The Founder of the Dexter Shoe Company, Harold Alfond’s munificence provided millions of dollars in support of athletics, medical and educational causes. Never missing an NFF Annual Awards Dinner, Alfond received the Foundation’s highest honor – the Gold Medal – in 1995. Alfond said, “I urge others to get behind this endowment drive. These scholar-athletes are our best leaders of the future. We need to recognize and honor academic and civic leadership.” Alfond passed away in 2007 at the age of 93.
E. DOUGLAS KENNA Scholar-Athlete Award
Endowed by E. Douglas Kenna in 1997
The quintessential athlete, scholar, businessman and community leader, Doug Kenna quarterbacked the 1944 Army team to the national championship. He was also an All-America basketball player at West Point, captained the tennis team, and was Class President and Regimental Commander. After serving America in Germany, he returned to be one of Col. Earl Blaik’s assistant coaches before entering the business world. He held several executive positions, including president and director of Carrier Corporation, G.L. Ohrstrom & Company, Roper Industries and Robert B. Anderson Company. A College Football Hall of Fame inductee, Kenna served as NFF vice chairman from 1986-91. He passed away in 2013 at the age of 88.
WILLIAM PEARCE Scholar-Athlete Award
Endowed by William A. Schreyer in 1997
In honor of his dear friend, the late NFF Chairman Bill Pearce, William Schreyer endowed a National Scholar-Athlete Award in 1997. A graduate of Penn State, Schreyer headed Merrill Lynch and served as a member of the NFF Board of Directors from 1991 to 2011. Extraordinary gifts, totaling more than $55 million to Penn State, by Schreyer created the Schreyer Honors College and truly changed the shape of the institution. He passed away in 2011. He was 83.
F.M. KIRBY Scholar-Athlete Award
Endowed by the National Football Foundation in 1997
A graduate of Lafayette College, F.M. Kirby played on the Leopards’ undefeated 1940 football team. After serving as a Naval Reserve Officer in World War II, he earned an MBA from Harvard. Kirby went on to be chairman and CEO of Alleghany Corporation and also served as a director of many of the nation’s largest corporations and financial institutions. A stalwart in the community, his philanthropic involvement continues through the F.M. Kirby Foundation with more than $500 million in assets. The 2000 recipient of the NFF Gold Medal, Kirby served on the NFF Board of Directors from 1982 until his passing in 2011 at the age of 91. In recognition of his many years of leadership and unwavering support, the NFF named one of the National Scholar-Athlete Awards in his honor in 1997.
COACH EDDIE ROBINSON Scholar-Athlete Award
Endowed by the George M. Steinbrenner Family and the New York Yankees in 1997
Aside from his well-known success with the Yankees, George Steinbrenner was a staunch supporter of the NFF for many years with roots in football. A multisport athlete at Culver Military Academy, Steinbrenner matriculated to Williams College before becoming an assistant football coach at Northwestern and Purdue. When establishing this endowment, he named it in honor of his longtime friend Eddie Robinson, the legendary Hall of Fame Coach at Grambling State. A true believer in the power of football to shape young men, he hung a sign of MacArthur’s famous quote, “There is no substitute for victory,” at Yankee Stadium as an inspiration to his players. Steinbrenner served on the NFF Board from 1998 until his passing in 2010 at the age of 80.
ROBERT A. AND MARTHA SIMMS Scholar-Athlete Award
Endowed by Robert A. Simms in 1997
A former football star at Rutgers University, Robert Simms was the first to fully endow a Scholar-Athlete Award. After graduating from Rutgers in 1960, Simms played three seasons in the NFL with the Giants and Steelers before embarking on a business career that encompassed positions with Jackson & Curtis; Black & Company; and Bear, Stearns & Company, where he made general partner. Today, he is chairman and CEO of Simms Capital Management and is an emeritus member of the NFF Board.
THE NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE Scholar-Athlete Award
Endowed by the NFL in 1999
The National Football League has always been a strong supporter of the Foundation’s programs and mission. Their commitment to endow a National Scholar-Athlete Award only strengthened that position and further exemplifies the NFL’s commitment to education and youth development. Current Commissioner Roger Goodell carries on this tradition of support by meeting each year with the recipient of the award endowed by the NFL.
