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Legendary Dallas Cowboys Personnel Director Gil Brandt to Receive Distinguished Texan Award from NFF Gridiron Club of Dallas
DALLAS, April 3, 2012 – The National Football Foundation (NFF) Gridiron Club of Dallas announced today that legendary Dallas Cowboys Vice President of Player Personnel Gil Brandt will receive the Dis
Published: 4/3/2012 6:31:42 PM

DALLAS, April 3, 2012 – The National Football Foundation (NFF) Gridiron Club of Dallas announced today that legendary Dallas Cowboys Vice President of Player Personnel Gil Brandt will receive the Distinguished Texan Award. Brandt will accept the award at the chapter’s fourth annual banquet April 16 at the Marriott Quorum in Addison, Texas.

“We all know what the Cowboys mean to everyone in this region, in this state and across the nation,” said NFF President and CEO Steve Hatchell. “Gil was a cornerstone in turning the Cowboys from a fledgling franchise in to America’s Team. He deserves a tremendous amount of credit for helping the Cowboys achieve their many successes, and we are thrilled to honor him.”

A native of Milwaukee, Wis., Brandt graduated from the University of Wisconsin and began working for the Cowboys before their inaugural season in 1960. He quickly morphed Dallas from expansion also-ran to contenders. In 1966, the Cowboys earned their first winning record, finishing with a 10-3-1 mark, and reached the NFL Championship Game. That season began a streak of 20 consecutive winning seasons in which they won two Super Bowls, five NFC championships, 13 division titles and 18 playoff appearances, a run that earned the Cowboys the moniker of “America’s Team”.

As Vice President of Player Personnel, Brandt had a hand in acquiring seven eventual Pro Football Hall of Famers. Included among that group are College Football Hall of Famers Tony Dorsett (Pittsburgh), Bob Lilly (TCU), Mel Renfro (Oregon), Roger Staubach (Navy) and Randy White (Maryland). He is also credited with innovative scouting techniques such as converting basketball players and track athletes into football players, acquiring productive rookies outside the draft and looking beyond the United States for players.

Brandt left the Cowboys in 1989 and contributes to, offering commentary on personnel issues. He is also a regular voice on Sirius NFL Radio Network.

The Distinguished Texan Award, the chapter's most prestigious award, pays tribute to an outstanding person who has maintained a lifetime of interest in the game of football and has been a significant contributor to the betterment of the game. TCU head coach Gary Patterson was bestowed the honor last year, while Dallas Cowboys owner, president and general manager Jerry Jones received the award in 2010. Grant Teaff, the former Baylor head coach and a College Football Hall of Fame inductee who currently serves as the executive director of the American Football Coaches Association, claimed the inaugural Distinguished Texas Award in 2009. Teaff and Jones both serve as directors on the NFF's national board.

"The event promises to be a highly memorable and entertaining night as we recognize the contributions of Gary Patterson and several other individuals who have played a major role in helping strengthen amateur football in North Texas," said Gerald Brence, the president of the NFF Gridiron Club of Dallas and the athletics director for the Plano Independent School District. "We received unmatched support for the event the past three years with more than 700 people in attendance, and we anticipate an even greater turnout this year."

The event, starting at 6 p.m., will also recognize the best high school and college student-athletes in North Texas while paying tribute to several outstanding individuals for their contributions to football and the community. Sportscaster Scott Murray will serve as the evening's emcee for the fourth consecutive year. The club will also present the Steve Storie Official of the Year award, the Athletics Director of the Year award, the Legends Award for local contributions to the game, and several high school coach of the year awards at the April 16 function. The club's awards committee will announce the additional honorees in the near future.

For more information on tickets and/or banquet sponsorship opportunities, please contact club president Gerald Brence at 469-878-5370 or via email at

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