FWAA Adds 24 People to its 50-Plus Club

The FWAA is honoring another group of members to its 50-Plus Club, people who have belonged to the organization for 50 years or more. The last time the FWAA, founded in 1941, honored a group of 50-Plus members was in 2005. Each member will receive a certificate and a pin.

The FWAA is considering any person who joined in 1970 or before in this group because 2018-19 would touch the 50th year.

In alphabetical order these people are (with their first year of FWAA membership noted):

Donn Bernstein (1963) Ted Haracz (1965) Tim Simmons (1970)
Sam Blair (1965) Larry Kimball (1963) Larry Smith (1966)
Buddy Davis (1969) Frank Litsky (1963) Art Spander (1966)
Jack DeGange (1968) Donald McCaleb (1960) Budd Thalman (1962)
Bud Ford (1967) Mike Middlesworth (1959) Roger Valdiserri (1966)
Steve Guback (1962) Eddie Miller (1958) Gordon White (1961)
Bob Hammel (1968) Brad Pye (1957) Dave Wohlhueter (1970)
Tom Hansen (1961) John Reid (1965) Jack Zane (1963)

“It is extraordinary for any group to have such a large number of people who have shown their loyalty for so long,” said Steve Richardson, FWAA Executive Director. “We salute these members whose membership extends a half century or beyond.”

There are still six living people among those honored for 50 years of membership in 2005: Dave Campbell, Murray Olderman and Jimmie McDowell, all Bert McGrane winners. Campbell and Olderman are past FWAA Presidents. The other living members honored in 2005 are Sid Hartman, Kaye Kessler and Al Shrier.






FWAA selects ‘Super 11’ for 2017 season

DALLAS — Ten previous winners and one first-time winner comprise the Ninth Annual Super 11 Awards, which the Football Writers Association of America gives out annually to the best performing sports information departments in the Football Bowl Subdivision. The awards announced this week are for the 2017 season.

USC claimed its eighth Super 11 award and fourth straight overall. Georgia notched its sixth award. Clemson and Colorado each won for a fifth time. It was Clemson’s third straight award and Colorado’s fourth award in five seasons. Houston won for the third time

Oklahoma, Wyoming, Miami of Ohio, Rice and South Alabama each picked up their second award.

Ohio State is the lone first-time winner in the awards selection that dates back to the 2009 season.

“This is one of the most important honors that the FWAA as an organization awards,” said Tim Griffin, the Big 12 editor for Cox Media Group and the FWAA’s longtime chairman of the Super 11 committee.

”There are many strong sports information departments around the nation. We are grateful for all of them. But this award is meant to honor the best of the best. It’s for those SIDs who provide strong media services and go the extra mile to provide help above and beyond the call of duty.”

Criteria employed in determining the winners not only included how press boxes and media operations were operated, but also the quality and timeliness of information provided. Also judged was the amount of information presented and appropriately updated on websites, and personal responsiveness to media inquiries as well as the accessibility of a program’s players, coaches and assistant coaches. The ratings considered those departments that went the extra mile in servicing the media.

“We believe we have a great mix of schools here,” said FWAA Executive Director Steve Richardson. “Some schools which have been consistently good over the years, others who have had some history of being at the top and one new school. And there are several others who are on the cusp and could be in the Super 11 in future years.”

The Super 11 Committee received input from other FWAA members and others who covered college football during the 2017 season.

In January 2009, the FWAA formed the first Super 11 Committee. The concept has been supported and endorsed by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA), many of whom are members of the FWAA. The FWAA has awarded 56 different schools in this program over the years.

The Football Writers Association of America, a non-profit organization founded in 1941, consists of more than 1,300 men and women across North America who cover college football for a living. The membership includes journalists, broadcasters and publicists, as well as key executives in all the areas that involve the game. The FWAA works to govern areas that include gameday operations, major awards, a national poll and its annual All-America team.

For more information on the Super 11, contact committee chairman Tim Griffin (210-823-3666, timgriffin59@hotmail.com) or visit the association’s official website, footballwriters.com.

Jim Harbaugh named keynote speaker for 2018 Bronko Nagurski banquet

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (May 3, 2018) — The Charlotte Touchdown Club in conjunction with the Football Writers Association of America, officially announced today Jim Harbaugh, Head Football Coach at the University of Michigan, as Keynote Speaker for the 2018 Bronko Nagurski Awards Banquet scheduled for Monday, December 3.