JOHN H. McCONNELL Scholar-Athlete Award
Endowed by John H. McConnell in 1999
Following his service in the Navy during World War II, John McConnell enrolled at Michigan State, where he played offensive guard for the Spartans. He founded Worthington Industries in 1955 and built the company into an international manufacturing company. McConnell owned the NHL Columbus Blue Jackets and an Arena Football League team in Columbus. Among many business and civic awards, McConnell received the NFF’s highest honor, the Gold Medal, in 1998. McConnell passed away in 2008. He was 85.
COACH LOU SABAN Scholar-Athlete Award
Endowed by George M. Steinbrenner III in 2003
In 2003, George Steinbrenner increased his support of the NFF Scholar-Athlete Awards program by endowing in perpetuity a second award in honor of his longtime friend, Coach Lou Saban. Steinbrenner and Saban traced their professional connections and friendship back to 1948, when both were involved in a Cleveland youth track and field program. Seven years later, the relationship deepened when Saban hired Steinbrenner as an assistant football coach at Northwestern University. At the time of endowing the scholarship in Saban’s name, Steinbrenner recalled working for Saban as a great lesson in discipline and loyalty, calling him “the ultimate warrior, molder of men and builder of teams.” Saban passed away in 2009 at the age of 87, and Steinbrenner passed away in 2010 at the age of 80.
JAMES J. CAMPBELL Scholar-Athlete Award
Endowed by William V. Campbell in 2005.
A native of Homestead, Pa., Jim Campbell was a three-sport athlete at the U.S. Naval Academy, earning All-America honors in football and lacrosse while also playing basketball. A three-year football letterman, he played end on the Navy team that met Texas in the 1964 Cotton Bowl for the national championship. An F-4 pilot, Campbell served in Vietnam, flying more than 200 combat missions, fighting the devastating fire on the USS Forrestal that claimed 134 lives and earning a Navy Cross. From 1985-88, he served as a Navy deputy athletics director, followed by a successful career in resort management. He passed away in 2006. His brother Bill, the longest current serving member of the NFF Board and the namesake of the Campbell Trophy, endowed the scholarship in Jim’s memory.
JEFFERSON W. KIRBY Scholar-Athlete Award
Endowed by F.M. Kirby Foundation in 2005
Founder and managing member of Broadfield Capital, an investment firm located in Morristown, N.J., Kirby joined the NFF Board in 1998, becoming an emeritus member in 2011. He is the current chairman of the Alleghany Corporation, and he has continued his father F.M.’s philanthropic vision through his work with the F.M. Kirby Foundation. Known as an astute businessman, Kirby has served on numerous other corporate boards. He is an alumnus of Lafayette College; holds an MBA from the Fuqua School of Business at Duke University; and serves as a board member of each institution.
VINCENT dePAUL DRADDY Scholar-Athlete Award
Endowed by the National Football Foundation in 2009
Vincent dePaul Draddy attended Manhattan College on a scholarship, becoming the quarterback and captain of the school’s 1929 football team. An innovator in the sports apparel industry, he developed the Izod and Lacoste brands as the chairman of David Crystal, Inc., and the brands still thrive today. Recruited by NFF Chairman Chester J. LaRoche to help promote the inaugural NFF Annual Awards Dinner in 1958, Draddy served on the NFF Board for 33 years, including 19 years as chairman. He passed away in 1990. A man with a deep belief in the lasting value of the lessons learned on the gridiron, Draddy took great pride in the NFF Scholar-Athlete Awards program. Recognizing his contributions, the NFF Board established the Vincent dePaul Draddy Scholar-Athlete Award in 2009.
COACH BOBBY BOWDEN Scholar-Athlete Award
Endowed by Phil Knight and Nike in 2010
In tribute to a remarkable coaching career that impacted the lives of countless young men, Nike and its chairman and co-founder Phil Knight endowed an NFF National Scholar-Athlete Award in honor of coaching legend Bobby Bowden. The relationship between Knight and Bowden spans many years, and the two men maintain close ties with a deep mutual respect for each other and their respective leadership abilities. Both men have claimed the NFF Gold Medal in recognition of their significant career achievements and for demonstrating integrity, honesty and the core values of college football. Inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2006, Bobby Bowden coached seven NFF National Scholar-Athletes at Florida State while amassing an all-time record of 377-129-4 for an astounding .743 win percentage.
