All NACDA Members
James J. Corbett Awards Luncheon
(Monday, June 14, 12:30-2:00 p.m.)
If you could please take your seats, we would like to begin. Thank you. If you could direct your attention to the back of the room, I would like to welcome our head table; the Officers, Executive Committee members and today's award winners. Ladies and gentlemen, our head table. Thank you.
Welcome to the 1999 James J. Corbett Awards Luncheon. I would like to open by introducing our Officers and Executive Committee members. Please hold your applause to the end. On the upper dais, to my right and your left is Mike Cleary, your executive director; Bill Bradshaw, AD at Depaul University and NACDA's 3rd vice president; Debbie Yow, AD at the University of Maryland and NACDA's 2nd vice president; Dave Hart, Jr., AD at Florida State University and NACDA's 1st vice president; and also, Craig Wessel, director of marketing of the SportsBusiness Journal, our media partner in the NACDA/Continental Airlines AD of the Year program; Jim Host, CEO of Host Communications, representing one of today's luncheon sponsors, NCAA Football; Jack Powers, executive director of the NIT, also a sponsor of today's luncheon; and Lamar Berry, national sales manager for Continental Airlines, sponsor of the NACDA/Continental Airlines AD of the Year Award.
Additionally, the current leadership of NACDA, the Executive Committee is seated at the lower dais. Starting on the end, from my right and your left is Jennifer Alley, executive director of the National Association of Collegiate Women Athletic Administrators; Tricia Bork, group executive director of championships at the NCAA; Linda Bruno, commissioner of the Atlantic 10 Conference; Ron Case, AD at Gloucester County College; Joe Castiglione, AD at the University of Oklahoma; Charles Cavagnaro, AD at the University of Nevada-Las Vegas; Dana Craft, associate AD at Southwest Texas State University; Mark Dienhart, men's AD at the University of Minnesota; Brian Farrell, AD at Community College of Baltimore County at Catonsville; Jim Fallis, AD at the University of Northern Colorado; Amy Hackett, associate AD at the University of Utah; Warren Hansen, AD at Cuesta College; Betty Jaynes, chief executive officer of the Women's Basketball Coaches Association; Roger Maisner, AD at Mansfield University; and Lori Mallory, AD at Johnson County Community College.
On the lower dais, to my left and your right is Lee McElroy, AD at American University; Porter Miller, AD at Earlham College; Howard Patterson, AD at the University of the Incarnate Word; Sharlene Peter, AD at Eastern Connecticut State University; Ron Prettyman, AD at Cal State Dominguez Hills; Judy Rose, AD at the University of North Carolina-Charlotte; Kim Record, assistant AD at Florida State University; Randy Spetman, AD at the U.S. Air Force Academy; Betsy Stephenson, senior associate AD at UCLA; Don Tencher, AD at Rhode Island College; Keith Tribble, executive director of the FedEx Orange Bowl; Miechelle Willis, associate AD at Ohio State University; Dick Young, AD at Lynn University; and Jerry Hughes, AD at Central Missouri State University.
Ladies and gentlemen, a round of applause for the Officers, Executive Committee members, sponsors and guests.
Please rise for our invocation. I would like to introduce Lee McElroy, the director of athletics at American University and a member of our Executive Committee. After the invocation, please enjoy your lunch and we will start the program shortly. Lee.
(Tape was completely inaudible for the invocation.)
Please continue eating. We will begin our program in about 10 minutes.
Dave Hart, Jr.:
We will begin our program by bringing to the podium, Jim Host of Host Communications to say a few words about NCAA Football. Jim.
(Tape was inaudible for Jim Host's presentation.)
Dave Hart, Jr.:
We will now continue with the NACDA/Continental Airlines AD of the Year Awards. This is the inaugural year of the awards program, which was created to highlight the efforts of athletics directors at all levels for their commitment and positive contributions to campuses and their surrounding communities. The program brings to light the exceptional jobs done by athletics directors across the country. NACDA's executive director, Mike Cleary, oversaw implementation of the program to allow all NACDA Officers and Honors and Awards Committee members to participate in the awards process, should they be nominated.
There are four geographic regions, while the membership is separated into six categories - Division I-A; Division I-AA/I-AAA; Division II, Division III; NAIA/Other Four-Year Institutions; and Junior/Community Colleges. One regional winner was selected in each of the six categories. From that group of 24, six winners - one from each category, were selected as the Overall AD of the Year.
Continental Airlines, the fifth largest airline in the United States, with major hubs in Newark, Houston and Cleveland, is the sponsor of the NACDA/Continental Airlines AD of the Year Awards. Continental is the official airline of NACDA. Here to present the awards is Lamar Berry, Continental's national sales manager.
Dave Hart, Jr.:
We will honor 18 athletics directors with the regional awards and six overall winners. We will begin with our regional awards. Bios of all of the athletics directors being honored are in your program. Today, we will be introducing those who are in attendance. Please hold your applause to the end.
