Former Outland Trophy winner Bill Fischer dies

outland trophy bwBill “Moose” Fischer, the third winner of the Outland Trophy back in 1948 and a member of the College Football Hall of Fame from Notre Dame, has died at the age of 89.

CLICK HERE to read the obit by the National Football Foundation.

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Photo gallery: Outland Trophy Presentation Banquet

These photos were shot at the Outland Trophy Presentation Banquet on Jan. 11, 2017, in Omaha. Alabama’s Cam Robinson received the 2016 Outland Trophy, and former Oklahoma Coach Barry Switzer received the Tom Osborne Legacy Award.

Jack Bogaczyk named to Virginia Sports Hall of Fame 1

jack-bogaczyk

Jack Bogaczyk

PORTSMOUTH, VA – FWAA member Jack Bogaczyk, an award-winning sports reporter and columnist in Roanoke, has been named to the Virginia Sports Hall of Fame

Bogaczyk spent 28 years in the sports media business in Roanoke, nearly 27 of those in the newspaper business, first at The World-News and then The Roanoke Times after the merger of the two daily papers. At the Roanoke newspaper, Bogaczyk was a beat reporter, general assignment reporter, senior writer and lead columnist. He also wrote the newspaper’s Sports TV/Radio column for 19 years — one of the first in the nation to do that on a weekly basis. Bogaczyk won 13 national writing awards and 35 state honors in a daily newspaper career that started in 1966 while he was in high school.

While in Roanoke, Bogaczyk’s work focused mostly on major college athletics, and he was the beat reporter covering Virginia Military Institute and then Virginia Tech in a period from 1979 to 1988. His award-winning, 35-part series on Hokies athletics in 1985 contributed to administrative and culture changes in the Tech program.

That same year, he won the Virginia Horse Council’s media award for a series on the equine business in the Commonwealth. In his career, Bogaczyk covered the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, the Super Bowl, the World Series, multiple Daytona 500s, 11 NCAA Final Fours, 28 NCAA basketball tournaments and 15 different college bowl games (31 total). The conference basketball tournaments he has covered include the ACC, Big East, Metro, Colonial, Southern, Atlantic 10, Big South, ODAC and WVIAC.

virginia-sports-hall-of-fameOther members of the Hall of Fame’s Class of 2017, as chosen by the statewide Honors Court committee, were:

  • Beth Anders, a former field hockey coach who spent 30 years at Old Dominion University and led them to 28 NCAA tournament appearances.
  • Dre Bly, a three-time All-American football player at the University of North Carolina, Super Bowl XXXIV Champion and a two-time Pro Bowl selection.
  • Bimbo Coles, a former Virginia Tech basketball standout who enjoyed a 14-year NBA career.
  • Kim Hamilton Anthony, a former gymnast on the U.S. National Team, who was a six-time All-America selection at UCLA.
  • Claudio Reyna, a three-time All-American soccer player at the University of Virginia and captain of the U.S. National Team.
  • C.J. Woollum, a former Director of Athletics at Christopher Newport University and basketball coach who transformed CNU into a Division III powerhouse.

The 46th Annual Induction Banquet will take place on Saturday, April 29 at the Renaissance Portsmouth-Norfolk Waterfront Hotel in Portsmouth as the headline event of Hall of Fame weekend. Tickets are now on sale. For more information, call (757) 393-8031 or visit www.vshfm.com.

About the Virginia Sports Hall of Fame & Museum:

Since 1972, the Virginia Sports Hall of Fame & Museum has been proud to honor Virginia’s contributions to the world of sports. The Virginia Sports Hall of Fame & Museum is the Commonwealth’s official hall of fame, and one of only 16 throughout the nation. Their mission is to honor athletic excellence and serve as a nonprofit educational resource centered on health, math, science and character development programs, while inspiring visitors through sports history and interactive entertainment.

Photo gallery: 2017 FWAA Past Presidents Dinner

Photos from the 2017 FWAA Past Presidents Dinner on Jan. 6, 2017, in Tampa, Fla.

 

 

 

Photo gallery: 2017 FWAA Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year Reception

Photos from the reception for Colorado Coach Mike MacIntyre, the 2016 FWAA Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year, on Jan. 7, 2017, in Tampa.

