JAMES J. CORBETT AWARD LUNCHEON
(Tuesday, June 10, 1:00- 2:30 p.m.)
If you read the USA Today, you know that Bob Costas has just recently signed a new $3 million contract with NBC. Bob joined NBC in 1980 as a play-by-play commentator for the Major League Game of the Week, NFL and college basketball telecasts. He received instant critical acclaim during his first season of NFL coverage on NBC when he teamed with Bob Trumpy to form one of sports' most opinionated
and entertaining broadcast teams. In 1983, he landed a regular play-by-play spot on Game of the Week baseball telecasts and he quickly broadened his popularity base with his probing and insightful play-by- play with analyst, Tony Kubek. Bob began his professional career at WSYR TV & radio while finishing his bachelor's degree in public communications at Syracuse University. In 1974 he joined KMOX radio in St. Louis, Missouri where his primary goal was to serve as the play-by-play voice for the Spirit
of St. Louis of the American Basketball Association. He was also the play-by-play commentator for the University of Missouri basketball and the Metro Conference Game of the Week, hosted two hourly nightly sports talk shows. Bob is a native of Queens and grew up on Long Island and presently resides there with his wife, Randy and newly born son, Keith Michael Kirby. Please welcome the National Sportscaster of the Year, a great friend of college athletics, Bob Costas.
Thank you, Jack. Of course, as I said in the article this morning in the USA Today, these
outrageous salaries are ruining sports. Jack mentioned the newborn who is now a month old. I never thought that a child of a month could receive more publicity and more ink than most people get in a lifetime. Everywhere I go they ask me about this kid and one simple flippant remark that I made
that came back to haunt me. In spring training this year, early March, I was talking to Kirby Puckett
from the Minnesota Twins who is as likeable and effervescent a guy as you would ever want to meet, and a pretty good ball player --he hit around .290 his first two years in the Major Leagues. He notices that my wife is quite pregnant and he says, "Listen why don't you name your kid Kirby, it works for
a boy or a girl and Kirby Costas has a nice ring to it." And I say rather flippantly, "Sure, if you are hitting .350 when this baby is born we will name him or her after you."
Now mind you, this is not the kind of promise one would make to Wade Boggs or George Brett, or for that matter, to Odibe McDowell, but I made it to Kirby Puckett and I forgot about it. Well, in the week preceding the baby's birth, Puckett gets as high as .397; he is the early talk of the American League. He is leading the league in home runs. Now my best hope is that the baby will be late and he will go into an extended slump. The baby is a week late and he does have a few "0 for 4s", but he is still
hitting .374 when the baby is born. Now there is a problem here. I had made the promise unilaterally. I didn't really consult my wife and she deserved some say in the matter. And there is no way in the
world she was ~aming this kid Kirby Costas. She wanted to name him Keith after her younger brother and I admit that that seemed to make more sense. So we named the child Keith Michael Costas. Well, you would have thought we had broken one of the Geneva Accords. Writers are calling me from around the country. They say they have just spoken with Kirby Puckett and he is in a deep depression. They predict a tailspin that will have him at .245 at the end of the month. How could you do this? How could you break this promise? Well we think about it and we realize that we are confronted now with a delicate problem involving matters of taste, conscience and marital relations; how to somehow reach a compromise. Then I was reminded of a great tradition, the great baseball tradition established by the old right-handed pitcher Cal McLish. Cal McLish's real name is Calvin Coolidge Julius Caesar Tuscahome McLish. I thought if he could have about six middle names, then my child could have two and maybe I could keep my promise and everybody would be happy. So four days after the birth we go back, we tear up the original birth certificate and we draw up another one and the child's name became Keith Michael Kirby Costas. I call Kirby Puckett in the visitor's locker room in Baltimore where the Twins are to play the Orioles,
about fifteen minutes before the game is to start. He is delighted, the weight of the world has been lifted from his shoulders. Puckett hits leadoff for the Twins, that night he hit Scott McGregor's first pitch into the left field seats for his 13th homerun. So it is kind of a reverse of the old Babe Ruth story; in this case, the child inspiring the athlete to greater heights. So now the youngster has a
Kirby Puckett baseball card in his crib and he will have his own private baseball player when he becomes old enough to understand. And of course, this involvement of family affairs in publicity for NBC Broadcasting has some precedent after all. I happen to work on the show which gave the public perhaps
the most touching and poignant moment of the past year. I refer to Ahmad Rashad's on-air wedding proposal to Phylicia Ayers Allen. Now that it has become obvious that we will do just about anything to increase our ratings, I understand that Pete Axthelm will shortly be seen in the secluded grotto with Dr. Ruth Westheimer.