We will begin with our Division I-A recipients. From the Northeast Region is Al Vanderbush of the U.S. Military Academy. In 1990, Al became the academy's AD, overseeing a 25-sport program. Among the highlights was the Academy's move from the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference to the Patriot League and the transition of Army football from its 108-year independent status to its first conference affiliation with Conference USA. After nine successful years at the helm, Al is retiring this summer. He has received the Legion of Merit, Bronze Star and Meritorious Service Medal. Al Vanderbush.
From the Southeast Region is C.M. Newton, AD at the University of Kentucky for the past 10 years. He has guided the addition of three sports, expanded the facilities and maintained the department's revenue stream. C.M. is a former NABC board member. He is currently a member of the NCAA Division I Basketball Committee and FIBA central board. C.M received the NACDA/NIT Athletics Directors Award in 1992 and was named by national sportswriters as "The Most Powerful Man in College Basketball." C.M. Newton.
From the Central Region is Bill Byrne of the University of Nebraska. In 1997-98, Nebraska became only the second institution in NCAA history to win three national championships in football in a four-year span, recorded its fourth consecutive top 10 finish in the Sears Directors' Cup, won six Big 12 Conference championships, finished in the top 10 nationally in seven sports and won its 19th consecutive conference all-sports crown. Bill was NACDA's president in 1991-92 and is currently chair of NACDA's Honors and Awards Committee and Inter-Association Liaison Committee. Bill Byrne.
Moving on to Division I-AA/I-AAA. From the Northeast Region is Bob Marcum of the University of Massachusetts. Bob could not be with us today. However, his bio is in your program.
From the Southeast Region is Paul Griffin of the University of South Florida. He moved the university from the Sun Belt Conference to the Metro Conference to Conference USA, winning 54 conference championships during his 12-year tenure. The university has added five sports, including football. Thirteen of USF's 18 teams have won at least one conference championship. Currently, Paul is in the process of guiding USF into Division I-A status by the year 2001. Paul Griffin.
From the Central Region is Bill Cords of Marquette University. Bill moved the program from independent status to the Midwestern Collegiate Conference to a charter membership in Conference USA. He has led the way to provide more services to the community, in particular the inauguration of the National Youth Sports Program designed to benefit underprivileged youth in the Milwaukee area, while encouraging use of Marquette facilities. He is a member of the NCAA Strategic Planning Cabinet and the Wisconsin Sports Authority Board. Bill Cords.
Moving on to Division II. Our first recipient is Deborah Chin of the University of New Haven, from the Northeast Region. Deborah could not be with us today.
From the Southeast Region is Phil Roach of Rollins College. Phil has been a successful coach and administrator at every level. At Rollins, he created a booster board of directors and team booster representatives. Phil had also been an AD at Guilford College and Marietta College. He was a member of NACDA's Executive Committee from 1993 to 1997 and is currently on the NACDA Sears Directors' Cup Committee. He has been a past president of the Ohio Athletic Conference. Phil was listed in Who's Who in American Education in 1991. Phil Roach.
From the Central Region is Jerry Hughes, who for the past 20 years has been the AD at Central Missouri State University. CMSU has won 63 MIAA titles, three national championships and had 17 other top four NCAA finishes. In 1984, the university made NCAA history when both the men and women's basketball teams won national titles. Additionally, CMSU has been the top-finishing MIAA University in the Division II Sears Directors' Cup standings for the past three years. Jerry is a member of NACDA's Executive Committee and is on NACDA's Honors and Awards and Nominating Committees. Jerry Hughes.
Moving on to Division III, from the Northeast Region is Rocky Carzo from Tufts University, where he has been for 33 years. Rocky was responsible for increasing the number of sports from 12 to 35. The university has regularly placed in the top 50 in the Sears Directors' Cup standings. Rocky has served as president of the ECAC and vice president of the NCAA. He has been the recipient of the ECAC/Jostens Administrator of the Year, National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame Distinguished American and General Robert R. Neyland awards. Rocky Carzo.
From the Southeast Region is Thomas Kinder of Bridgewater College, where he has been the AD for 21 years. Tom played an integral role in helping the Old Dominion Athletic Conference secure national championship events as a co-sponsor with the city of Salem, North Carolina for such championships as football, basketball and softball. He is a member of the NCAA Financial Aid and Amateurism Committee and the NCAA Eligibility Committee. Tom was inducted into the University of Charleston's Hall of Fame. Tom Kinder.
Our winner from the Central Region is Frank O'Brien from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point. Unfortunately, Frank could not be with us today.
Our next set of winners comes from the NAIA and other Four-Year Institutions. From the Northeast Region, we have Hal Smith of Malone College. Hal has transformed Malone's athletics program into one of Ohio's best. He started the football program and, after five years of competition, it has become a nationally ranked and respected team. Hal is currently the chair of divisions for the NAIA Competition Committee and the National Championship Basketball Tournament Committee. He was named the NAIA Administrator of the Year for the American Mideast Conference and for the Great Lakes Region in 1997-98. Hal Smith.
From the Southeast Region is Willie Washington from Benedict College. Willie oversees a 16-sport athletics program that has won 44 conference championships. The college has won three consecutive EIAC Commissioner's Cups. Willie has also led the basketball team to nine consecutive winning seasons and eight EIAC championships. Willie has been the South Carolina District 7 Coach of the Year, eight-time winner of the EIAC Coach of the Year and the NAIA Administrator of the Year for District 6. He was inducted into the EIAC Hall of Fame in 1995. Willie Washington.