Photo gallery: 2017 FWAA Awards Breakfast and Annual Meeting

Photos from the 2017 FWAA Breakfast and Annual Meeting in Tampa, Fla.

Kirby Smart named keynote speaker for 2017 Bronko Nagurski Awards Banquet 1

Bronko Nagurski Trophy

Bronko Nagurski Trophy

CHARLOTTE, N.C. The Charlotte Touchdown Club, in conjunction with the Football Writers Association of America, officially announced today Kirby Smart, Head Football Coach at the University of Georgia, as Keynote Speaker for the 2017 Bronko Nagurski Awards Banquet scheduled for Monday, December 4th.

“Coach Smart is truly one of college football’s hot young head coaches and we look forward to hearing his take on today’s college football scene at the 2017 Bronko Nagurski Awards Banquet Presentation” said John Rocco Executive Director of the Charlotte Touchdown Club.

“As a defensive coordinator for many years, I recognize that the Bronko Nagurski Trophy is one of college football’s most prestigious awards and I look forward to recognizing some of college football’s finest defensive players at the Nagurski Banquet on December 4th,” said University of Georgia Head Football Coach Kirby Smart.

On December 6, 2015, when named Georgia’s Head Football Coach Smart said, “It’s an honor and privilege to return home to the University of Georgia and my home state. I’m deeply appreciative of the faith President Morehead, Greg McGarity, and the Athletic Board Executive Committee have demonstrated in asking me to lead one of the truly great college football programs in the country.”

Kirby Smart

Kirby Smart

Smart, who got his start in coaching as a Georgia administrative assistant in 1999, served on the Alabama staff for nine years, with his final seven seasons as defensive coordinator. During his tenure at Alabama, the Crimson Tide  won three BCS National Championships, one College Football Playoff national title, three Southeastern Conference crowns, six SEC western division titles, and been ranked in the nation’s final top ten rankings eight years in a row.

Smart was recognized as the 2012 AFCA Assistant Coach of the Year and the 2009 Broyles Award winner as college football’s top assistant coach. He was also a 2015 finalist for the 2015 Broyles Award. A former standout defensive back and scholar-athlete at Georgia, Smart was one of the nation’s most respected defensive coordinators. Smart coached Alabama’s inside linebackers in 2015 after tutoring the safeties in 2014. He also coached the inside linebackers from 2009-12.

Prior to joining the Alabama staff in 2007, Smart spent the 2006 season as safeties coach with the NFL’s Miami Dolphins. He served six years on the collegiate level as the running backs coach at Georgia (2005), defensive backs coach at LSU (2004), graduate assistant coach at Florida State (2002-03), defensive coordinator/linebackers coach (2001) and defensive backs coach (2000) at Valdosta State.

As the running backs coach on Georgia’s 2005 SEC Championship team, Smart’s Bulldogs unit averaged 162.2 rushing yards per game, third in the SEC. He coached Thomas Brown, Danny Ware, and Kregg Lumpkin—all of whom had NFL careers. In 2004 at LSU, he tutored two NFL draft picks: Corey Webster (2nd round, New York Giants) and Travis Daniels (4th round, Miami Dolphins).

As a player, Smart was a four-year letterman at defensive back for Georgia, where he was a first team all-SEC pick as a senior. He finished his career with 13 interceptions, which was fourth in Georgia annals, and led the Bulldogs with six interceptions in 1997 and five in 1998. A four-time member of the SEC Academic Honor Roll, Smart earned his undergraduate degree in finance from Georgia and his master’s degree from Florida State in 2003.

A native of Bainbridge, Ga., Smart received his BBA degree in Finance from the University of Georgia in 1998 and his M.S. in Physical Education from Florida State in 2003. He is married to the former Mary Beth Lycett of McDonough, Ga., a four-year letter winner on the Georgia women’s basketball team from 2000-2003. The couple are the proud parents of twins Weston and Julia and son Andrew.

About ACN, Inc.

Founded in 1993, ACN is the world’s largest direct seller of telecommunications, energy and essential services for residential and business customers. ACN provides the services people need and use every day including home phone service, high-speed internet, wireless, television, home security and automation, computer support and natural gas and electricity. ACN operates in 24 countries with offices located throughout North America, Europe, Latin America, Asia and the Pacific. For more information, visit myacn.com. For information on ACN’s home-based business opportunity, visit acninc.com.