Jack mentioned that I did Big Eight games in basketball and football for the University of Missouri; also Metro Conference games. Those assignments and the associations and friendships I made, many of them with people in this room, are something that I will always treasure. But, before I ever had those assignments, the first job I ever had in broadcasting came in Syracuse, New York. I was still a senior at Syracuse University and very hopeful of someday having a career in broadcasting, when I heard that there was an opening for a play~by-play man for a minor league hockey team, the Syracuse Blazers. This was in the fall of 1973. The guy who had done the games was a friend of mine. He graduated from
Syracuse a couple of years ahead of me and got a job in a bigger city. Six days before the season was to open he calls me to say that I can get the job succeeding him. I said that is fine, but realize there
is just one problem. I know absolutely nothing about hockey, which was true. At that time in my life, I had seen two hockey games from start to finish. So I weighed the obvious lack of preparation against
my desire to get my foot in the door. Ten minutes later I am down at the office of the station's general manager looking at tape of a basketball game I had done on the campus station between Syracuse and
Rutgers a couple of years before. I hand the fellow the tape and I say, "Listen, I just don't happen to have any hockey tapes available right now, but I do hockey at least as well as I do basketball." The guy listens to the tape; says fine. He hires me for $30 a game and $5 a day meal money on the road. Now I have five days to figure out how to broadcast a hockey game.
During those five days I go to every game that is within 200 miles driving distance. I am down at Madison Square Garden to watch the Rangers in an exhibition game. I am in Binghamton, Rochester, Buffalo and at each stop I take with me someone who is knowledgeable about hockey. We sit up in the press box
and I've got a yellow legal pad. This guy is trying to teach me the game, the terminology, the strategy; subtle things I need to know, like the rules. And I am writing it all down hoping that perhaps I can master this in time for the first broadcast and maybe fake my way through it. Well, the first game was played in Johnstown, Pennsylvania. We played in all the garden spots in the east, Johnstown and Lewistown, Maine. In fact the Johnstown Jets were the inspiration for the Paul Newman movie, "Slapshot," and that is what this league was all about. It was a rough arid tumble kind of "beer and a shot" sort of league, a blue collar league. We are riding seven hours on the bus from Syracuse to Johnstown and I am studying and re-studying the rosters of both these teams to the point where I know every player as if he is a member of my own family.
I am up in the booth about five minutes before the game is to start and I am very, very nervous, but, I think,well prepared. The Johnstown team skates out on the ice and for the first time, I guess since the Johnstown flood, their owner, who was a notorious cheapskate, had popped for new uniforms. Every number was changed. The first man to hit the ice that night was number two, Francois Wimet. I decided right then, whether he knew it or not, Froncois was about to play the greatest game of his life. That night whenever there was any doubt, which was always, Francois Wimet was there. Francois Wimet assisted on his own goals. He checked himself into the boards. The final score was 4 to 2 and Francois Wimet had seven goals. It was a truly incredible performance, both on his part and mine, and to this day there are people in Syracuse who wonder what ever happened to the once-promising career of Francois Wimet, who has never been heard from since.
A few years after that I found myself at NBC and my first assignment was in December of 1980, filling in for Dick Enberg, who was then working with Al Maguire and Billy Packer, a very popular threesome before Billy went to CBS working college basketball. And the first assignment NBC gave me was a rather bold move. They just stuck the kid in there for a game between Indiana and North Carolina. I am just as
nervous prior to this as I was before the first hockey broadcast. Now I had known Billy Packer. We had mutual friends, so we were acquainted. I met Billy and Al in Chapel Hill. I walk into the hotel room where we are having a production meeting; the producer, directer and all the people involved in the
broadcast are there. Billy greets me warmly, he introduces me to Al Maguire We sit there and discuss
the whys and wherefores of the broadcast for about an hour and then we go out to dinner with Dean Smith.