General Robert R. Neyland Scholar-Athlete Award
Endowed by The Haslam Family Foundation in 2012
A star lineman at West Point who reached the rank of brigadier general between his head coaching stints at Tennessee, Robert R. Neyland instilled in his Volunteer players a military sense of organization, discipline and teamwork. James A. Haslam II, a tackle on Neyland’s 1951 national championship team and the 1952 captain, learned these lessons well. Starting with a single gas station in 1958, Haslam founded the Pilot Corporation, turning it into the largest operator of travel plazas in North America with sales in excess of $4 billion. In a fitting tribute to his coach, Haslam endowed one of the prestigious NFF National Scholar-Athlete Awards in Neyland’s honor, perpetuating the Hall of Fame coach’s legacy and his remarkable lifetime record of 173-31-12.
COACH BOB BLACKMAN Scholar-Athlete Award
Endowed in 2014
Through generous support, the Coach Bob Blackman Scholar-Athlete Award was endowed in 2014 to honor the legacy of the College Football Hall of Fame coach. Stricken with polio before his college varsity career at the University of Southern California could unfold, Blackman joined the USC coaching staff while he was still an undergraduate. He graduated cum laude in 1942 and a year later earned his Master’s Degree from USC. Blackman made his biggest mark as Dartmouth’s head coach from 1955-70, leading the Big Green to seven Ivy League championships and a 104-37-3 record. His teams went undefeated in 1962, 1965 and 1970. He also coached Illinois and Cornell before his retirement in 1982. Blackman passed away in March 2000 at the age of 81.
COACH VINCE DOOLEY Scholar-Athlete Award
Endowed by Nelson Bowers, Jack Davis, Billy Espy, Kevin Jackson and Coach Mark Richt in 2014
A group of supporters and former University of Georgia players has endowed a National Scholar-Athlete Award in honor of College Football Hall of Fame coaching legend Vince Dooley. The relationship between Coach Dooley and those endowing the scholarship covers many decades, and each of the endowers maintains close ties to Dooley with a deep respect for his leadership abilities and the game of football. Dooley served as Georgia head coach from 1964-88 and director of athletics from 1979-2004. He coached eight NFF National Scholar-Athletes at Georgia and guided the Bulldogs to a career record of 201-77-10 during his 25 years, becoming only the ninth coach in NCAA Division I history to win more than 200 games. The Bulldogs claimed the national championship in 1980 under Dooley’s guidance. He was elected to the College Football Hall of Fame in 1994.
COACH PHILLIP FULMER Scholar-Athlete Award
Endowed by Friends of Phillip Fulmer in 2014
Hall of Fame coach Phillip Fulmer touched many lives during his tenure as Tennessee head coach from 1992-2008. A group of those he impacted generously endowed a National Scholar-Athlete Award in his name. The 1998 National Coach of the Year achieved 137 wins in his first 15 campaigns, tying for the fourth-most in a 15-year span in college football history. Fulmer’s teams appeared in two BCS games, winning the first national title in the system’s history with a victory over Florida State in the 1999 Fiesta Bowl. Fulmer coached two William V. Campbell Trophy winners in Peyton Manning and Michael Munoz. Nineteen players earned First Team All-America honors under Fulmer, and 70 Volunteers were named First Team All-SEC during his tenure. He was elected to the College Football Hall of Fame in 2012.
COACH BO SCHEMBECHLER Scholar-Athlete Award
Endowed by Bo’s Players and Friends in 2014
One of the most influential coaches in college football history, Bo Schembechler’s legacy continues with a National Scholar-Athlete Award endowed in his name by a group of his former players and friends. After coaching Miami (Ohio) to two Mid-American Conference championships, Schembechler coached at Michigan from 1969-89. His combined record at the schools was 234-65-8, and when he retired, his victories were fifth best all-time among coaches of Division I-A teams. In 21 years at Michigan, he won 13 Big Ten championships and was in 17 bowls. Schembechler coached eight Hall of Famers and four NFF National Scholar-Athletes. He was elected to the College Football Hall of Fame in 1993, and he passed away in 2006 at the age of 77.