About Florida East Coast Railway

FECR is a regional freight railroad that extends along a 351-mile corridor between Jacksonville, Fla., and Miami, Fla., with exclusive rail access to the Port of Palm Beach, Port Everglades (Ft. Lauderdale) and the Port of Miami. For more information, visit fecrwy.com

About Electrolux

Electrolux is a global leader in appliances for household and professional use, selling more than 50 million products to customers in more than 150 countries every year. The company focuses on innovations that are thoughtfully designed, based on extensive consumer insight, to meet the real needs of consumers and professionals. Electrolux products include refrigerators, dishwashers, washing machines, vacuum cleaners, cookers and air-conditioners sold under esteemed brands such as Electrolux, Frigidaire, Kelvinator, AEG, and Eureka. In 2012, Electrolux had sales of $17 billion ($5.1 billion in North America) and 58,000 employees. The Electrolux North American headquarters is located at 10200 David Taylor Drive, Charlotte, NC 28262 in the University Research Park.  For more information visit http://newsroom.electrolux.com/us/.

About The Independence Fund

The Independence Fund is a nonprofit organization that empowers our nation’s severely wounded veterans and the caregivers who support them to take control of their lives. Through its dedicated mobility and treatment programs, the Fund assists veterans in transforming their lives toward a better future. The Independence Fund believes we owe it to our veterans to provide the resources they need to move forward and build a strong foundation toward lasting emotional and physical healing in order to reestablish their independence. To learn more, visit www.independencefund.org.

The Bronko Nagurski Trophy is a member of the National College Football Awards Association (NCFAA), which was founded in 1997 as a coalition of the major collegiate football awards to protect, preserve and enhance the integrity, influence and prestige of the game’s predominant awards. The NCFAA encourages professionalism and the highest standards for the administration of its member awards and the selection of their candidates and recipients. For more information, visit the association’s official website, www.NCFAA.org.

The Charlotte Touchdown Club is a non-profit organization founded in 1990 for the purpose of promoting high school, collegiate, and professional football in the Charlotte, N.C., region. The club’s activities and services focus community attention on the outstanding citizenship, scholarship, sportsmanship, and leadership of area athletes and coaches. Since 1990, the club has raised more than $2,000,000 to benefit area high school and collegiate athletics.  For more information, contact John Rocco (704-347-2918 or jrocco@touchdownclub.com). The official website of the Charlotte Touchdown Club is www.touchdownclub.com. The Bronko Nagurski Trophy is presented annually by the Charlotte Touchdown Club and the Football Writers Association of America to the nation’s most outstanding NCAA defensive football player at the Bronko Nagurski Awards Banquet in Charlotte, NC.  All proceeds benefit the Charlotte Touchdown Club Scholarship Fund.

FOR MORE INFORMATION CALL   704-347-2918 or visit www.touchdownclub.com.

Postcard from Tampa: A tribute to a relentless friend

By Malcolm Moran | @malcolm_moran

The stories usually had to do with work. Of course they did. For Steve Ellis seemed to be in a perpetual state of work.

He documented the dramatic rise of the Florida State Seminoles for the Tallahassee Democrat, not just with distinction, but with a relentless attention to detail that was rarely seen in the pre-digital, 24/7 era. Now that I think about it, Steve Ellis may have invented 24/7 college football coverage. If not, he may have come very close to perfecting it.

Don’t think so? His friend Mark Anderson, now of the Las Vegas Review-Journal, recalled Monday morning that Ellis spent part of his honeymoon finishing and filing a Florida State notebook.

“I don’t recommend that, by the way,” Anderson said, and there was a room full of laughter.

If only his friend could have shared in that laughter.

Ellis died more than seven years ago, at the age of 54, after suffering a heart attack. Another work story: Even as Ellis was in the hospital, he was reporting a story about former Florida State defensive coordinator Mickey Andrews.