So we are sitting at the restaurant in Chapel Hill, Dean, Billy, Al and myself and the conversation goes on for another hour or two. We are on the dessert. Everybody is laughing and it is a very pleasant atmosphere. All of a sudden Al turns to me and he says, "Bob, what do you do?" I said,"Al what do you mean, what do I do; when I'm not here the rest of the year, or what am I doing here now?" He says, "No, what are you doing here now?" So I said, "Al, look around, do you see Dick Enberg anywhere?" He says no. I said
that tomorrow, I'm Dick Enberg. He gets up out of his seat and says, "Oh." Al is every bit, and I am sure many of the people in this room can vouch for this on personal experience, every bit as eccentric
day to day, minute to minute as he appears to be on the air. He can't remember most people's names and he has to attach to them a nickname of some sort that he can associate them. He calls me yellow pages because he thinks I have to sit on a couple of phone books to see over the microphone to broadcast the game.
I want to thank everybody involved with NACDA for their incredible hospitality. I backed myself
into a corner when my old friend Bob Trumpy, who I used to broadcast football games with, called me and asked if I could speak at a banquet tonight in Cincinnati. I guess this has something to do with the same flippancy as my child with two middle names, but I said that I could make it with no problems. I thought
this being a luncheon, I could make it there for a dinner. I didn't realize how remote Marco Island was. I didn't realize the only way to make it, after checking every possible connection, was to charter my own plane, which I guess is waiting outside the door.
It reminds me of a story, a true story involving a gentleman that every person in this room who has
been involved in coaching or as an athletic director, I am sure holds in the highest regards; the kind of individual where if you have him in your program, you sleep soundly every night. I refer to the former Providence College and ABA star, Marvin Barnes, a model of decorum and sportsmanship on every level.
Marvin was the outstanding player for the Spirits of St. Louis of the ABA which was my first broadcasting job. He soon became notorious for missing engagements of every kind, speaking engagements, sessions to autograph books or equipment, and just as significantly, games themselves. So we are playing the Nets
one night on Long Island. This was before they became the New Jersey Nets. They were playing in the Nassau Coliseum on Long Island. We played them on a Tuesday night and the next night we were supposed to play the late,lamented Virginia Squires in Norfolk, Virginia. It came as no surprise to anyone when Marvin missed the 8:15 plane out of LaGuardia, that was standard. No one even batted an eye. But Marvin was in rare form that morning and afternoon because he missed the 10:20, the 11:50, and 1:20 and the
3:10 as well, and that is when it dawned on him that the only way to make it for this game between the
Spirits and the Squires was to charter his own plane. This Marvin did at considerable personal expense. Even then, as the plane was airborne, he realizes it is going to be very, very close. So as the only passenger in the plane he puts his uniform on while they are in the air. Now this was the middle of
February and very cold outside, 25 or 30 degrees. Marvin puts on the shorts and uniform shirt and he's got the high-top sneakers on. He is set to go. He puts on one of those floor-length Walt Frazier-style coats that were very popular in the mid-70s. Marvin did look sharp.
They land at the little regional airport and they have a car waiting for him. They whisk him to
the arena where the game is to start at 7:30. Here it is about 7:25. The team has already warmed up once. They are back in the locker room, the team huddled around making last minute preparations. What are they going to do in the absence of Marvin Barnes? People will have to shift positions. They will have to go with an entirely new strategy. Just as the coach is making the Xs and Os on the blackboard, a set of double doors at the back of the locker room swings open and standing there grinning ear to ear is Marvin Barnes.
He parts the coat Clark Kent style to reveal the uniform beneath and proudly declares, "Boys game time is on time." Well, you couldn't help but laugh, he was an engaging character in a way. High fives were exchanged all around, the coach,McKinna shrugs his shoulders, what is he going to do with his protege? He starts him, what the heck, no warm up, he starts him. Marvin scores 41 points, pulls down 19 rebounds, but that is not the best of it. The best part of the story happens during the first time out. The first time out comes and here is the pilot of the plane standing behind the Spirits' bench. Marvin's reputation has preceeded him. He doesn't trust him to pay through the mail. He demands payment now, so Marvin sends the trainer back into the locker room and during the second time out, the trainer emerges with the checkbook. While the team is huddled around the coach, here is Marvin, sweat dripping off his chin, "Yeah man, who do I make this out to?" So I will be thinking of Marvin Barnes as I bolt out the door and get in this
plane and, hopefully, make it to Cincinnati where dinner time will be on time. Thank you very much for all your kindness and hospitality in having me here today.
