56 Armed Forces Merit Award nominations announced

FORT WORTH, Texas — A total of 22 collegiate players, one college president, 17 college coaches, 10 college and university administrators, two college referees and four program have been nominated for the 2018 Armed Forces Merit Award presented by the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA).

Armed Forces Merit Award

Coordinated by the staff at the Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl, the Armed Forces Merit Award presented by the FWAA was created in June 2012 “to honor an individual and/or a group with a military background and/or involvement that has an impact within the realm of college football.”

With 56 nominations to be considered, the award’s selection committee of five FWAA members and two representatives from the Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl will determine the 2017 recipient that will be announced the week of November 4 by Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl Executive Director Brant Ringler and FWAA Executive Director Steve Richardson.

Kansas State and its football team was announced last November as sixth recipient of the Armed Forces Merit Award for the university’s partnership with the United States Army that created a bond between the school’s athletic department and the Iron Rangers at Fort Riley.

Nate Boyer of the University of Texas, Austin was the initial recipient in 2012. Other recipients were Brandon McCoy of the University of North Texas in 2013, Daniel Rodriguez from Clemson University in 2014, Bret Robertson of Westminster College (Fulton, Mo.) in 2015 and Steven Rhodes from Middle Tennessee State University.

Boyer (long snapper), McCoy (defensive lineman), Rodriquez (wide receiver) and Robertson (defensive back) served in the Army before playing collegiate football. After his military service with the Marine Corp, Rhodes played four seasons at Middle Tennessee including an appearance in the 2013 Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl with the Blue Raiders.

Armed Forces Merit Award presented by the FWAA

2018 Nominations 

Programs

Active College Football Players

Athletes Of Valor Players – ESPN Article

  • Cornelius Andrews, Union College, WR, 5-7, 169, Soph., Stockbridge, GA.
  • Dromynique Chestnut, Azusa Pacific, DB, 5-9, 180, Jun., Twentynine Palms, Calif.
  • Isom Coley, Union College, DB, 5-11, 191, Frosh, Troy, Ala.
  • Alexander Findura, Bloomsburg, DL, 6-6, 255, Soph., Woodland, Ga. (U. S. Marine Corps)
  • Rashaud Freeman, Webber International, LB, 6-0, 225, Frosh, Jacksonville, Fla. (U. S. Army)
  • Khalief Gamble, Becker College, DB, 5-9, 170, Soph., Gainesville, Fla. (U. S. Army)
  • Rasheed Holloway, Union College, WR, 6-0, 198, Frosh, Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
  • Joshua Horn, Western New England, LB, 6-0, 230, Frosh, Mendon, Mass.
  • Kenwon Mack, Union College, CB, 5-9, 165, Frosh, Detroit, Mich.
  • Deric Maddaleni, Endicott College, DL, 6-3, 240, Sen., Boxford, Mass. (U. S. Army)
  • Collin O’Donnell, Bluefield College, DL, 6-0, 250, Frosh, North Tonawanda, N.Y.
  • Cody Petero, Union College, TE, 5-9, 237, Soph., Pevely, Mo.
  • Jarris Wade, Hillsdale College, TB, 6-2, 227, Frosh, Oklahoma City, Okla. 

College Football Playoff

Football Staff

  • Troy Calhoun, Head Coach, United States Air Force Academy (U. S. Air Force)
  • Jake Campbell, Assistant Backfield, United States Air Force Academy (U. S. Air Force)
  • Lt. Col. Robert Green, Secondary, United States Naval Academy (U. S. Marine Corps)
  • Steed Lobotzke, Offensive Line, United States Air Force Academy (U. S. Air Force)
  • Bruce Mackey, Offensive Line, Norwich University (Army National Guard)
  • Ben Miller, Running Backs/Special Teams Coordinator, United States Air Force Academy (U. S. Air Force)
  • Maj. Dylan Newman, Defensive Assistant/Senior Military Rep., U. S. Air Force Academy (U. S. Air Force)
  • John Rudzinski, Secondary, United States Air Force Academy (U. S. Air Force)
  • Trent Steelman, Quarterbacks/B-Backs Coach, Jacksonville, University (U. S. Army)
  • Mike Thiessen, Offensive Coordinator/Quarterbacks, United States Air Force Academy (U. S. Air Force)
  • Kevin Turco, Head Coach, Lindenwood (U. S. Marine Corps)
  • Jim Turner, Offensive Line Coach, Texas A&M University (U. S. Marine Corps)
  • Mike Viti, Assistant Football Coach/Fullback, United States Military Academy (U. S. Army)
  • Charlton Warren, Cornerbacks, Florida (U. S. Air Force)
  • Maj. Ross Weaver, Assistant Offensive Line Coach, United States Air Force Academy (U. S. Air Force)
  • Mick Yokitis, Wide Receivers, United States Naval Academy (U. S. Navy)
  • Jake Zweig, Special Teams Analyst, Illinois, (U. S. Navy)

Football Support Staff 

  • Jordan Simmons, Strength & Conditioning, Nevada (U. S. Army)
  • Rusty Whitt, Strength & Conditioning, Texas Tech (U. S. Army) 

Staffing 

  • Cmdr. H. Lamont Gourdine, Deputy Director of Athletics (Military), United States Naval Academy (U.S. Navy)
  • Cmdr. Kevin Haney, Faculty Representative, United States Naval Academy (U. S. Navy)
  • Jim Knowlton, Director of Athletics, University of California (U. S. Army)
  • Lance E. LeClere, Orthopedic Surgeon, United States Naval Academy (U. S. Navy)
  • Dan McCarthy, Director of Football Operations, United States Military Academy (U. S. Army)
  • LTC John Nawoichyk, Assistant AD/Military Operations, United States Military Academy (U. S. Army)
  • Steve Senn, Director of Recruiting and Player Personnel, United States Air Force Academy (U. S. Air Force)
  • CPT Jeremy Trimble, Admission Support, United States Military Academy (U. S. Army) 

Referees

  • Raymond Daniel, Official, Mid-American Conference (Army National Guard)
  • Steve Thielen, Official, Mid-American Conference (U. S. Army)
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