On Monday, for the first time, the Football Writers Association of America annual award for outstanding beat reporting was named for Ellis. When the 76-year-old organization approaches its centennial season, regardless of what the sports journalism industry looks like then, another generation of talented, committed young reporters will learn about someone whose work stopped appearing much too soon.

“He did what he did because he loved it so much,” his wife, Karen Ellis, said.

His arrival on the Florida State beat became an abrupt, and sometimes confrontational, transition in a place that had once been known for much more supportive, forgiving coverage. Former Seminole coach Bobby Bowden, unaccustomed to this new type of scrutiny and urgency, was heard to say, “Dadgumit!” more than a few times. But Bowden, to his credit, came to understand that the popularity of college football was entering a new era of unprecedented exposure, and the scrutiny was just part of the deal.

My admiration extends beyond Ellis’ professional commitment and the quality of his work. There is this odd, often-awkward mating dance that takes place when a high-profile college football team attracts nationwide attention. National reporters parachute in, searching for instant insight and understanding that can help them produce stories that justify the expense of the trip. Local reporters, wary of an outsider that might come across valuable information and agitate the boss, can become protective of their turf.

As a competitor, the thought of Steve Ellis on Twitter makes my head hurt.

I became a regular in Tallahassee as The New York Times grew more interested in the Seminoles. For a long while, the Florida State-Miami game was the first one I would circle on my autumn calendar. Years before the high energy of the digital era, the week-long buildup to the No. 1 vs. No. 2 Florida State-Notre Dame game at South Bend in 1993 remains as electric as any matchup in the modern era.

With all that going on, although Ellis was as competitive as anyone in the press box, he was always willing to volunteer just enough information to allow an outsider to think he or she actually knew what was going on. He was a consultant for distant reporters. He was a mentor for students. “He was honest with them,” Karen Ellis said. “He said, ‘It’s a tough job. You’re not going to make a lot of money, but if you love it, go for it.’”

She is already thinking about becoming part of the next presentation, a year from now in Atlanta, on the morning of another championship game. For one former occupant of the press box in Doak Campbell Stadium, there is just one wish: When we gather to celebrate the work of another gifted reporter, there’s some way that Bobby Bowden – Dadgumit! – can be in that room to offer one more story, one more laugh, one last quote for Steve Ellis.

 

FWAA announces 2016 Freshman All-America Team

DALLAS (FWAA) — The 16th annual Football Writers Association of America Freshman All-America Team, presented by Sound Mind Sound Body camps, was announced Monday and includes one player who will appear in the College Football Playoff National Championship later Monday — Clemson defensive lineman Dexter Lawrence.

“Dexter is obviously very gifted from the standpoint of the physicality it takes to play inside,” said Tigers’ defensive line coach Dan Brooks, the AFCA assistant coach of the year.

“We opened the season at Auburn and threw him in the mix, and he had our first sack of the season. Dexter is a very coachable young man with a great attitude who is mature beyond his years.”

soundmindsoundbodyThe 10 FBS conferences are each represented with at least one player on the team, and there are two players from schools with independent status.

The SEC and Big Ten each placed six players on the 34-member team, while the Pac-12 and ACC had five players from their respective conferences.

Other 2017 College Football Playoff participants on the Freshman All-American team are Taylor Rapp (safety, Washington), Mike Weber (tailback, Ohio State), Dre’Mont Jones (defensive lineman, Ohio State) and Michael Jordan (offensive lineman, Ohio State).

The First Year Coach of the Year Award had co-winners for the first time since its inception 15 years ago, with Virginia Tech Justin Fuente and USC’s Clay Helton sharing the award.

Helton, in his first full season as the Trojans’ head coach, led USC to nine consecutive victories to close the season, including a stirring 52-49 Rose Bowl victory over Penn State.

Fuente was selected as the ACC Coach of the Year, guiding the Hokies to the ACC Championship Game for the first time since 2011.

A 12-person panel of nationally prominent writers represented each of the FBS conferences along with independents in the selecting the team.

Both true freshmen (20 players) and redshirt freshmen (14 players) were considered for the team and are so noted on the list below.

There are six former Freshmen All-Americans involved in tonight’s game.