Bob, thank you very much on behalf of NACDA for taking time out from your extremely busy schedule to be with us. I know that you have to run so we will excuse you as you go out the back door.
Now we will return to our regularly-scheduled program. At this time, as is our custom, we will
introduce the lower dais and I would like to start at my right and your left with the University Division Representatives. Seated at the upper dais is Bill Carr, University of Florida; Gary Cunningham, Fresno
State University; Denis Lambert, University of Vermont; Fred Schaus, West Virginia University; Vern Smith, University of Toledo; Frank Windegger, Texas Christian University; College Division Representatives, Arthur Eason, William Paterson College; Bob Hiegert, California State University-Northridge; Betty Kruczek,
Fitchburg State College; Tony LaScala, Illinois Benedictine College; Bill McHenry, Washington and Lee University; Bob Mullen, University of Southern Colorado; Chuck Smith, University of Missouri-St. Louis; Junior College and Community College Representatives, Bob Bottger, Indian River Community College;
Pete Pisciotta, Glendale Community College; Max VanLaningham, Dodge City Community College; Doug Yarnall, Mitchell College; At-Large Representatives, Barbara Camp, Southern Methodist University; Kit Green, University of Washington; Tom Hansen, Pacific 10 Conference; Barbara Hollmann, University of Montana; Mickey Holmes, Sugar Bowl; Chris Hoyles, Western Michigan University; Bob Moorman, Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association; Jen Shillingford, Bryn Mawr College; Charlotte West, Southern Illinois University.
Now on the upper dais, starting again to my right and your left, Mike Cleary, executive director
of NACDA; By Brockway, Pepsi Cola Corporation, sponsor of our wives hospitality; Peter Upschmidt, General Manager of the Marco Island Resort, and he was also the host of our Sunday night cocktail party- thank
you Peter; National Car Rental host, co-host for yesterday's luncheon, Bob Vecchione; Ken Bastian,
public relations representative of the Goodwill Games and co-host of last night's cocktail party; Paul Munich, Madison Square Garden, co-host of today's luncheon; Peter Carlesimo, executive director, NIT, and co-host of today's luncheon. I am going to skip the next gentleman. I'll go back down to my left and your extreme right, Vinnie Cullen, secretary of NACDA and Rhode Island Community College athletic director;
Terry O'Connor representing DECO International that sponsored your gray vinyl folders with registration; Carl Miller, third vice president, University of Pacific; Dan Quilty, representing the Metropolitan Intercollegiate Basketball Association, and also a co-sponsor of today's luncheon; Randy Sinclair, Fellowship of Christian Athletes and sponsor of the breakfast this morning; Homer Rice, first vice president, athletic director at Georgia Tech; Mike Lude, athletic director, University of Washington and past president of NACDA; Andy Mooradian, our NACDA president and athletic director from the University of New Hampshire. And now I would like to call on Pete Carlesimo to present the NIT-NACDA Award. Pete.
I have always felt that if you can't say anything good about a person, you shouldn't say anything.
So instead of talking about Bill Orwig, I am going to talk about Jane Orwig. This is the lady completely responsible for all of Bill's success. Jane please stand and be recognized. Bill Orwig earned great respect as an athletic director. It was very difficult to disagree with him and I could never quite pinpoint the rationale behind it all until I found out that Bill Orwig's real name is Quielmo Oregano.
He was born in Sicily, not related to the Gambinos, but close personal friends. And it was very difficult to disagree with Bill. The truth of the matter is Bill Orwig is not even a wee bit Italian, but he
did indeed earn great respect. The NIT had many ups and downs and thanks to men like Bill, we always managed to land on our feet. He has helped me many times in many ways. To know Bill was to love him.