Our Central Region winner, Harry Statham of McKendree College, could not be with us today.
Our final set of winners comes from the Junior/Community College ranks. From the Southeast, we have Ronald Mann of Prince George's Community College for 18 years. Ron has also coached men's soccer, baseball, basketball, softball and bowling. His men's soccer team has been nationally ranked six times, while the women's softball team has been nationally ranked five times. Ron has been the NJCAA Region 20 Coach of the Year 11 times and, in 1998, was inducted into the NJCAA Region 20 Hall of Fame. Ron is in his sixth year as assistant director of NJCAA Region 20. He is also a past president of the Maryland JUCO. Ronald Mann.
From the Central Region is Bob Bottger of St. Louis Community College at Meramec for the past nine years. He has been listed in several editions of Who's Who. In 1995-96, the college captured the Missouri Community College Athletic Conference all sports trophy. Bob is a founding father of the National Alliance of Two-Year College Athletic Administrators (NATYCAA) and is on the association's executive committee. He was its president in 1990-91. He was a member of NACDA's Executive Committee from 1985 to 1989. Bob was inducted into the Pioneer Athletic, NJCAA Swimming and Diving and the St. Lucie County Sports Halls of Fame. Bob Bottger.
Our final regional winner comes from the West Region, Allan Ferchuck of Red Deer College, where he has been the director of athletics for the past 11 years. He has created a hockey and athletics program that has been recognized as one of Canada's best for more than 20 years. He has lead hockey teams to three national championships during his 15-year career at Red Deer, and is a five-time winner of the Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference Hockey Coach of the Year. He has also been the recipient of the CCAA Coaching Excellence Award. Allan Ferchuck.
Ladies and gentlemen, while our regional NACDA/Continental Airlines AD of the Year Award winners return to their seats, let's have a round of applause for these outstanding administrators.
Moving on to our overall AD of the Year winners. From the junior and community colleges is Vin Cullen, for 34 years the director of athletics at the Community College of Rhode Island. He is the founder of the college's athletics program that encompasses 15 sports, and is the only AD and basketball coach in the college's history. Vin is a founding member of the National Alliance of Two-Year College Athletics Administrators (NATYCAA) and served as its president in 1995. From 1977 to 1982, he was a member of NACDA's Executive Committee and has also been NACDA's secretary. He is currently chair of NACDA's Continuing Education Committee. Vin has been named Coach of the Year more than 25 times, including the NJCAA National Basketball Coach of the Year in 1991. He has been inducted into several Halls of Fame and, in 1997, was the recipient of NATYCAA 's L. William Miller Award. Vin Cullen.
Our overall winner from the NAIA is Peggy Anderson from Eastern Oregon University. Peggy arrived at EOU in 1986 and has turned the program into one of the best in the region. She is also a professor of physical education and was instrumental in restructuring the curriculum, which is one of the most demanding and popular courses of study at Eastern Oregon. Peggy is president of the Northwest Intercollegiate Officials Association, chair of the NAIA Pacific Northwest region and a member of the NAIA Council of Athletic Administrators. She has been named the Female Athletic Administrator of the Year by the NAIA-ADA (twice), by the Pacific Northwest Region, by the CCC, and three times by District 2. She was also the recipient of the NAIA Meritorious Service Award. Peggy Anderson.
Our overall winner for Division III is Judy Sweet of the University of California-San Diego. When she took the position in 1975, Judy became the first woman AD in the nation to direct a combined men and women's department. Her 23-sport program has won 19 NCAA championships and the 1997-98 Division III Sears Directors' Cup. In 1991, Judy was elected to a two-year term as president of the NCAA, following a two-year appointment as secretary/treasurer, becoming the first women to serve in these positions. Judy is a member of NACDA's Sears Directors' Cup Committee and was on the NACDA Executive Committee from 1987 to 1991. Judy was selected as the Top Southern California College Sports Executive of the '80s. In 1992, she was the recipient of NACWAA's Administrator of the Year Award. In 1993, the California State Senate selected Judy as the District 39 Woman of the Year. Judy Sweet.
The Division II overall winner is Rudy Carvajal, the athletics director at California State University at Bakersfield for 27 years. During Rudy's tenure, the university has won 26 NCAA team and 152 individual championships, the most of any Division II institution that does not sponsor indoor and outdoor track and field. Cal State-Bakersfield has also won more California Collegiate Athletic Association titles than any current conference member, and has won more individual national titles in the 1990s than all other CCAA schools combined. In 1998, Cal State-Bakersfield won the Division II Sears Directors' Cup. Rudy was on NACDA's Executive Committee from 1980 to 1984 and is currently president of the CCAA. Rudy received the CSUB Distinguished Service and CSUB Foundation awards. Rudy Carvajal.