From Alabama

  • Outland Trophy winner Cam Robinson (2014)
  • All-SEC punter JK Scott (2014)
  • Receiver Calvin Ridley (2015)
  • Cornerback Marlon Humphrey (2015)

From Clemson

  • All-ACC offensive lineman Mitch Hyatt (2015)
  • Defensive lineman Christian Wilkins (2015)

2016 FWAA Freshman All-America Team

OFFENSE

Pos. Name School Ht. / Wt. Hometown
QB Sam Darnold** USC 6-4 / 225 Capistrano Beach, Calif.
RB Mike Weber** Ohio State 5-10 / 212 Detroit, Mich.
RB Benny Snell* Kentucky 5-11 / 220 Westerville, Ohio
RB Justice Hill* Oklahoma State 5-10 / 171 Tulsa, Okla.
WR Ahmmon Richards* Miami (Fla.) 6-1 / 192 Wellington, Fla.
WR Demetris Robertson* California 6-0 / 175 Savannah, Ga.
WR Ty Lee* Middle Tennessee 5-9 / 155 Moultrie, Ga.
TE Isaac Nauta* Georgia 6-4 / 246 Buford, Ga.
OL Michael Jordan* Ohio State 6-7 / 310 Canton, Mich.
OL Jawaan Taylor* Florida 6-5 / 340 Cocoa, Fla.
OL Ryan Bates** Penn State 6-4 / 305 Warrington, Pa.
OL Thomas Shoaf ** BYU 6-5 / 280 Columbus, Ind.
OL Ben Bredeson* Michigan 6-5 / 310 Hartland, Wis.
OL Zach Shackelford* Texas 6-3 / 290 Belton, Texas
AP Donnie Corley* Michigan State 6-2 / 186 Detroit, Mich.

DEFENSE

Pos. Name School Ht. / Wt. Hometown
DL Ed Oliver* Houston 6-2 / 290 Houston, Texas
DL Dexter Lawrence* Clemson 6-5 / 340 Wake Forest, N.C.
DL Brian Burns* Florida State 6-5 / 218 Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
DL Dre’Mont Jones** Ohio State 6-3 / 280 Cleveland, Ohio
DL Reggie Walker** Kansas State 6-2 / 239 Ponchatoula, La.
LB Logan Wilson** Wyoming 6-2 / 225 Casper, Wyo.
LB Troy Dye* Oregon 6-4 / 225 Norco, Calif.
LB Leo Lewis** Mississippi State 6-2 / 240 Brookhaven, Miss.
LB Josiah Tauaefa** UTSA 6-1 / 230 Corinth, Texas
LB David Reese* Florida 6-0 / 244 Farmington, Mich.
DB Xavier Crawford** Oregon State 6-1 / 182 Pittsburg, Calif.
DB Javon Hagan** Ohio 6-0 / 211 Jacksonville, Fla.
DB Taylor Rapp* Washington 6-0 / 202 Bellingham, Wash.
DB Jessie Bates** Wake Forest 6-2 / 200 Fort Wayne, Ind.
DB Clifton Duck* Appalachian State 5-10 / 175 Matthews, N.C.

SPECIAL TEAMS

Pos. Name School Ht. / Wt. Hometown
K Rodrigo Blannkenship** Georgia 6-1 / 191 Marietta, Ga.
P Tom Sheldon* North Carolina 6-3 / 200 Echuca, Victoria, Australia
KR Tony Pollard** Memphis 5-11 / 200 Memphis, Tenn.
PR Malik McGue* Army 5-8 / 174 Johnson City, Tenn.

* True Freshman

** Redshirt Freshman

Co-First Year Coaches of the Year

Justin Fuente, Virginia Tech

Justin Fuente, Virginia Tech

Clay Helton, USC

Clay Helton, USC

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Coach of the Year semifinalist: Kalani Sitake, BYU.

FWAA All-America selection committee:

Lee Barfknecht (Big Ten)
Mark Anderson (MWC) 
Mark Blaudschun (ACC)
Andrew Greif (Pac-12)
Tommy Hicks (Sun Belt)
Blair Kerkhoff (Big 12)
Doug Smock (American Athletic)
Ron Higgins (SEC)
Phil Stukenborg (C-USA)
John Wagner (MAC)
Mike Griffith (Chair/Independents) 
Steve Richardson (FWAA Executive Director)