The Touchdown Club of Columbus was founded in Columbus, Ohio, in 1956 by Sam B. Nicola at the request of state auditor James A. Rhodes, who later became governor of the state. Nicola served as the club's president until his death in 1993. More than a decade later, his son Sam Nicola Jr. took over the Touchdown Club.
Logo of the Touchdown Club of Columbus
The Touchdown Club of Columbus gives several awards to recognize outstanding athletes.
Sammy Baugh Trophy
The Sammy Baugh Trophy is awarded annually to the nation's top collegiate passer.
Previously called the Quarterback of the Year Award, this accolade differs from Sammy Baugh Trophy in that it goes to top quarterback, rather than the top passer. Its name was changed to its current identity in 2012, honoring two-time winner Kellen Moore, who became the FBS all-time leader in wins by a quarterback after going 50–3 as the starter at Boise State.
Named for Joseph Carr, this trophy was presented annually (from 1955–1978) to the NFL Player of the Year. This award is not to be confused with the original Joe F. Carr Trophy which was the official National Football League MVP award from 1938–46. However, both trophies are named after Carr, a former NFL commissioner.
The James A. Rhodes Trophy is awarded annually to the Ohio High School player of the year. It is named for former Governor of OhioJames A. Rhodes, who was state auditor when he made the suggestion that led to the founding of the Touchdown Club of Columbus.
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.
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.
Huntley Bakich (born 1973) is a former American football linebacker. He played at W.T. White High School in Dallas, Texas.
During his Senior year he was recognized by Parade Magazine All American team, 1991 USA Today High School All-American team, USA Today Texas Player of the year, Touchdown Club of Columbus Player of the Year Runner Up with Former All American linebacker Derek Brooks, Dallas All Sports Association (DASA) Male Athlete of the Year and among others, the Texas FAB 55 list of top players in the State along with future Notre Dame teammate Mike Miller also a
FAB 55 selection in 1991.
A lifelong resident of Dallas, Texas, Bakich played college football at the University of Notre Dame under Coach Lou Holtz. Bakich
was the recipient of a nationally televised removal from a game by his facemask, and an ensuing sideline tongue-lashing by Coach Holtz for his participation a fight against Michigan State.
He suffered an Achilles' tendon injury and back injuries, and following doctors' advice gave up playing football after his junior season.Bakich has spent his post-graduate career as a company founder and executive consultant in the telecommunications industry.
As of 2012, Bakich resided in Dallas, Texas, with his wife Margaret and their five children.
Jason White (born June 19, 1980) is an American former college football quarterback who played for the University of Oklahoma, was recognized as a unanimous All-American, and won the Heisman Trophy in 2003.
Jeffrey Michael Monken (born April 15, 1967) is the head coach of the Army Black Knights football team. He was formerly the head coach of the Georgia Southern Eagles football team. He previously served under Paul Johnson as a running backs coach and special teams coordinator at Georgia Southern, Navy and Georgia Tech.
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.
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.
Alfred Kevin Willhite (born May 4, 1963) is a former collegiate and professional American football player.
Willhite attended Cordova High School in Rancho Cordova, California, graduating in 1982. He was one of the greatest running backs in California prep history, rushing for 4,901 yards and scoring 72 touchdowns. He was selected into the Sac-Joaquin section Hall of Fame.
He was also a great prep sprinter. As a junior in 1981, he won the 200 meters at the California State track meet with a legal wind-aided time of 20.8. As a senior in 1982, he ran 100 meters in 10.5 and had a hand-timed 10.4.
In 1981, he was named the California prep athlete of the year (for football and track) and was separately named the California prep football player of the year. After his senior football year, he also earned three national honors. He received the Dial Award as the outstanding scholar-athlete of the year. Making the 1982 Parade Magazine All-American team, he was named the national back of the year, despite very highly recruited Marcus Dupree from Philadelphia, Mississippi, who became a freshman sensation with the Oklahoma Sooners as a true freshman in 1982, being a contender. He was also selected for the Sam B. Nicola Trophy as the National High school Player of the Year by the Touchdown Club of Columbus, Ohio in 1981. In the 1982 Long Beach Press Telegram Best in the West football recruits rankings, he received 10 votes for the best college running back prospect on the West Coast which was the most a recruit could receive.
One of most highly recruited prep football players ever out of the State of California in 1981–1982, he verbally committed to the University of Washington about three weeks before National Signing Day on February 10, 1982, despite the Huskies already having RB Jacque Robinson who as a freshman was the MVP of the 1982 Rose Bowl game in which the Huskies beat Iowa 28–0. But on signing day, Willhite shocked the college football world and signed with the University of Oregon. Reportedly, he ultimately chose the Ducks over the Huskies because of the Ducks' track program.