I have never met a man in our profession with more talent and more class, a true living legend in every sense of the word. Bill will you please step forward? It gives me the greatest of pleasure on behalf of the NIT Committee to present to Bill Orwig the NIT-NACDA Athletic Directors Award.
Thank you very much, Pete. Fellow members of NACDA and guests, I can't even begin to tell you how pleased I am to receive this award. When Pete wrote to me some time ago and I opened the letter and I looked at it, it said that the Committee, in all their wisdom, had selected me to receive the NIT Award to be presented at the NACDA Convention in June. And I thought, matter of fact I said to Janie, these
guys must have holes in their heads. I just couldn't believe that I was the recipient, but nevertheless, I am very, very glad to receive it. I am glad to see it is a pitcher, not a plaque. If you stay in this racket as long as I have been in it, which is 45 years, you accumulate a lot of hardware. I am running out of wall space i!l my family room. Jane said, "I hope they give you a watch." Well, honey, they
didn't give us a watch, but they gave us a pitcher, and I can mix my martinis in that. I will make my remarks quite short for the simple reason that there is a much, much larger aspect in giving Carl the
Jim Corbett Award. Carl, I want to tell you how pleased I am. You and I have been in college for many, many years. We have worked together in many, many ways on different committees within NACDA and the NCAA. There is no more deserving person for the Jim Corbett Award than Carl Maddox.
You know. I am always amazed when I come to NACDA. I don't come often enough. Sometimes you get
your way paid. The NIT is paying our way. I can tell you that is one of the reasons we are here. When you retire you have to take a long look at the bank account and see whether the bank account can afford
a trip to Florida. Thankfully. Pete in his great humorous way. decided that he would pay our way and we are here. As I said. I don't come to many NACDA meetings. I do come to the ones that NACDA pays. which are practically all of them. but I am really amazed when I come to a NACDA meeting to see how it has
grown. I can remember the first Convention 21 years ago in Chicago. Some of you were there. Mike was there because that was Mike's first Convention. I am amazed at the fact of how you have grown through the years and the people who are responsible for it. And. let me say this. I don't get much of an opportunity to thank Mike for all the things he has done for NACDA and for me personally. I remember when we stuck Mike in an office up in Minneapolis he shared with two or three other people. That was about 22 years ago and then we had our first Convention in Chicago. I just want Mike to know. and I want you people to know, that for NACDA's growth. the guy who is really responsible for it is Mike Cleary.
I have always been a great believer in sports as part of our American way of living. Yesterday,
Bill Curry's remarks relative to that just made me feel that way more so. I am reminded of an experience I had of 40 years ago which brought home the real sudden realization of how important we are, and how important it is to have sports in our American way of life. I mentioned 40 years ago, that would bring us back to March of 1946. At that time I was involved in some high school work in Toledo, Ohio, as a football and a basketball coach. But in order to augment my income, because we weren't getting paid a great deal in those days, I was doing some officiating. I was very fortunate to be chosen by the Big Ten
Conference to work the Final Four of the NCAA, which in that year was held in Madison Square Garden.
I went a day or two early so I could watch the finals of the NIT Tournament. The two teams were Utah
and Kentucky. On the Utah team was a little Japanese-American boy by the name of Walter Masaka. On the Kentucky team was a great basketball player, number one in the country, by the name of Ralph Baird. Masaka was about 5'10" and probably weighed around 160 pounds. Baird was about 6'2" or 6'3" and weighed about 190 He was called "Mr. Everything" in basketball. Nobody had ever heard of Walter, but in the man to man defense that the Utah coach, Peterson, used against Kentucky that night, Masaka was chosen to guard Ralph Baird. He held Ralph Baird to 3 points, one basket and one free throw, and as a result of the great
work that this little guy did on Ralph Baird, and of course, the work of his teammates, Utah won the game and won the National Invitation Tournament Championship. Just before the end of the ballgame, with just about a minute to play, the Utah coach took Masaka out of the game. About 14,000 people in the Garden
that night rose to a person and stood on their feet and cheered the great effort turned out by the little Japanese-American boy. As I reflected on it later, I thought what a great display of how sports are in the American way of life. Remember, I mentioned the date was March, 1946. We had just finished a war with Japan. There were people in the audience who had lost loved ones in the Japanese conflict. There wasn't much love in the heart of any of those people or any American for that matter, for anyone of Japanese ancestry. Yet they could cast aside all of their dislike for the Japanese race and stand on their feet at a sports contest and cheer the efforts of a little Japanese-American boy. Since that time I
realize how great our sports program is in America, and how much it means to the American way of life.