NEW YORK ATHLETIC CLUB Scholar-Athlete Award
Funded by the New York Athletic Club in 2014
In 2013, the New York Athletic Club (NYAC) became the official home of the William V. Campbell Trophy. As part of the partnership, the trophy occupies a prominent section of the NYAC Hall of Fame, featuring the names of each of the Campbell Trophy winners, and the NYAC also funds a National Scholar-Athlete Award. Founded in 1868, the New York Athletic Club boasts a unique and rich history with strong ties to Olympic sports, including its athletes having won 248 Olympic medals. The NYAC Board of Governors wanted to strengthen its ties to college football, and the Campbell Trophy and the NFF National Scholar-Athlete Awards program provided the perfect match because of their roots in New York City and goals of promoting the scholar-athlete ideal, sportsmanship and a dedication to excellence.
WOODY & ANNE HAYES Scholar-Athlete Award
Endowed in 2014
Woody Hayes left a lasting impact and his wife, Anne, served as a surrogate mother to every player he coached. A group of former players and friends have helped keep their legacies alive with a National Scholar-Athlete Award endowed in their names. Woody coached at Denison (Ohio) and Miami (Ohio) before serving as Ohio State’s head coach from 1951-78. His overall career record stands at 238-72-10, and his Buckeyes won 13 Big Ten Championships and five national championships. He produced three Heisman Trophy winners, 12 College Football Hall of Famers and six NFF National Scholar-Athletes. Woody was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1983, and he passed away in 1987 at the age of 74. His wife Anne, described by former players as “gracious and as strong-willed as Woody,” passed away in 1998 at age 83.
COACH BARRY SWITZER Scholar-Athlete Award
Endowed in 2015
An innovative coach who knew how to win, Barry Switzer created an impressive legacy as the head coach at Oklahoma from 1973-88. Through generous support, the Coach Barry Switzer Scholar-Athlete Award was endowed to honor the living legend. Switzer served as Oklahoma’s head coach from 1973-88, winning three national championships and 12 Big Eight Conference titles. He finished his career with a 157-29-4 record for an incredible .837 winning percentage, which was the fourth highest in history among NCAA Division I-A coaches when he retired. Switzer coached one Heisman Trophy winner, seven College Football Hall of Famers and four NFF National Scholar-Athletes. Elected to the College Football Hall of Fame in 2001, he is one of just three coaches to win a college national championship and a Super Bowl.
NFF SCHOLARSHIP AT HOUSTON BAPTIST UNIVERSITY
Endowed by Houston Baptist University and the Cullen Trust for Higher Education in 2015
The NFF scholarship at Houston Baptist University will provide an important tool for the young program, which completed its first season just two years ago in 2013. The scholarship will be presented annually to the top student-athlete on Houston Baptist’s football team from the pool of players who are in their last year of eligibility. One of the 38 programs to have launched football since 2010, the Huskies compete in the Southland Conference. Support for the scholarship is being led by Houston Baptist University President Dr. Robert B. Sloan Jr. and the Cullen Trust for Higher Education.
NFF BILL YEOMAN SCHOLARSHIP AT THE UNIVERSITY OF HOUSTON
Endowed by the Cullen Trust for Higher Education and the John M. O’Quinn Foundation in 2015
The scholarship at the University of Houston is named for College Football Hall of Fame coach Bill Yeoman, who coached the Cougars from 1962-86, building a young program into one of the best in the nation, including four Southwest Conference Championships and 11 bowl berths. He coached 46 All-Americans, including College Football Hall of Famer Wilson Whitley. The scholarship will be presented annually to the top student-athlete on the Cougars football team from the pool of players who are in their last year of eligibility.
NFF DARRELL K ROYAL SCHOLARSHIP AT THE UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS
Endowed by David S. Ballew, Marvin and Linda Bendele, the Cullen Trust for Higher Education, Susie and Don Evans, Chris Gilbert, The Lee and Joseph D. Jamail Foundation, Steve & Dee Dee Massey, Mike A. Myers, Michael W. Perrin, Chris Plonsky, Barbara and Corbin J. Robertson Jr. and Charlie Talbert in 2015
The scholarship at the University of Texas is named for College Football Hall of Fame coach Darrell K Royal, who coached the Longhorns from 1957-76, including three national championships, 11 Southwest Conference Championships and 16 bowl berths. Royal, who also had short stints at Mississippi State and Washington, finished with an overall career record of 184-60-5, and he coached nine College Football Hall of Famers and six NFF National Scholar-Athletes. He also served as Texas athletics director from 1962-80, and he was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1983. Royal passed away in 2012 at the age of 88. The scholarship will be presented annually to the top student-athlete on the Longhorns football team from the pool of players who are in their last year of eligibility.