Willhite severely tore his hamstring during his senior high school track season in 1982 and then suffered further injuries at the University of Oregon during his freshman season, which resulted in him redshirting in 1982. He had an undistinguished college football career. Because of the effect of his injuries, he was switched to fullback where he was used mostly as a blocking back. He became a starter his senior year.
During the NFL strike season of 1987, Willhite became a replacement player for the Green Bay Packers. In three games for the Packers, he rushed for 251 yards on 53 carries (4.7 avg), with a long run of 61 yards, but no touchdowns. He is the younger brother of former Denver Broncos' RB Gerald Willhite.
The Maxwell Football Club (originally called the Maxwell Football Club of Philadelphia) was established in 1935 to promote safety in the game of American football. Named in honor of Robert W. (Tiny) Maxwell, legendary college player, official, and sports columnist, the club was founded by his friend Bert Bell, then owner of the Philadelphia Eagles professional football team and later commissioner of the National Football League. The awards are presented during the spring of the following year.As of 2017, the club's president is Mark Dianno, and the club's Chairman is former NFL defensive back Shawn Wooden. The club's headquarters are located in Ambler, Pennsylvania.
The National Football League Coach of the Year Award is presented annually by various news and sports organizations to the National Football League (NFL) head coach who has done the most outstanding job of working with the talent he has at his disposal. Currently, the most widely recognized award is presented by the Associated Press (AP), although in the past several awards received press recognition. First presented in 1957, the AP award did not include American Football League (AFL) teams. The Sporting News has given a pro football coach of the year award since 1947 and in 1949 gave its award to a non-NFL coach, Paul Brown of the All-America Football Conference's Cleveland Browns. Other NFL Coach of the Year awards are presented by Pro Football Weekly/Pro Football Writers of America and the Maxwell Football Club. The United Press International (UPI) NFL Coach of the Year award was first presented in 1955. From 1960 to 1969, before the AFL–NFL merger, an award was also given to the most outstanding coach from the AFL. When the leagues merged in 1970, separate awards were given to the best coaches from the American Football Conference (AFC) and National Football Conference (NFC). The UPI discontinued the awards after 1996.
The Ohio State Football All-Century Team was chosen in early 2000 by the Touchdown Club of Columbus. It was selected to honor the greatest Ohio State Buckeyes football players of the 20th century. No effort was made to distinguish a first team or second team, the organization instead choosing only to select an 80-man roster and a five-man coaching staff.
Members selected to the team were honored at a banquet on February 19, 2000. Living members of the team elected all-century captains and an all-century Most Valuable Player. As captains they chose Archie Griffin and Rex Kern on offense, and Chris Spielman and Jack Tatum on defense. Archie Griffin was selected as MVP.
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".
Robert Nathan Banks (born December 10, 1963) is a former NFL defensive end.
Born in Williamsburg, Virginia, Banks attended Peninsula Catholic High School before transferring to Hampton High School in Hampton, Virginia, to play football. In 1982, the Touchdown Club of Columbus awarded Banks their second annual Sam B. Nicola Trophy, designating him as the National High School Player of the Year. Banks played for University of Notre Dame in the mid-1980s. He was drafted by the Houston Oilers football team in the 7th round (176th overall) of the 1987 NFL Draft. He played off the bench for one year in Houston before moving to the Cleveland Browns, where he started 15 games in 1989. He started 9 of the 15 games he played in 1990, which was his last year in the NFL.
As of 2016, he is the campus director of admissions for the Houston campus of the Aviation Institute of Maintenance.
Terry Paul Beasley (born February 5, 1950) is a former American football player. He played collegiately at Auburn where he lettered from 1969 to 1971. In his college career, Beasley amassed 141 receptions, 2,507 yards and 29 touchdowns. He was an All-American as a wide receiver in 1970 and 1971. He led the Southeastern Conference in receptions, receiving yards and scoring in 1970 with 52 receptions, 1,051 receiving yards and 72 points. In 1971, he was named the College Pass Receiver of the Year by the Touchdown Club of Columbus. Beasley was elected into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2002.
Beasley was selected in the first round of the 1972 NFL Draft by the San Francisco 49ers, with whom he spent the duration of his short professional career before injuries forced his retirement following the 1975 season.
He was married to Joanne Teel. Had four daughters, Wendy, Jordan, Tara and Terry.
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