Just as the gathering here today, allover the country at the end of sports season, the junior high level, the grade school level, college level, the high school level, they have sports banquets where they honor the efforts of the kids who played for them. I am sure you don't see that in nations dominated by Communism. My congratulations to Pete and his group for keeping the NIT a viable tournament. They had, as Pete has mentioned, they had some rocky times not too long ago when the NCAA enlarged the format to include 64 teams. The NIT Tournament was in difficulty, but Pete and his colleagues arranged it so they are now a very viable and growing organization.
And what I didn't know, until last evening when I had dinner with Pete and some of his friends, they have an all star team that they pick. That all star tea~ travels to Europe and to foreign countries, and plays a large nu~ber of ga~es. It takes the spirit of American sports into the foreign nations.
In closing, I want to congratulate Carl, again, for being selected for the Corbett Award. It is a great, great honor. I was fortunate enough to have had that honor a few years ago and I know what it means to me. I know what it means to Carl. I want to congratulate all of you people, particularly the younger people, who are coming on to make NACDA the outstanding sports organization in the country. Thank you.
Congratulations again, Bill. You are a credit to our organization. We certainly hope to follow in your footsteps. At this time, I would like to introduce Mike Lude, athletic director, University of Washington, for the Corbett Award presentation.
Thank you very much, Jack. This award luncheon is a highlight for most of us who have come to the Conventions regularly for a number of years. I had no inkling or the slightest idea that I would be standing before you today with this honor of introducing the Corbett Award winner. You see the Corbett Award winner has the privilege of choosing who he or she wishes to introduce them. I was absolutely speechless when I had a telephone call from Carl, who said, "Will you do this?" I love him so much I said, immediately, yes. Now, if you can all be on my team for just a few minutes here, I am going to try and do the job. I am going to try and introduce Carl and give him the respect and the admiration he deserves.
Ladies and gentlemen, as far as I am concerned, it is truly significant and most appropriate for Carl Maddox to be the recipient of the James J. Corbett Award. When you consider an athletic director who most typifies Jim Corbett's devotion to intercollegiate athletics, and who has worked unceasingly
for its betterment, you have to have immediately in mind Carl Maddox. Carl Maddox not only knew James Corbett well, observed and studied his leadership style, but was privileged to be on Corbett's team at LSU. Jim was Carl's boss when he was athletic director. Carl was on Paul Dietzel's football staff,
serving as offensive backfield coach during the 1958 national championship days.
I am more than pleased. honored and exceedingly grateful that Carl asked me to be the presenter today. Not only do I admire him. respect him. like him. but I love him. He is my friend. You have read in the program. I am certain. or if you haven't you will when you take it back to your room. all the
biographical information. I don't plan to go into a re-read of this. I'll provide you with a quick summary however. Carl was born in Natchitoches, graduated from Northwestern State University. He was a PT Boat Commander in the South Pacific during World War II. There is some other person that didn't probably get nearly the recognition that Carl did as Commander. I think his name is Jack Kennedy, but nevertheless, he was an outstanding military officer. He has a graduate degree from LSU. He coached high school football and track championship teams at the Gulf Coast Military Academy and Greenwood High School.
He spent 26 years at LSU, seven as assistant football coach, eight as builder and director of the
LSU Tiger Student Union and II years as director of athletics. He also spent five years as director of athletics at Mississippi State University. I first met Carl in 1958 when I was asked by Paul Dietzel to help put in an offense called the "Wing T" for the Fighting Tigers. I remember those Monday phone calls from the LSU staff, and Carl in particular, as we would talk about a game plan for the following week.
It was a great experience for a little guy like me to work with the big guys of the Fighting Tigers. I have been extremely fortunate to work with him and share his wisdom and expertise through NACDA, the NCAA, the United States Sports Academy and other areas. Carl was always one of the coaches and athletic directors who attended clinics, meetings, seminars. He sat right down in front, took voluminous, copious notes. He
always shared so much with new, young, inexperienced people in our profession, and was always willing to help them.