The overall winner for Division I-AA/I-AAA is Gary Cunningham from the University of California-Santa Barbara. Gary led the development of the university's first true athletics weight facility. He was also responsible for the development of a new pool complex, tennis facility, media room, training room and enhancements to the baseball and softball complexes. On the field, UCSB won six Big West Conference titles. Gary had been the AD at Fresno State for nine years, when the university won 46 conference championships. He was president of NACDA in 1988-89 and is currently chair of NACDA's Finance-Management Committee. He is also the president of the United States Collegiate Sports Council. In 1998, he received the All-American Football Foundation's Gen. Robert R. Neyland Award. Gary Cunningham.
Concluding our string of West Coast winners is the overall recipient in Division I-A, Jim Livengood from the University of Arizona. Since his arrival in January 1994, Arizona has consistently ranked in the top 10 in the Sears Directors' Cup standings; the men's basketball team was the 1997 national champion and reached the Final Four in 1994; and the softball team won three of the last five NCAA championships, while the football team won the 1998 Holiday Bowl. The NCAA recognized Arizona as a CHAMPS/Life Skills Program of Excellence in 1998. Jim is NACDA's president this year and also serves on the Sears Directors' Cup Committee. He is a past president of the Division I-A Athletics Directors Association. Jim Livengood.
Now, to speak on behalf of the NACDA/Continental Airlines AD of the Year Award recipients is Judy Sweet from the University of California-San Diego, who I'm sorry to say is stepping down at the end of this year to move into the academic ranks at the university. Judy, I'd like to take this opportunity, since I have it, to personally express, and I know many of your colleagues share these wishes, our appreciation of all you have done and meant to the enhancement of our industry. Believe me, you have meant a lot. Thank you.
On behalf of Jim, Gary, Rudy, Peggy, Vin and the other regional winners, I would like to say thank you to NACDA, Continental Airlines and the Selection Committee. I've had the good fortune of working with and learning from many of today's recipients and can confirm that they are all outstanding professionals and wonderful individuals.
When it was announced last year that this new award was being created, I had two initial reactions. How nice to recognize the contributions of athletics administrators and how in the world can anyone select a recipient or a defined number of recipients when there are so many men and women deserving of such recognition. Those reactions have not changed.
NACDA Executive Director Mike Cleary stated, "This program brings to light the exceptional jobs done by athletics directors, highlighting those who excel at their jobs. They each go above and beyond the call of duty." I can't think of any athletics administrator for which those words don't apply. I know that all 24 of us are respectful of the challenging and superb work done by the Selection Committee and appreciative of the highest honor of being recognized by our peers. We are most grateful, because when you honor us, you honor our profession, our staffs, our coaches and student-athletes, our universities, our families, our friends and colleagues, many of whom are like family, the organizations we are part of and all athletics administrators. In reality, every athletics administrator is deserving of the honor this award represents.
However, there is one thing that distinguishes at least five of us on the podium. We have the common characteristic of not having to shovel snow very often. Perhaps there is another. We collectively represent opportunities and decisions, whether the opportunities existed on our campus, the community, through NACDA, NCAA, NAIA, NJCAA or other organizations. Our desire to pursue those opportunities and to try to make a difference was made possible by someone making the decision to allow us to do so. We have had the opportunity to be pathfinders. It then became our responsibility to make sure we did the right thing and we did it in the right way. We've had the benefit of strong individuals and support teams with which to work, which includes many of you here today.
Today, we wish to extend a public thank you for the honor of representing the challenges, accomplishments and dedication of athletics administrators throughout the country and the privilege to have worked with all of you in so many important ways. We all share the common goal of helping student-athletes realize their hopes and dreams and what could be more rewarding than that. We humbly accept this award and share it with all of you. Thank you very much.
Dave Hart, Jr.:
Let's offer a round of applause for these outstanding athletics directors, our colleagues. We are proud to welcome them as the inaugural NACDA/Continental Airlines AD of the Year Award recipients.
Now to present the NACDA/NIT Athletics Directors Award, Jack Powers, executive director of the NIT.
Can you imagine that we had two Jacks on the dais here in Reno? Someone said that two jacks and we would hear ding, ding, ding from the machines outside. It's a privilege for me to introduce the 1999 NACDA/NIT recipient, a long-time friend of the NIT and of NACDA, the athletics director at the U.S. Naval Academy, Mr. Jack Lengyel. Jack has had an outstanding career in intercollegiate athletics. I'd like to take the opportunity to mention some of the highlights of his achievements.
He was an outstanding athlete at the University of Akron where he lettered in football, lacrosse, swimming and track. Upon graduation, he received a commission in the U.S. Army and later spent 12 years in the Air Force Reserve achieving the rank of captain.
His coaching career spanned a total of 18 years at all three NCAA levels. He was the former AD at Fresno State and at the University of Missouri. Jack is a past president of NACDA, this fine Association. He's a former president of the Division I-A Athletics Directors Association, the current chair of the Preseason Football Games Committee.
Since his arrival at Navy in 1988, he has done an outstanding job of marketing Navy's athletics, acquiring the necessary funds for the 30-sport program, one of the largest in the country. If you haven't been to Annapolis in the last five years, you're going to see a marked improvement in all of their facilities. In fact, I was there and was impressed when I saw all of the weights had printed on them, "Beat Army." That was something that Jack put in. Jack, you have beaten Army in the last few years. Congratulations on that.
