NEW HAVEN, CT – Broadcasting legend Verne Lundquist is the 2014 recipient of the Walter Camp Football Foundation “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.
Past recipients of the Walter Camp Distinguished American honor include nationally-respected sportscasters Pat Summerall (2004) and Keith Jackson (1995), 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 last year’s recipient, former Notre Dame and Washington Redskins quarterback Joe Theismann.
“We are honored to recognize a legendary sports broadcaster with this prestigious award,” Foundation president James Monico said. “Verne Lundquist’s passion for college football (and sports in general) is evident through his colorful approach, memorable broadcast calls and popularity in general.”
Born in Duluth, Minn., Lundquist attended high school in Austin, Texas and attended Texas Lutheran University.
He began his broadcasting career in Dallas/Austin area and became the radio voice of the Dallas Cowboys in 1967, where he remained with the team until 1984. Nationally, he worked for ABC Sports from 1974 to 1981 where he covered college football. He then joined CBS in 1982, and since then, he been at the forefront of memorable sporting events. At CBS, Lundquist has broadcast the NFL, NBA, PGA golf, figure skating in the Winter Olympics, college basketball and football. He currently is lead play-by-play announcer for CBS Sports’ coverage of college football, specifically covering Southeastern Conference games during the regular season. He also handles announcing roles for CBS’s coverage of college basketball, including the NCAA Division I men’s Basketball Championship, the Masters, the PGA Championship, and other PGA Tour events.
Affectionately known as “The Golden Throat,” Lundquist has been well honored for his work. He was the Texas Sportscaster of the Year seven straight years (1977-1983) and was inducted into the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association Hall of Fame in 2007. He was inducted into the Sun Bowl Hall of Fame in 2005. In 2011, he was a recipient of the National Football Foundation’s “Outstanding Contribution to Amateur Football” award.
He currently resides in Steamboat Spring, Colorado with his wife Nancy.
Lundquist, as well as other major award winners Jerome Bettis (Man of the Year) and Chad Hennings (Alumnus of the Year), and the members of the 2014 Walter Camp All-America team, will be honored at the organization’s 48th annual national awards banquet on Saturday, January 17, 2015, at the Yale University Commons in New Haven.
The Foundation is offering a “Holiday Ticket Promotion” for the National Awards Dinner. Buy two tickets for $450 (you save $150) before December 31. Please call (203) 288-CAMP (288-2267) for more information.
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 – 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 and honoring deserving individuals.
Distinguished American recipients
2014 – Verne Lundquist, Texas Lutheran
2013 – Joe Theismann, Notre Dame
2012 – Tom Osborne, Hastings College/University of Nebraska
2011 – Floyd Little, Syracuse University
2010 – Chuck Bednarik, Pennsylvania
2009 – Robin Roberts, Southeastern Louisiana
2008 – Len Dawson, Purdue
2007 – Frank Broyles, Georgia Tech
2006 – Dick Vermeil, San Jose State
2005 – Arthur Blank, Babson
2004 – Pat Summerall, Arkansas
2003 – Bill Walsh, San Jose State
2002 – Regis Philbin, Notre Dame
2001 – New York City Police, Fire, and Emergency Medical Service Personnel
2000 – Gene Upshaw, Texas A&I
1999 – Bo Schembechler, Miami (Ohio)
1998 – Steve Young, Brigham Young
1997 – Steve Largent, Tulsa
1996 – Dick Ebersol, Yale
1995 – Keith Jackson, Washington State
1994 – Paul Tagliabue, Georgetown
1993 – Rev. Theodore Hesburgh, C.S.C.
1992 – Carm Cozza, Miami (Ohio)/Yale
1991 – Alexander Kroll, Rutgers
1990 – Tex Schramm, Texas
1989 – Richard Kazmaier, Princeton
1989 – Burt Reynolds, Florida State
1988 – Y.A. Tittle, Louisiana State
1987 – Weeb Ewbank, Miami (Ohio)
1986 – Tom Landry, Texas
1985 – Bob Hope
1984 – Maj. Gen. Bill Carpenter, Army
1983 – Tom Harmon, Michigan
1982 – Eddie Robinson, Grambling State
1981 – Harold “Red” Grange, Illinois
1980 – Alexander Haig, Army
1980 – George Halas, Illinois
1979 – David “Sonny” Werblin, Rutgers
1978 – James Crowley, Notre Dame