota State). The recipient of The William V. Campbell Trophy®, presented by Fidelity Investments, will be announced live during the dinner on Dec. 5.

2017 NFF Major Award Recipients:
UCLA Athletics Director Dan Guerrero (NFF John L. Toner Award for excellence in athletics administration) and the Voice of the UTEP Miners Jon Teicher (NFF Chris Schenkel Award for excellence in broadcasting).

McPherson will emcee the NFF Chapter Awards Luncheon, presented by Under Armour, at 11:30 a.m. ET as the NFF honors the five 2017 NFF Chapter Scholar-Athletes and the five winners of the 2017 Chapter Leadership Awards. The ticketed event will be held at the New York Hilton Midtown. See below for a full list of Chapter Awards Luncheon honorees.

2017 NFF Chapter Scholar-Athlete Honorees:
John Mahoney (Iowa Chapter - currently attending Notre Dame), Bobby Maimaron (Jack Grinold/Eastern Massachusetts Chapter - currently attending Williams [Mass.]), Brandon Micale (Colorado Chapter - currently attending San Diego), Rick Mottram (Delaware Valley [N.J.] Chapter - currently attending Bucknell) and Blake Wooden (Brian Piccolo/Fort Lauderdale [Fla.] Chapter - currently attending Columbia).

2017 NFF Chapter Leadership Award Recipients:
Bob Bacewicz (Southeastern Connecticut Chapter), John Barzizza (Memphis [Tenn.] Chapter), Jeff Felton (Wyoming Chapter), Ron Hoehn (Delaware Valley [N.J.] Chapter), and John Weiler (Tom Lombardo/St. Louis Chapter).

For more information about the NFF Chapter Awards Luncheon and to purchase tickets, please contact Ron Dilatush at 972.556.1000 or

Holly Rowe Bio

Holly Rowe is one of the most respected broadcasters and journalists at ESPN.

She can currently be seen as the reporter for ESPN’s Saturday primetime college football game, working alongside play-by-play commentator Joe Tessitore and analyst Todd Blackledge. The team will cap their coverage of the 2017 season on New Year’s Day during a College Football Playoff Semifinal game.

Rowe joined ESPN on a regular basis in August 1998 and had previously served as a sideline reporter for select ESPN telecasts in 1997 and for ABC Sports from 1995-96. She primarily covers college football, men’s basketball and softball as a reporter, as well as the NBA and WNBA. She has also provided play-by-play commentary for women’s college basketball, softball, volleyball and gymnastics. In addition, Rowe has covered soccer, swimming, track & field and the Little League World Series of baseball and softball for ESPN. She plays a role in espnW’s coverage of the sports she works on.

Rowe has also provided play-by-play for women’s college basketball and women’s college volleyball for ESPN since 1998 and Fox Sports from 1993-2003. Rowe was one of four play-by-play announcers on ESPN’s coverage of the 1998 Women’s World Cup and has hosted ESPN’s coverage of the Running of the Bulls. She was also the analyst for the WNBA’s Utah Starzz until the franchise moved to San Antonio. Rowe served as the play-by-play voice for BYU women’s basketball, volleyball and gymnastics from 1993-2009 and as a BYU and Air Force football sideline reporter for the Blue and White Sports Network from 1993-97.

Rowe has worked as a sports reporter and anchor for outlets in Salt Lake City including KSL Radio, Fox 13 TV, KBYU TV, BYU Sports Network and KFNZ Radio.

She graduated from the University of Utah with a broadcast journalism degree. While at Utah, Rowe was a sportswriter for the Daily Utah Chronicle and the Davis County Clipper, and anchored the campus TV station news.

Emmy-nominated Rowe is a producer and writer of documentaries and features that have aired on KBYU TV, ESPN and FOX 13 TV in Salt Lake City.

Don McPherson Bio

For more than 33 years, Don McPherson has used the power and appeal of sports to address complex social justice issues. He has created innovative programs and supported community service providers; conducting educational seminars and lectures throughout North America.

As an athlete, McPherson was a unanimous All-America quarterback at Syracuse University and is a veteran of the NFL and Canadian Football League. As captain of the undefeated 1987 Syracuse football team, McPherson set 22 school records, led the nation in passing and won more than 18 national “player of the year” awards, including the Maxwell Award as the nation’s best player, the Davey O’Brien National Quarterback Award and the inaugural Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award. He was second in the Heisman Trophy voting. In 2008, McPherson was elected to the College Football Hall of Fame. In 2013, Syracuse University retired his No. 9 jersey.

Since 1984, McPherson has delivered school and community based programs addressing issues such as drunk driving, alcohol and substance abuse, bullying, youth leadership and mentoring. Upon retiring from pro football in 1994, he joined Northeastern University’s Center for the Study of Sport in Society as national director of Athletes in Service to America. In 2002, he founded the Sports Leadership Institute at Adelphi University, for which he served as executive director until 2007.

In 1995, McPherson turned his focus to the issue of “men’s violence against women,” as director of Sport in Society’s Mentors in Violence Prevention Program. He has conducted workshops and lectures for more than 300 college campuses, community organizations and national sports and violence prevention organizations. His programs and lectures have reached more than 1 million people.

McPherson has twice testified before the United States Congress and has worked closely with the U.S. Departments of Education and Defense on issues of sexual violence in education and the military, respectively. He has provided commentary on numerous national news programs and was featured in O Magazine and appeared on the Oprah Winfrey Show. McPherson also created and hosted “Training for Life” on MSG Varsity, a life skills TV show that examined a myriad of social issues and sports. A 2012 episode on "Sports Parenting" was nominated for an Emmy Award.

McPherson has worked as a college football analyst for ESPN, BET and NBC and spent six seasons as the lead studio analyst for Sportsnet New York’s coverage of Big East and American Athletic Conference football. In 2000, while a board member of the Nassau County Sports Commission, McPherson created the John Mackey Award, which recognizes college football’s outstanding tight end.

McPherson has received several honors in recognitions for his service to society, and he is a recipient of the George Arents Award, Syracuse University’s highest alumni honor and “Letter Winner of Distinction,” the highest honor bestowed a former student-athlete. In 2017, he was inducted into the Nassau County High School Sports Hall of Fame.

McPherson currently serves on the board of directors for the NYC Chapter of the National Football Foundation, the Advisory Board of the Center for the Study of Men and Masculinities and at Stony Brook University. He is a member the NCAA Task Force on Sexual Violence and the NCAA Board of Governors Commission to Combat Sexual Violence.

About The National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame
Founded in 1947 with early leadership from General Douglas MacArthur, legendary Army coach Earl "Red" Blaik and immortal journalist Grantland Rice, The National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame is a non-profit educational organization that runs programs designed to use the power of amateur football in developing scholarship, citizenship and athletic achievement in young people. With 120 chapters and 12,000 members nationwide, NFF programs include Football Matters®, the College Football Hall of Fame in Atlanta, The William V. Campbell Trophy® presented by Fidelity Investments, annual scholarships of more than $1.3 million and a series of initiatives to honor the legends of the past and inspire the leaders of the future. NFF corporate partners include Delta Air Lines, Fidelity Investments, Herff Jones, New York Athletic Club, Pasadena Tournament of Roses, PrimeSport, the Sports Business Journal, Under Armour and VICIS. Learn more at

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