I want to highlight some appropriate words of Carl Maddox; generous, dependable, reliable, humble,
helpful, honest, friendly, reasonable, resourceful, example of integrity, leadership, perceptive and truly
an uncanny sense of business expertise. You know where you stand with Carl and you can always count on him. When one speaks and has in mind, "team player," the two words should be synonymous with two other words, Carl Maddox. This is a man not only who knows the meaning of being a real doer, but everyday and is continually doing that and everyday is demonstrating it.
He believes in putting back into the system and the profession more than it has given him. Carl Maddox personifies that outstanding cliche that we used yesterday, "isn't it amazing how much we can accomplish when no one cares or gets the credit." As a friend and a colleague, I know that Carl has one of the best senses of humor that one could really hope for. He is an example of play hard and work hard ethic. This is not the first honor for this outstanding individual. Several months ago he was inducted into the LSU Hall of Distinction. In two weeks he will be inducted into the State of Louisiana Hall of Fame. Ladies
and gentlemen, when the James J. Corbett Award was conceived, those who e.stablished the criteria certainly must have had Carl Maddox as a model. Now ladies and gentlemen, let me present Mike, Steve and Tim
Maddox's father, and Claire Maddox's husband, your 1986 NACDA James J. Corbett Award recipient, Carl Maddox.
CARL MADDOX :
Thank you Mike. Again you demonstrate a fertile imagination and creative mind and I'm deeply grateful for that introduction. President Mooradian, members of the head tables, ladies and gentlemen of NACDA, I
am overwhelmed by several things today and a little bit intimidated by the size of this gathering, but then I reason that many of you came simply out of curiosity. You ask yourselves why in the name of all reason are we giving a luncheon which honors this guy when some of the greatest people of all history never had a luncheon. Eve who said to Adam, "What do you mean the kids don't look like you," never had a luncheon. Noah's wife, who said to him after 40 days and 40 nights, "It's your turn to spread the papers on the floor," never had a luncheon. Nero's wife, Shirley, who said to him, "Idiot, fiddle on the roof, you'll make a million," never had a luncheon. Lady Godiva's husband who said to her, "Where have you been, the horse has been home for an hour and a half?" never had a luncheon.
When Andy Mooradian wrote me that I had been selected for this honor, I called him immediately and
I said, "Andy, how long had the party been going on when you arrived at this decision?" As Mike told you, Jim Corbett was my athletic director at LSU during the exciting and enjoyable days that I worked for Paul Dietzel as the football coach. Jim was a warm, big-hearted Irishman with unusual energy. His innovative mind and his zest for day-to-day living combined to produce an aura of excitement. I treasure having known him as a boss and as a friend. He was a fine guy to be around. Throughout my life, I have been fortunate, flat out lucky may be a more descriptive word, in the people to whom I have reported; my university presidents and chancellors, all scholars with management skills. Paul Dietzel was one who not only was skillful in managing the players, but also did a masterful job of managing the football staff, half of whom were about ten years older than he. My squadron commander in the South Pacific was a fine officer. In the summers when I used to roughneck in the oil fields, or cut cypress in the swamps of south
Louisiana, my drillers and gang pushers were strong able men. Now I didn't choose these people, it just happened.
But I did choose one person to whom I report; one who is all too familiar with the trials and tribulations of football coaches and athletic administrators. One to whom I owe a deep debt of gratitude for patience and resilience and comradship. Way back in 1940, I over-married myself to Miss Fine of 39, Claire Joachim from Biloxi, Mississippi. I am going to ask her to stand please. We have been married 46 years but Claire says it seems like only 45.
At the obvious risk of overdoing it, I continue to regale you with some personal comments. Regale, that may be an optimistic verb there, but I have also been extremely fortunate in the people with whom I have worked, my peers. A few of them are here today. Charlie McClendon came from Vanderbilt to LSU a
year before I came aboard, and he stayed a year after I left. Mac was a truly exceptional head football coach. By the way, many of you know that he is going to be inducted into the Football Foundation Hall of Fame this December. Now he is doing another exceptional job as executive director of the Football Coaches Association. Now colleagues such as this make the going enjoyable. Claire and I spent 25 years at LSU, a place that I would have rather been than any other place on earth; wonderful years while our three sons were growing up. Late in my career I found another love. The retirement practices were different in Mississippi and we spent our last five years at Mississippi State. I have never seen a more responsive student body, a more supportive faculty or more staunch alumni; and Claire and I have never been treated better by town and gown, so we shall always have a warm spot in our hearts for the Mississippi State Bulldogs.
