The Walter Camp Man of the Year

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 University of Pittsburgh standout and Pro Football Hall of Famer Curtis Martin is the recipient of the Walter Camp Football Foundation’s 2019 “Man of the Year” award.

Martin 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 last year’s recipient Mike Golas (Notre Dame).

“We are thrilled to honor Curtis Martin as our Man of the Year,” Foundation President Mario Coppola said. “In addition to his Hall of Fame playing career, Martin’s volunteer work and compassion for others truly embodies what our Foundation stands for.”                                                                                                       

A native of Pittsburgh, Pa., Martin attended the University of Pittsburgh where he rushed for 1,045 yards his junior season in 1993.  After rushing for a career-best 251 yards in his first game his senior season, he suffered a season-ending injury.

Martin was drafted by the New England Patriots in the third round with the 74th overall pick in the 1995 NFL Draft. He was an 11-year NFL veteran for the Patriots and New York Jets, amassing 14,101 rushing yards – the fifth-highest total in NFL history.      

Martin was the NFL’s Offensive Rookie of the Year in 1995 after rushing for 1,487 yards and 14 touchdowns for the Patriots, who reached Super Bowl XXI.  Martin would go on to rush for 1,000 or more yards in 10 of his 11 professional seasons, and was named to five Pro Bowls. He earned All-Pro honors in 2001 and 2004.  In 2004, he rushed for a career-best 1,697 yards and 12 touchdowns as a member of the Jets. 

In 2012, he was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, and later that year, the Jets retired Martin’s No. 28 jersey.

Following his retirement, Martin has involved himself in charity work, including the Curtis Martin Job Foundation, established by Martin during his playing career, and designed to provide “financial aid and hands-on support to single mothers, children’s charities, individuals with disabilities and low income housing providers.”

Martin and his wife Carolina and two daughters currently reside in Long Island.

Previous winner of The Walter Camp Man of the Year Award

2018 – Mike Golic, Notre Dame

2017 – Calvin Johnson, Georgia Tech

2016 – Warrick Dunn, Florida State

2015 – Fred Biletnikoff, Florida State; Joe Andruzzi, Southern Connecticut State University

2014 – Jerome Bettis, Notre Dame

2013 – Matt Millen, Penn State

2012 – Herm Edwards, San Diego State

2011 – Harry Carson, South Carolina State

2010 – Will Shields, Nebraska

2009 – John Elway, Stanford

2008 – Morten Andersen, Michigan State

2007– Dick Butkus, University of Illinois

2006 – Mike Utley, Washington State

2005 – Dwight Stephenson, Alabama

2004 – Anthony Munoz, Southern California

2003 – Ozzie Newsome, Alabama

2002 – Jim Kelly, Miami (Fla.)

2001 – Mike Singletary, Baylor

2000 – Howie Long, Villanova

1999 – Gil Brandt, Dallas Cowboys

1998 – Lou Holtz, Kent State University

1997 – Calvin Hill, Yale

1996 – Lynn Swann, Southern California

1995 – Reggie Williams, Dartmouth

1994 – Dick Anderson, Colorado

1993 – Warren Moon, Washington

1992 – Bob Griese, Purdue

1991 – Mel Blount, Southern

1990 – Nick Buoniconti, Notre Dame

1989 – Paul Brown, Miami (Ohio)

1988 – Andy Robustelli, Arnold

1987 – Levi Jackson, Yale

1986 – Willie Davis, Grambling

1985 – Ricky Bleier, Notre Dame

1984 – Don Shula, John Carroll

1983 – Roger Staubach, Navy

1982 – Merlin Olsen, Utah State

1981 – Otto Graham, Northwestern

1980 – Gale Sayers, Kansas

1979 – Jack Kemp, Occidental

1978 – Floyd Little, Syracuse

1977 – Fred Dunlap, Colgate

1976 – Edward Krause, Notre Dame

1975 – Pete Dawkins, Army

1974 – Jake Gaither, Knoxville College/Florida A&M

1973 – Duffy Daugherty, Syracuse/Michigan State

1972 – Clinton Frank, Yale

1971 – Doc Blanchard, Army

1970 – Harry Kipke, Michigan

1969 – Pete Rozelle, San Francisco

1968 – Ted Blair, Yale

1967 – Hamilton Fish, Harvard