The National Football Foundation Distinguished American Award is among the highest offered by the National Football Foundation (NFF). Every year, the NFF & College Football Hall of Fame pays tribute to a select few with awards of excellence for exhibiting superior qualities of scholarship, citizenship and leadership. Additionally, the Foundation also recognizes individuals who demonstrate outstanding support for the NFF and its mission of promoting the game of amateur football. The Distinguished American Award is presented on special occasions when a truly deserving individual emerges, the award honors someone who has applied the character building attributes learned from amateur sport in their business and personal life, exhibiting superior leadership qualities in education, amateur athletics, business and in the community.
The recipient is not limited to a former college player or coach, must be an outstanding person who has maintained a lifetime of interest in the game and who, over a long period of time, has exhibited enviable leadership qualities and made a significant contribution to the betterment of amateur football in the United States.
|National Football Foundation Distinguished American Award|
|Given for||Exhibiting superior qualities of scholarship, citizenship, and leadership|
|Presented by||National Football Foundation & College Football Hall of Fame|
|Most recent||Raymond T. Odierno|
Various individuals associated with The National Football Foundation, such as former recipients, board members corporate leaders, chapter presidents and friends send nominations and suggestions to the NFF Chairman. Selection of the recipient is made by the Awards Committee and ratified by the Board of Directors.
1966 - Bill Carpenter
1991 - Joe Paterno
Not to be confused with the "Amos Alonzo Stagg Coaching Award".The Amos Alonzo Stagg Award is presented annually by the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) to the "individual, group or institution whose services have been outstanding in the advancement of the best interests of football". Recipients receive a plaque which is a replica of the one given to Stagg at the 1939 AFCA Convention in tribute to his 50 years of service to football. The purpose of the award is "to perpetuate the example and influence of Amos Alonzo Stagg".
The award is named in honor of Amos Alonzo Stagg, who was instrumental in founding the AFCA in the 1920s. Stagg is considered one of the great innovators and motivating forces in the early development of the game of football and had one of the longest head coaching tenures in the history of the college game.Bronko Nagurski Trophy
The Bronko Nagurski Trophy has been awarded annually since 1993 to the collegiate American football player adjudged by the membership of the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA) to be the best defensively in the National Collegiate Athletic Association; the award is presented by the Charlotte Touchdown Club and the FWAA. The award is named for Bronko Nagurski, who played football for the University of Minnesota and the Chicago Bears.Champ Pickens Trophy
The Champ Pickens Trophy, named for Alabama's Champ Pickens, was awarded to the champion of the Southern Conference as selected by a board of sportswriters from 1923 to 1926.Chuck Bednarik Award
The Chuck Bednarik Award is presented annually to the defensive player in college football as judged by the Maxwell Football Club to be the best in the United States. The award is named for Chuck Bednarik, a former college and professional American football player. Voters for the Maxwell College Awards are NCAA head college football coaches, members of the Maxwell Football Club, and sportswriters and sportscasters from across the country. The Maxwell Club is located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and the presentations are held in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Club members are given voting privileges for the award.George Bodenheimer
George Bodenheimer (born May 6, 1958) is the former president of ESPN Inc. and of ABC's sports division, known since 2006 as ESPN on ABC. He was president of ESPN since November 19, 1998 and of the former ABC Sports since March 3, 2003.