Now. so much for the saga of the Maddoxes. Speakers on occasions such as this can be generally divided into two categories. There are those who attempt to simply entertain. and there are those who propose to bring a message. Now the latter alternative gives me some problems. because if you are going to bring a message. then you ought to qualify as an expert in some field. An expert I am not. so I
am just going to jump in there and flounder around for just a few brief minutes. I won't demonstrate any profound thinking. I am not going to say anything that is going to change the destiny of man one whit. Nowa couple of my pet beliefs; true we are in the entertainment business. but I don't think that should be our approach to college athletics. For the spectators, the contests are entertaining. But. we are first concerned with the participants. and their playing experience should be part and parcel of their learning experience. All of us recognize the importance of winning. but the best measure of the success of a college athletic program is how the ex-athletes view their experiences five years or ten years or 20 years or 25 years after they have completed their competition. Whether it is Clemson or Indiana or Utah or whatever. if they say they had a great experience. the program is a good program.
Second, despite the financial pressures. I hope that the NCAA and conference legislations continue
to encourage broad scope athletic programs. I hope the schools are discouraged from concentrating their efforts on just one or two sports. There should be a place for a youngster to compete who doesn't stand 6'10". who can't run the loo meters in 10:2. who can't military press one and a half times his body
weight. but who has the competitive urge and who has developed some agility and stamina. And. by the way. I don't hold with the image of the NCAA as an ogre sitting up on a throne somewhere and handing
down decisions. We are the NCAA and we have demonstrated over the years that we need a controlling body. The executive arm at Mission, Kansas works for us and we must arm them with some effective legislation.
Our organization. NACDA. has filled a void in college athletics. Our leadership has remained strong and with the assistance of the gentle but firm ha~d of Mike Cleary. we have become a sound influence in the affairs of collegiate sports. NACDA has done much to enhance the image of athletic administration as a true profession so you have reason to be very proud of your accomplishments.
Over the years. I have come to believe that an audience deserves to be told where the speaker is in his talk. You know. much as an airplane pilot says we are 75 miles out and we have started our descent into Denver. or we are number 20 in the landing traffic pattern over Atlanta. Well. I tell you now chat the landing wheels are down. We are on our down-wind leg and you will soon be on the ground. I have always believed that the proper role of an athletic director is low profile. I think the glamour roles belong to the head coaches. The ADi missions are support. control and in these times. we are also
saddled with fund raising. We enjoy the support role because there we are helping the athletes and the coaches achieve their goals. but fiscal control and riding herd on conformance with the regulations of
the univeristy and the conference and the NCAA. those are not enviable jobs. But one takes solace in the knowledge that his everyday decisions. no matter how menial. have an effect on the well-being of several hundred student-athletes. If one really enjoys coaching. and I did. then there is no other job that can compare. However. sound athletic administration is vital to college athletics and it keeps one in the fraternity. I think it is a great fraternity. a fraternity composed of courageous people who know what it is to take the heat of the kitchen. who know that it is a short trip from the penthouse to the outhouse. and who enjoys working with young folks. Our SEC is like your conference. We get after each other
something fierce on game days, but once the contest is over, then we are comrades again. We don't expect the affluent members of our conference to be their brother's keeper, but we do expect them
to be their brother's brother. Now I cherish my association over the years with this fraternity of hard-nosed, competitive people, and may our paths cross from time to time along the trail. I thank
you for this high honor. May the road rise up to meet you, may the wind be always at your back, may
the sun shine warm upon your face and the rain fall gently on your fields, and until we meet again, may God hold you in the palm of His hand.
Congratulations, Carl. You can see why he is the recipient of the 1986 Corbett Award. Thank you fo~ your attention. We hope you have enjoyed the presentations. This luncheon is adjourned.