“I am honored to be asked to speak at an award banquet named after a fellow Chicago Bear, Bronko Nagurski, a college and pro football hall of fame player and legend in the Windy City,” Harbaugh said. “We have always prided ourselves on having a program with a strong defense and our Defensive Coordinator Don Brown has mentored some of the best defensive players in the game. The traits that the Nagurski award candidates display are the same ones that are fundamental to our success at Michigan. I look forward to attending this event as it’s always great to be around the game’s best defensive student-athletes and coaches.”

Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh

On December 13, 2014, when named Michigan’s Head Football Coach Harbaugh said, “Throughout my life I have dreamed of coaching at the University of Michigan,” said Harbaugh, the J. Ira and Nicki Harris Family Head Football Coach. “Now I have the honor to live it.”

Harbaugh began coaching in 1994 during an impressive playing career. He served as volunteer assistant coach for his father, Jack Harbaugh, at Western Kentucky while still playing in the NFL (1994-2001). After finishing his playing career, Harbaugh was the Oakland Raiders Quarterbacks Coach (2002-03). Harbaugh was named Head Coach at the University of San Diego (2004-06) and Stanford University (2007-10) before becoming an NFL Head Coach for the San Francisco 49ers (2011-2014).  Harbaugh is now serving as the head coach of his alma mater, the University of Michigan. Harbaugh is one of four Big Ten coaches to win 10-plus games in each of his first two seasons directing a conference school.

Harbaugh is one of only two head coaches to collect back-to-back 10-win seasons in their first two seasons at U-M. In his first two seasons as the Michigan head coach, Harbaugh guided the Wolverines to 10-win seasons. U-M has appeared in a bowl game in all three seasons with Harbaugh at the helm of the program, including a New Year’s Six Bowl with the 2017 Orange Bowl, and two other bowls played on New Year’s Day (2016 Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl; 2018 Outback Bowl).

As a former Michigan Wolverine quarterback, Harbaugh was one of Michigan’s all-time record holders for passing yards with 5,449. He also tallied 620 passing attempts, 387 completions, a 62.4% completion percentage, 31 touchdown passes and 22 interceptions. He held the career NCAA Division I-A passing efficiency record (149.6) for 12 years.

After his success in college Harbaugh moved on to play for six NFL teams including: the Chicago Bears, Indianapolis Colts, Baltimore Ravens, San Diego Chargers, Detroit Lions, and the Carolina Panthers. Harbaugh played in 177 league games with 140 starts in his NFL career. He completed 2,305 of 3,918 passes for 26,288 yards with 129 touchdowns.
Harbaugh earned a B.A. in communications from Michigan’s College of Literature, Science, and the Arts in 1986.

Harbaugh comes from a coaching family, and is the son of college football coach Jack Harbaugh and the brother of John Harbaugh, the head coach of the Baltimore Ravens.

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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 Charlotte Touchdown Club is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization founded in 1990 for the purpose of promoting high school, collegiate, and professional football in the Charlotte, North Carolina region.  Since its inception, the club has grown as well as diversified boasting a sponsor team of more than (80) companies.  The Club’s activities and services focus community attention on the outstanding Citizenship, Scholarship, Sportsmanship, and Leadership of area athletes and coaches.  Through individual and corporate support, more than $2,000,000 has been raised to benefit the Touchdown Club’s scholarship efforts.

Founded in 1941, the Football Writers Association of America consists of the men and women across North America who cover college football for a living.  The membership includes journalists, broadcasters and publicists, as well as key executives in all the areas that involve the game. The FWAA works to govern areas that include game day operations, major awards and an All-America team.  Through its website, the FWAA works to improve communication among all those who work within the game. The FWAA also sponsors scholarships for aspiring writers and an annual writing contest.  Behind the leadership of President David Jones and Executive Director Steve Richardson and a board of veteran journalists, the FWAA continues grow and work to help college football prosper at all levels. There are now over 1,000 members.

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 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, N.C.  All proceeds benefit the Charlotte Touchdown Club Scholarship Fund.  For more information call 704-347-2918 or www.touchdownclub.com.