Walter Camp Foundation Announces Major Award Recipients to be Honored on March 11
In preparation for its 57th National Awards Dinner, presented by 777 Partners, the Walter Camp Football Foundation has announced its Major Award recipients.
Former two-time Super Bowl winning head coach Tom Coughlin (Syracuse ‘68) will receive the Distinguished American award.
The Walter Camp “Distinguished American” award is presented each year to an individual who has utilized 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. He or she may have a record of dedication to mankind that should not pass unrecognized and a life that has been dedicated to the preservation of the American ideal. The recipient need not have participated in football but must be one who understands its lesson of self-denial, cooperation, and teamwork, and one 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 that distinguishes him or her from contemporaries, as well as someone who lives within the principles of Walter Camp.
Coughlin joins previous recipients of the Walter Camp Distinguished American honor include nationally respected sportscasters Keith Jackson (1995), Pat Summerall (2004) and Verne Lundquist (2014), all-purpose television personality Regis Philbin (2003), former NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue (1994), world-renowned entertainer Bob Hope (1985), former college coach Eddie Robinson (1982), and former NFL standout Archie Manning.
NFL Hall of Famer and former Jacksonville Jaguars left tackle Tony Boselli (USC ‘95) is the recipient of the Man of the Year honor.
The Walter Camp “Man of the Year” award honors an individual who has been closely associated with the game of football as a player, coach or close attendant to the game. He must have attained a measure of success and been a leader in his chosen profession. He must have contributed to the public service for the benefit of his community, country and his fellow man. He must have an impeccable reputation for integrity and must be dedicated to our American Heritage and the philosophy of Walter Camp.
Boselli joins a distinguished list of former “Man of the Year” winners, including Roger Staubach (Navy), Gale Sayers (Kansas), Dick Butkus (Illinois), John Elway (Stanford), Jerome Bettis (Notre Dame), and Curtis Martin (Pittsburgh).
Former New England Patriot Ty Law (Michigan ’94) is the Alumni Award recipient.
The Walter Camp “Alumni of the Year” award is bestowed 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.
Former Alumni Award recipients include including Bo Jackson (Auburn), Tony Dorsett (Pittsburgh), Herschel Walker (Georgia), Tim Brown (Notre Dame), Doug Williams (Grambling State), Larry Fitzgerald (Pittsburgh) and Von Miller (Texas A&M).
Tom Coughlin – Distinguished American
Two-time Super Bowl winning head coach Tom Coughlin is the recipient of the Distinguished American award. Coughlin led the New York Giants to victories in Super Bowls XLII and XLVI, both times against the New England Patriots.
In all, Coughlin was a part of three Super Bowls, helping the Giants win Super Bowl XXV as the wide receivers coach under Bill Parcells. A member of the Giants Ring of Honor, Coughlin recorded a 102-90 record (.531) in 12 seasons as head coach.
Coughlin was also the inaugural coach of the Jacksonville Jaguars, serving from 2005 to 2022 and leading the team to four playoff appearances and two AFC Championship Games and a 68-60 mark (.531).
Prior to his NFL head coaching career, Coughlin served three seasons at the collegiate level at Boston College where he was 21-13-1 record, a victory in the Car Quest Bowl, and a number 12 final national ranking in 1993. Coughlin also served as an assistant coach at BC, where he coached eventual Walter Camp Player of Year Doug Flutie in 1983. Coughlin started his head coaching career at Rochester Institute of Technology from 1970 to 1973.
Currently, Coughlin is the President of The Tom Coughlin Jay Fund Foundation, which was created in honor of Jay McGillis. Jay was a special young man who developed leukemia while a member of Coach Coughlin’s team at Boston College, and subsequently lost his valiant battle with the disease. After going through the tragic events with Jay’s family, Coach Coughlin vowed that if he ever had the chance, he would create a way to help families with children battling cancer. Coach Coughlin kept his promise and started the Tom Coughlin Jay Fund.
For over 25 years, the Jay Fund has evolved in size and scope and has helped over 5,200 families and provided over $17 million in financial assistance to families in Northeast Florida and the New York/New Jersey Metropolitan Area.
Coughlin is a native of Waterloo, N.Y. He played halfback for Syracuse and set the school single season pass receiving record in 1967. He also earned his master’s degree from his alma mater.
Tony Boselli – Man of Year
A 1992 Walter Camp All-American and member of the Foundation’s All-Time All-America team, Tony Boselli was a standout for the USC Trojans, where he was a three-time All-Pac-10 selection. Boselli was named to the College Football Hall of Fame in 2014.
He was selected by the expansion Jacksonville Jaguars as the second player overall in the 1995 NFL Draft. Regarded as one of the NFL’s elite offensive left tackles, Boselli played seven years and persevered through numerous injuries. He was a leader of a Jaguars’ team, under the direction of head coach Tom Coughlin, that reached the AFC Championship Game in just the franchise’s second season. In 1998, he was named the team’s Most Valuable Player after helping the Jaguars to the team’s first division title.
Boselli was elite in all seven seasons he played, allowing just 15.5 sacks during his career. He played his best against the league’s best and had just 11 career holding penalties. There were four seasons in which he had no accepted holding penalties against him.
He was voted to five straight Pro Bowls (1997 to 2001) and was a three-time All-Pro (1997, 1998 and 1999). He was selected to the NFL’s All-Decade Team.
In 2022, he was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Ty Law – Alumni Award
A native of Aliquippa, Pa., Ty Law attended the University of Michigan and was three-year standout for the Wolverines. He earned Walter Camp All-America honors in 1994 and was a two-time unanimous All-Big Ten selection.
Selected by the New England Patriots in the first round (23rd overall) of the 1995 NFL Draft, Law proceeded to play 10 seasons and won three Super Bowl championships (XXXVI, XXXVIII and XXXIX). A two-time First Team All-Pro, Law was a five-time Pro Bowl selection. Twice, he led the NFL in interceptions and was named to the NFL 2000’s All-Decade Team. Law also played for the New York Jets (2005, 2008), Kansas City Chiefs (2006-2007) and Denver Broncos (2009). He finished his career with 53 interceptions.
In 2019, Law was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
The Major Award winners will be honored, along with the members of the 2022 Walter Camp All-America Team, Player of Year Caleb Williams (USC), Coach of Year Sonny Dykes (TCU) and Connecticut Player of Year Drew Pyne (Arizona State) at the Foundation’s 57th National Awards Dinner, presented by 777 Partners, on Saturday, March 11 in New Haven. National Awards Dinner tickets are $350 and available at https://waltercamp.org/product/awards-dinner/
Walter Camp, “The Father of American football,” first selected an All-America team in 1889. Camp – a former Yale University athlete and football coach – is also credited with developing play from scrimmage, set plays, the numerical assessment of goals and tries and the restriction of play to eleven men per side. The Walter Camp Football Foundation (www.waltercamp.org,@WalterCampFF) – a New Haven-based all-volunteer group – was founded in 1967 to perpetuate the ideals of Camp and to continue the tradition of selecting annually an All-America team. The Foundation is a member of the National College Football Awards Association (NCFAA). The NCFAA 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 website, www.ncfaa.org