Jack and his wife, Sandra, have three children. Julie is a graduate of Kentucky; David, a 1980 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy and now a colonial in the U.S. Marine Reserve; Peter, a lieutenant commander in the Navy and a 1984 graduate of the Academy, is currently the director of the Tactical Support Services in Italy.
Jack, I would like to present you with this year's 1999 NACDA/NIT Award.
I want to thank Jack Powers and the NIT and also Mike Cleary and NACDA for this wonderful award. I had the privilege of participating in two NITs and, when I was the athletics director at Fresno State, we had the privilege of winning the NIT. I would say that Jack and his committee run a wonderful tournament.
I'd like to accept this award on behalf of my former mentors, men like Dave Hart, Homer Rice, Mike Lude, George King and Andy Mooradian. Men who took the time to share their knowledge and experiences with a young AD. I'd also like to thank and accept this award on behalf of my former and current associates who helped me as assistant AD, associate AD and staff members with their personal efforts and dedication to help me grow as an administrator.
Most importantly, I accept this award on behalf of my family, Sandy, who's support and sacrifices allowed me to be in a profession that I love. Sandy, would you please stand. I accept this award of behalf of every one of them and these wonderful people. Thank you very much.
Jack, congratulations on a well-deserved honor. To present the NACDA Merit of Honor Award is Bill Byrne, director of athletics at the University of Nebraska, a NACDA past president, and chair of the Honors and Awards Committee.
It is my distinct pleasure to present the NACDA Special Merit Award to Dr. Joseph N. Crowley, president of the University of Nevada. There are three things that make a great college president, parking for the faculty, sex for the students and football for the alumni. I was lucky enough a few nights ago to have a tour of the University of Nevada and I want you to know that President Crowley has succeeded on all three counts. They have wonderful parking structures. The student body has grown from 3,000 when he arrived as president more than 20 years ago, to more than 12,000 today. Their football facilities are just out of this world.
Joe is an Iowa native. He has a political science degree from Iowa, a master's degree from Fresno State and his Ph.D. is from Washington. He's been president of Nevada for more than 20 years and president of the NCAA from 1993 to 1995. That's where I got to know Joe well. If you'll recall, we've talked about the difficulties we've had with some of the presidents who were running the NCAA. That certainly was not true with Joe Crowley. He was a man who would go out of his way to meet with directors of athletics to hear our problems. While he may not have been able to do all of the things we asked him to do, he was always available for us.
There have only been two other recipients that NACDA has deemed worthy to receive this special award, Pete Rozelle, the former commissioner of the National Football League and Bob Bronzan, from San Jose State University. Ladies and gentlemen, it is my pleasure to introduce the third recipient, Joe Crowley.
Thanks very much, Bill, for that more than kind introduction. I need to observe that my acquaintance with the NACDA organization has been one of relatively a brief duration. I was able to attend a meeting in Las Vegas a few years back and gave a speech. Last year, I went to Marco Island and I'm a member of the Honda Awards Committee. That dinner was held at the NACDA meeting in Marco, so I've been able to observe on those two occasions from the fringes. This year has been different because, of course, the Convention is in Reno, so I've been able to participate in a wide variety of ways in giving a couple of welcomes and planning a panel that some of you attended this morning. I was able to host the Executive Committee this past Saturday.
It's hard to know how to repay Mike Cleary and his staff for the opportunity this involvement presented to me. The modest expression of gratitude that I could provide came on the occasion of a visit by Mike and some of his staff. I was able to take them to a restaurant of considerable notoriety called Louie's Basque Corner. If you haven't had a chance to eat Basque food, it's one of the last places in town where you can do this. I'm told a large number of people attending this Convention has been able to do so.
This year, I've been significantly involved. I've been able to observe that you all know how to have a good time. I think of that in contradiction with my experience with annual get togethers of my colleagues amongst the presidents where it is characteristic that a lot of complaining goes on. A wonderful gentlemen, former president of Fresno State, wrote a book in which he characterized those annual presidential get togethers as something akin to a convocation of morticians gathered at a Wailing Wall. I must say that I find that to be something that corresponds with the reality of my own experience. Having been among the wailers myself, I know he speaks the truth.
I think is was Father Hesberg, a man who somehow survived 36 years as the president of Notre Dame, who wrote about the likelihood of the presidential posterior receiving, over the course of time, a good many swift kicks and how that prepared the president for that occasional day when he or she would get a pat on the back. That pat on the back would be gratefully received. In that spirit, I would like to receive this award. There are times in the academic life you ask questions and other times when you don't. I'm not asking any questions this time, I'm simply saying thank you for the high honor you've paid me.
I've been honored to give this award because Chuck is one of only two other people, Tom Hamilton and himself, who have received both the Amos Alonzo Stag Award and a Corbett Award. When you think back to the early days in the NCAA when Walter Byers was the executive director, he hired some real super stars to come in and run the NCAA. Wayne Duke, who went on to be the Big Eight and then Big Ten commissioner; Wiles Hallock and Mike Cleary, executive director of NACDA; Marj Fieber, NCAA; and Chuck Neinas of the Big Eight and later the College Football Association, a really select group of great administrators.
