Bronzan Selected as Recipient of the 39th Corbett Award|
May 10, 2005
Cleveland, Ohio - Bob Bronzan, retired director of athletics, head football coach and professor at San Jose State University and a NACDA past president, has been chosen by the Officers and Executive Committee of NACDA to be the recipient of the 39th James J. Corbett Memorial Award.
The Corbett Award is presented annually to the collegiate administrator who "through the years has most typified Corbett's devotion to intercollegiate athletics and worked unceasingly for its betterment." Corbett, athletics director at Louisiana State University, was NACDA's first president in 1965. The award is the highest honor one can achieve in collegiate athletics administration.
Additionally, Bronzan will receive an honorary degree from the Sports Management Institute (SMI), an educational institute sponsored by NACDA and the universities of Michigan, North Carolina, Notre Dame, South Carolina, Southern California and Texas.
A member of the San Jose State football team from 1937 to 1939, Bronzan returned to his alma mater in 1946 as an assistant football coach and assistant professor after serving close to four years as an officer in the U. S. Air Force in World War II. In 1950, he was appointed head football coach at San Jose State at the age of 31, earning the distinction of being the youngest Division I head football coach at that time. He coached through the 1956 season. In 1960, he took on the role of athletics director, in addition to maintaining his responsibilities as a professor. Bronzan served in this capacity until 1972, yet remained at San Jose State as a professor until his retirement in 1980.
Bronzan, who earned his master's and doctorate degrees from Stanford University, has been honored numerous times for his contributions as a student-athlete, coach, athletics director and professor. These honors include the Tower Award, the Convocation Award, the Legend Award and the Ring of Honor. During his coaching career, Bronzan was named Coach of the Year in 1952, 1954 and 1956 by the northern California media. He was inducted into the NACDA, San Jose State and California Community Colleges Football Coaches Association halls of fame. Additionally, Bronzan is one of five recipients that have been honored with the distinguished NACDA Merit Award.
The measure of Bronzan's success does not stem from these many accolades, rather from the impact he had on current and former football coaches in the professional, collegiate and high school ranks. He holds the distinct honor of being the only coach who has had two former players serve as head coaches of winning NFL Super Bowl teams, including former San Francisco 49ers' Head Coach Bill Walsh and current Kansas City Chiefs' Head Coach Dick Vermeil who took the St. Louis Rams to the Super Bowl in 2000.
Additionally, Bronzan guided 19 university, 29 community college and approximately 150 high school coaches into head coaching and assistant coaching positions throughout the country.
Bronzan's knack for scouting young talent was not only limited to aspiring coaches, it was also recognized at the professional level, as he has served as an NFL talent scout. The Los Angeles Rams, New England Patriots, Philadelphia Eagles, Oakland Raiders, San Francisco 49ers and Washington Redskins were among the teams that put Bronzan's talents to use. In 1958, he also served as an advisory coach for the Eagles.
His mentoring and teaching skills were not only evident on the football field, but also in the classroom, as he began his career in 1940 as a graduate teacher at UCLA. He was a professor at San Jose State for 34 years in the Department of Human Performance. He has written several publications on a variety of subjects, including the planning and funding of athletics facilities; and public relations, promotions and fund raising for athletics.
Bronzan was NACDA's second president, in 1967-68. Additionally he chaired the NCAA Football Centennial, NCAA Football Advancement and NCAA Baseball Legislative committees. He was also an advisory member of the NCAA Football Play-Off and Football Rules committees.
In 1973, while working as a professor at San Jose State, Bronzan established APER Consulting Services, which has conducted projects in 37 states and has worked with seven foreign national governments planning and designing sports facilities. One of the company's greatest achievements included serving as the chief consultant for Mexico in the planning and renovation of facilities for the World University Games. Bronzan is now fully retired, having terminated the company in 1999. He continues to participate in various professional activities.
On receiving word of his award, Bronzan said, "When I scan the names of previous recipients of NACDA's James J. Corbett Award, I am humbled by the honor of joining these individuals who contributed so much to NACDA and to the whole of intercollegiate athletics. It is a privilege to personally know or have known each recipient. NACDA has attained its pre-eminent role in the affairs of intercollegiate athletics through the leadership, vision, dedication and enthusiasm exhibited by recipients of the Corbett Award. I am certain that among our membership there are many worthy candidates of the award."
Past winners of the James J. Corbett Memorial Award and their affiliation at the time: