National Football Foundation

The Gold Medal

Founded: 1958

The Gold Medal, the highest individual award bestowed by The National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame, recognizes an outstanding American who has contributed significantly to the sport of college football and our country.

Established in 1958 at the initial Awards Dinner, U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower became the first recipient of the award. Subsequently, six U.S. Presidents and many other outstanding Americans have been honored. The presentation of the Gold Medal has become one of the major highlights of the Annual Awards Dinner, an event that has taken its place as one of the most memorable evenings of the college football season.

Gold Medal Qualifications

  • Recipient's life must reflect the values of those who have excelled in amateur sport, particularly football.
  • Recipient must be an American citizen, most of whose business life has been spent in the United States.
  • Recipient must have achieved success in an industrial, business, financial, educational, professional or related career.
  • Recipient must have unblemished reputation for honesty and integrity.
  • Recipient must have "contributed notably in public service to the welfare of his country and fellow citizens," either as a private citizen or as a government official or both.
  • Recipient must have shown a capacity for dedicated institutional commitment to the problem of our competitive economy versus a centrally dictated society and a concern for the human spirit as well as the mind. Recipient would place the quality of living alongside of high accomplishment of mere competence.
  • Recipient may be an elected or appointed federal or state government official, or a member of Congress or any state legislative body. Recipient shall not be selected because of political power and shall not be preferred or turned down because of affiliation with any political party.

Selection Process

Various individuals associated with The National Football Foundation, such as former recipients, board members and corporate leaders, send nominations and suggestions to the NFF Chairman.

Selection of the recipient is made by the Awards Committee and ratified by the Board of Directors.

Current Recipients

View All Recipients
  • University of Mississippi
    NFF Chairman, College Football Hall of Fame Quarterback

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