I'm not going to read Chuck's bio because you have it in front of you. I'm going to talk to you about the impact he's had on college athletics. In the new book out, Ghandi, The High Standard of Leadership, it said, "leadership is not a technique, it's a way of life." Chuck Neinas has led a way of life in college athletics that has provided great leadership and vision. His leadership has always put the student-athlete first. Let me give you some examples.
Before it became fashionable within the NCAA, Chuck did surveys of our student-athletes to find out about proposing different types of NCAA legislation that would help them. They did graduation rate studies long before the NCAA and the federal government required them. They provided postgraduate scholarships for student-athletes. He had great communication skills. Imagine, if you will today, given our present governance structure within the NCAA, to have a room full of faculty athletics representatives, directors of athletics and coaches talking about issues relating to the NCAA and NCAA legislation. Each institution felt they had a voice. It was powerful then and missed a great deal today.
CFA introduced NCAA legislation on items like recruiting, putting together the recruiting calendar, practice limitations and they saved our Olympic sports.
When my wife left as principal in Eugene, Oregon, her eighth grade students gave her a plaque. On it, it read, "Some people come into our lives and quickly go. Some stay for a while and leave footprints on our hearts and we are never, ever the same." College athletics will never be the same because of the contributions of Chuck Neinas. Let me introduce our Corbett Award winner this year, Chuck Neinas.
To the members of NACDA, thank you very much. I don't know what I did to deserve this award. My wife says it's because I've been around a long time. If that's the case, I'll still accept it. Thank you Bill, for your kind words. My good friend, Mike Cleary and I were involved in the College World Series in Omaha some 25 years ago. It took 21 days to complete the College World Series because of rain. Walter Byers called us in and asked, "What are you guys doing up there? Playing the horses?" We said, "Walter, it's been raining." He asked, "How serious can it be raining?" I told him five people have drowned. Anyway, we finally got through the College World Series.
Jack Lengyel, a good friend of mine, has another accomplishment that wasn't mentioned. Jack had the toughest football-coaching job in the history of the sport. Did you know that? He was the head football coach at Marshall the year after the plane crash. Jack, that may be your greatest accomplishment. Congratulations to Joe Crowley. You certainly are in a select group. Congratulations to all of the athletics directors. Recognizing your abilities by your peers is overdue. You go the AFCA meetings and they recognize various football coaches from all levels. It's only fitting that athletics directors should do the same.
I'd like to make a play-by-play comment, please. Jim Host is a former baseball pitcher. He has a great arm. Keith Jackson. When some kid drops a pass in the end zone, don't complain. Under pressure, Keith. I'd like to recognize my coach, Dr. Patricia Pacey. She has been a real good inspiration and, by golly, when I need a kick in the behind, she can administer it. Patty, please stand. She told me to be short and not sappy. I'll try to do both.
This award means a great deal to me and I don't know that I can accurately convey it to you because I had the great pleasure and honor of being involved with many of the previous Corbett Award winners. For example, Jim Corbett. Jim and I did a project in Washington together in the 60s. To show you how times never change, at that time, Jim was explaining to me his concern about gambling to the extent that as athletics director at LSU, he hired a former FBI agent and put him on the staff.
Bernie Moore, one of the early commissioners of the Southeastern Conferences, a former football coach. Asa Bushnell. There was never a smarter administrator than Asa, a Princeton grad, a personal friend of F. Scott Fitzgerald, who could say more in two paragraphs than most people can say on three pages. Tom Hamilton is a truly great American. He was an all-American football player who started the V-5 program. He served as the executive officer of the USS Enterprise in World War II. Bill Reed, former commissioner of the Big Ten. I never met a finer gentleman in intercollegiate athletics. Ernie McCoy, a former basketball coach who retired at Penn State and went on to save the University of Miami program when they were about ready to fold it and put it under. Walter Byers. You never played for a tougher coach than Walter Byers, but by God, he taught me a lot and I respect him. Stan Bates, Bill Flynn, Gene Corrigan, Carl James, Homer Rice. It's a pleasure to have your name on the same sheet of paper as those gentlemen.
You today, in athletics administration, face many challenges. The situation has become more complex, but you know you're in a great profession. You know you're in a great profession because of the people you deal with. I've learned in college athletics that phonies don't exist very long. You can have many friendships that last through the years and that means something. You may not be able to take it to the bank, but it remains in your memory bank.
Today's AD, unfortunately, may have more responsibility and less authority. That's why it's important for you to combine and work together to identify your goals and objectives, because it is a great profession. There's nothing greater than the competition, which is provided by the school college system of athletics, which is unique to this country. There's no other country in the world that has that system. Remember, we are giving more and more people an opportunity to get a college education. As my friend Gene Corrigan has said on more than one occasion, "Other than the GI Bill, there is nothing that has provided people an opportunity for a college education more so than intercollegiate athletics." I say to you, accept the challenge, enjoy the job and I hope at the end of your career, you can stand up here and be as happy as I am.