The Sports Business Journal named Bodenheimer the most influential person of 2008 on a list of 50 people.As of January 1, 2012, Bodenheimer was the executive chairman of ESPN, with John Skipper replacing him as president. On December 18, 2017, he became acting chairman of ESPN after Skipper announced his resignation.Jerry Rice Award
The Jerry Rice Award is awarded annually in the United States to the most outstanding freshman player in the NCAA Division I Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) of college football as chosen by a nationwide panel of media and college sports information directors.The trophy is named in honor of Jerry Rice the National Football League (NFL) hall of fame wide receiver, who starred at Mississippi Valley State University.Jet Award
The Jet Award, named in honor of 1972 Heisman Trophy Winner Johnny "The Jet" Rodgers, is awarded to the top return specialist in college football beginning with the 2011 season. Joe Adams was announced as the first winner on March 29, 2012. Beginning with the 2012 award ceremony, in addition to being given to the annual award winner, the Rodgers Award will be presented retroactively one decade at a time, starting with the 1959–1969 winners.Mickey Charles Award
The Mickey Charles Award is awarded annually for academic achievement by a student-athlete in the Division I Football Championship Subdivision (formerly Division I-AA) of college football, and was first awarded in 2014.The award is named for the CEO and President of The Sports Network, Mickey Charles. Charles is noted for having recognized the need for national coverage of the FCS (formerly Division I-AA college football) before he created the FCS Awards in 1987.Norris Cup
The Norris Cup was a trophy awarded by the Norris Candy Company to the best all around athlete at several North Carolina colleges. Jack McDowall won it twice.Porter Cup (trophy)
The Porter Cup was a sterling silver trophy once awarded by the Porter Clothing Company to the best all-around athlete from a major southern university, including the University of Alabama, Birmingham-Southern College, Tulane and Tennessee's three major universities: Vanderbilt, Sewanee and Tennessee. The three in Tennessee were given by Alf Porter, and Alabama's was given by Henry Porter Loving. Alabama's is thus also called the "Porter Loving Cup".STATS FCS Coach of the Year
The STATS FCS Coach of the Year award has been awarded annually by STATS LLC since 2015 to the most outstanding collegiate football head coach in the NCAA Division I Football Championship Subdivision. The winner is selected by a national panel of sports information and media relations directors, broadcasters, writers and other dignitaries.STATS FCS Defensive Player of the Year
The STATS FCS Defensive Player of the Year award has been awarded annually by STATS LLC since 2015 to the most outstanding defensive collegiate football player in the NCAA Division I Football Championship Subdivision. The winner is selected by a national panel of sports information and media relations directors, broadcasters, writers and other dignitaries.STATS FCS Freshman Player of the Year
The STATS FCS Freshman Player of the Year award has been awarded annually by STATS LLC since 2015 to the most outstanding freshman collegiate football player in the NCAA Division I Football Championship Subdivision. The winner is selected by a national panel of sports information and media relations directors, broadcasters, writers and other dignitaries.STATS FCS Offensive Player of the Year
The STATS FCS Offensive Player of the Year award has been awarded annually by STATS LLC since 2015 to the most outstanding offensive collegiate football player in the NCAA Division I Football Championship Subdivision. The winner is selected by a national panel of sports information and media relations directors, broadcasters, writers and other dignitaries.Southwest Conference football individual awards
Coaches of the Southwest Conference bestowed the following individual awards at the end of each football season.Walter Camp Alumni of the Year
The Walter Camp “Alumni of the Year” award is bestowed by the Walter Camp Football Foundation on a worthy individual who has distinguished himself in the pursuit of excellence as an athlete, in his personal career and in doing good works for others. He must be an individual who has exhibited dedication and good moral conduct in achieving success. He must be a compassionate and unselfish person who contributes his time and assistance in helping to encourage and comfort fellow human beings less talented and less fortunate than himself. He must be an individual who takes pride in having been a Walter Camp All-American.Walter Camp Distinguished American Award
The Walter Camp Distinguished American Award is presented by the Walter Camp Football Foundation to an individual who has used his or her talents to attain great success in business, private life or public service and who may have accomplished that which no other has done.
The recipient does not have to have participated in football but must understand its lesson of self-denial, cooperation and teamwork and who is a person of honesty, integrity and dedication. He or she must be a leader, an innovator, even a pioneer, who has reached a degree of excellence which distinguished him or her from contemporaries and who lives within the principles of Walter Camp.Walter Camp Man of the Year
The Walter Camp Man of the Year is one of seven awards given annually by the Walter Camp Football Foundation. The award is given to the "Man of the Year" in the world of college football. The criteria for the award are stated to include success, leadership, public service, integrity, and commitment to American heritage and Walter Camp's philosophy.Wuerffel Trophy
The Wuerffel Trophy is an award given annually to the college football player "who best combines exemplary community service with athletic and academic achievement." The trophy, designed by W. Stanley Proctor and named in honor of former University of Florida quarterback Danny Wuerffel by the All Sports Association, shows Wuerffel praying after scoring a touchdown.
National Football Foundation Distinguished American Award recipients
College football awards
|Overall media awards|
|Other national player awards|
|Head coaching awards|
|Assistant coaching awards|
|Division I FCS awards|
and versatility awards
|Halls of fame|