The Sports Management Institute, the University of Southern California, the University of Notre Dame, University of North Carolina and University of South Carolina present Chuck with an honorary doctorate. Congratulations.
Congratulations Chuck. I would now like to introduce our featured speaker, Keith Jackson, who recently retired from ABC Sports after 31 years with the network. He called his first college football game for ABC in 1966, and seven years later, became ABC's top play-by-play announcer for college football.
This past college football season was Keith's final year in a 44-year career as a sports commentator. His career as a broadcaster spanned four decades and 31 countries. In addition to college football, Keith covered Major League Baseball, the NFL, NBA, boxing, championship auto racing, "Wide World of Sports" and 10 Summer and Winter Olympics.
Keith earned his first Emmy Award as the best play-by-play commentator in 1994 and was the only announcer to win five consecutive Sportscaster of the Year Awards. He has been inducted into the American Sportscaster and the National Sportscasters & Sportswriters Association Halls of Fame. In 1992, he became the first sports announcer to receive the Amos Alonzo Stagg Award, presented by the AFCA.
This year, Keith received two Emmy Awards, for lifetime achievement and for outstanding play-by-play announcing.
Before we bring up Keith, we'd like to show a brief retrospective video on Keith's career. Then, Keith will come up to say a few words.
Thank you very much. Congratulations to all of you for having made it through another year in what I consider one of the toughest jobs in all of collegiate administration, with the possible exception of the presidents, Dr. Crowley. I know you've all got wolves howling at your heels all of the time. These wonderful unfunded mandates and all of those kinds of things that have emerged in our social political progress. As I was sitting over there a minute ago trying not to cry and remembering people.
First off, let me say, I know I talk funny, but I don't think funny. I took my wife with me to that bikini competition. That was something. The L.A. police department had more vice guys down there than we had television people.
I was thinking of all of the schools and all of the people. One of the funniest moments in my lifetime was at Wake Forest when Bones McKinney was jousting with Everett Case. Bones had a hard time in the first half with the Zebras. They had really given the Deacons a bad time. As Bones was walking off the court, he stopped. The house wasn't very big in those days, but it was full. He raised his arms and shouted, "Lord, their persecuting us." I mean, where else in college athletics do you find those kinds of characters, who are also, at the same time, wonderful people and great teachers.
Back in the 70s, when Fritz Chrysler had his first cancer operation, we had this joust going on between the upper campus and the lower campus and were pressured to win. I got the coach to come over one afternoon. I was doing a program called, "The Year of the Quarterback." We had a lot of them in 1970. I wanted a comment from him. I asked him the question about the pressure to win. For a moment, his eyes flashed, his neck swelled and he was the coach again. He said, "Well, what the hell do you propose to do, teach them to lose?"
We were down for a game, Duke against Clemson in 1966 and they had just finished that dam and had that big old fancy lake over there. The Clemson kids were trying to get Frank Howard to give them some money so they could have a rowing program. I was living in Seattle previous to that and had been very much involved with crew there. I'm ragging on Frank pretty good. We got into his truck and went over to look at the lake. I got on him about giving the kids the money. Old Frank, laid his elbows across his ample 46" and said, "Ain't nobody going to spend my money setting on their ass going backwards."
It was one of the great quotes of all times. The first time I heard it applied to the game of football over the mountain at Stockton on a cold November night in 1958. Amos Alonzo Stagg was sitting eight seats from me wrapped up in a blanket and it was 28 degrees. His son was the coach at COP at the time. Jim Sutherland brought Washington State down with Keith Lincoln and Bobby Newman a real good football team. COP had a little fellow named Dick Bass. He was harder to catch than a magpie. They played the game on that cold night. Bass ran here and there and everywhere. He ran for 202 yards. In 1958, 202 yards was a lot. With about four minutes to play, Coach Stagg, with whom I had visited in the afternoon, left. On the way out, he leaned over and took my headset off and whispered in my ear this old truth about the game of football, "big fast people still beat little fast people." The final score was Washington State 30-0.
Those are just a few of the memories that daily I seem to run across as I rummage through my office. I ran across a letter that I received years ago from Myron Cohen, who became a good friend. I first met Myron right here in Reno. He went on down to Las Vegas and he headlined with Gloria DeHaven at the old Flamingo, which was across the road from the airport entrance. He and Gloria shared the building. Gloria, of course, was on the top billing. Old Abe Schiller used to stand out in front trying to hustle people to come into the Flamingo, giving away passes. Myron Cohen was one of the great storytellers of my lifetime. He was Jewish storyteller and he was wonderful. I ran across this note from him and it triggered the memory of one of the stories that is still listed in the archives as one of the great stories of all time. He had a revered aunt that was walking the beach one day with her young son. A wave came along and swept the little boy away. The woman screamed and turned to God and said, "What have you done? Why would you take my only son? Give him back to me." She said it and suddenly the wave came back and the little boy was dropped at her feet, spitting and rubbing the salt out of his eyes. She picked him up, hugged him and kissed him and then looked across the horizon and said, "He had a hat."
On this Friday, my wife and I are going to get in our land cruiser and rumble along up the road. We don't fly anymore unless somebody holds a gun to our heads. We get the hives when we go to the airport these days. We're going to go up to Jack and Delores' cooking school at the winery in Napa. We're going to learn to cook some of this fancy stuff. I was born and raised on a farm right on the Georgia/Alabama line. We didn't eat very fancy back in the 20 and 30s. Along the way I learned and I'll give you backyard artists a little hint for a meal that might make your wife happy. You get yourself some thick loin lamb chops from New Zealand. You fire up your broiler. You don't be cheap and go buy yourselves a couple of good bottles of wine. While your broiler is heating up, take fresh strawberries and ring the plates. Take some fresh New Zealand kiwi and slice them and ring the plate with those. When the lamb chops are seared on the outside, cooked slowly on the inside so they are cooked just right after 12 minutes, pop them into the microwave to get the au jus out, lay them in the center of the plate. I'll guarantee you you'll be a popular man.
It is so much fun to fiddle away the whole day, accomplish nothing and go to bed without feeling guilty. It's wonderful. I remembered this little writing from Edna St. Vincent. I didn't know that Edna drank this much, but here it is. "I drank at every vine. The last was like the first. I came upon no wine so wonderful as the first." That's where I'm going.
I do know how difficult the chore you have is. I also know that that congressman was right when he said, "Hell hath no fury like a vested interest masquerading as a moral principle." Lordy, do we have a lot of that running around these days.
I would leave you with this bit of anecdotal advice that you know more about dealing with than I certainly do. I think the NCAA has gotten itself into the same social political fix that congress has. I know of no one who capitalized it better than our great constitutional scholar, Senator Sam Irvin, who one night after a couple of glasses of branch water in his beloved state of North Carolina, said, "You know what has happened? We, in congress, have passed laws to justify laws. We pass laws to correct laws. We pass laws so that congressmen can get their names in the journal and senators can go and sit on the fence and be like the rooster who thought the sun rose to hear him crow. You know what we've done? We done passed so many laws, we, not only can't convict nobody, we can't even kick ass."
The NCAA is rowing up that same river with all of the rules and regulations. It's bewildering and, in a way, it's heartbreaking.
I would wish your biggest problem when you go home would be defining the strike zone at the College World Series. I wish that would be your single biggest problem, but it can't be done. Measuring an athlete at the college level against his pro prospects is the most dreadful thing that I have ever known. I hate it because it doesn't matter whether you go from a college athletics career to a pro. It doesn't matter. What matters is what you're doing when you are 40, not what you're doing when you're 20. You don't succeed sufficiently unless you have some education to take with you.
Eddie Robinson jumped my bones and rode my wagon down in Tennessee about a month ago like you've never heard. I finally said, "Eddie, I don't have any eligibility left. Get off." He was yelling at me for going away. I said some of the same things there that I've just said to you. Eddie was ragging on me not to go because we need somebody who could stand on the box and he's getting old.
Don't be afraid. We've got a new congress coming in and whoever is doing your lobbying, kick them. Now would be a fortuitous time, it would seem to me.
I'm going to leave you with great admiration. I'm also going to leave you because of Eddie Robinson, as much as anything, with this slight suggestion. It's not infruition, but the possibility is that I am not going to disappear. I am going away from what I have done previously, but this is an area of our society that is so dear and important that if there is some way I can help, I will. I hope I can. I will leave you with this quote from my favorite poet, Yogi. "If you don't know where you're going, you're going to wind up somewhere else."
Keith, on behalf of NACDA, as a small token of our appreciation, thanks for what you've meant to college athletics, to college football and to, quite honestly, everyone in this room. Keith Jackson, thank you very much. In Crystal 3, we have had a display of all the thank you gifts NACDA members have presented to Keith. Some of these gifts will be sent to the College Football Hall of Fame in South Bend, Indiana to be put on display, while others will be sent to Keith's home. Keith, on behalf of NACDA, please accept this in appreciation of all you have contributed to college athletics.
I would now like to ask Vince Dooley to come to the podium. It is my privilege to give the Past President's Clock to Vince, the athletics director at the University of Georgia, for his service to this Association as president last year. Vince, thanks for your many years of service to college athletics.
Thank you Jim. It's been a special reward being associated with NACDA in a very special way. I want to congratulate all of the honorees today. I'm proud to say that this is, indeed, the end of a very wonderful luncheon.
I would like to ask Jim Host to return to the podium. Jim, we appreciate your support of NACDA and NCAA Football's sponsorship of this luncheon. To show our appreciation, we would like to give you this memento and thank you, Jim, for what you do for college football.
Let's have a final round of applause for all of today's honorees. Just a quick reminder, please browse the exhibit hall and drop your business cards in the boxes at each exhibitor's booth. The drawing for the grand prize will be held on Wednesday morning during the Business Session. One lucky winner will receive two round-trip airfares and four nights accommodations in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil. Our grand prize is once again sponsored by International Sport, Inc., located in Booth 207. Thank you for your attendance. Congratulations to all of our winners. We are adjourned.