ATLANTA (December 22, 2015) – The 12th Annual Coach Wooden Citizenship Cup, an award given for the most outstanding role model among athletes, announced its nominees for the 2016 award ceremony according to Fred Northup, President, Athletes for a Better World.
John Wooden, who won ten national championships during the years 1964–1975 as basketball coach at UCLA is regarded as the greatest college coach of any sport who ever lived. He is universally regarded as one of the finest human beings to ever grace the world of sports, and his character, conduct and selfless gifts stand at the highest level by any standard. When Coach Wooden learned about Athletes for a Better World, he gave authorization to attach his name to this annual award and he attended and addressed the inaugural event in Los Angeles in 2005. In his honor, the Coach Wooden Citizenship Cup is presented to two distinguished athletes, one collegiate and one professional or Olympic, for their character and leadership both on and off the field and for their contributions to sport and society.
The Wooden Cup is given to a collegiate and a professional or Olympic athlete who have made the greatest positive influence in the lives of others. The award recipients will be announced at a ceremony held on April 27 at the Cobb Energy Center.
The professional recipient, Vincent J. Dooley became the head football coach at the University of Georgia in 1964 at the age of 31. During Dooley’s twenty-five year tenure as head football coach, the Bulldogs won the 1980 national championship title, six SEC championships, won 201 games, and played in 20 bowl games. He led the Bulldogs until 1988 and is among the winningest coaches in the history of college football. In addition to excellence on the field, Dooley encouraged academic excellence in his players. Under his leadership more than 100 student-athletes received academic awards and post-graduate scholarships. Dooley served as the University of Georgia’s athletic director from 1979 to 2003.
Dooley has been a member of the College Football Hall of Fame since 1994, received the NCAA National Coach of the Year award twice, and “Georgian of the Year” by Georgia Association of Broadcasters and National Volunteer of the Year. He received the Amos Alonzo Stagg Award, presented by the American Football Coaches Association in 2001. He was an analyst on ESPN college football telecasts, president of the American Football Coaches Association, named third Vice President of the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA). In 2011 Dooley was named a Georgia Trustee by the Georgia Historical Society.
Among Dooley’s many philanthropic interests, he served over 25 years as chairman of the Georgia Easter Seals and is involved with the Salvation Army, Boy Scouts of America, and numerous other charitable organizations. He is a Civil War expert and a member of the Civil War Round Table. Additionally, he is renown horticulturist with several books published on plants and gardens.
Bob Ryan, the famed sportswriter for the Boston Globe and analyst for ESPN will serve as the Master of Ceremonies. Four times the “Sportswriter of the Year,” a member of the Halls of Fame for College Basketball Writers and the New England Basketball, winner of the Curt Gowdy Award from the Basketball Hall of Fame, and perhaps most notably, a recipient of the Red Smith Award for sports journalism, Ryan will bring extraordinary experience and perspective to the evening’s events.
With Jack Nicklaus, Pat Summitt, Dikembe Mutombo, Drew Brees, Mia Hamm, Peyton Manning, John Smoltz, John Lynch, Andrea Yaeger, Shannon Miller and Cal Ripken, Jr. as previous recipients, the Wooden Cup is becoming one of the most prestigious awards in all of sports. Recipients are considered role models and athletes of excellence both on and off the field.
Founded by Athletes for a Better World (ABW), a non-profit organization committed to changing the culture of American sports, the Wooden Cup is unique in that it is open to athletes in all collegiate and Olympic or professional sports. Nominations are open to every division and conference in college sports.
The 2016 Collegiate Wooden Cup recipient will be announced at the award ceremony April 27. Finalists for the collegiate division include:
- Bonnie Brandon, Swimming, University of Arizona
- Malcolm Brogdon, Basketball, The University of Virginia
- Ty Darlington, Football, University of Oklahoma
- Alexa Hone, Soccer, University of South Carolina, Upstate
- Lucas Romick, Football, Denison University
Recipients of the Coach Wooden Citizenship Cup are chosen by voting done by the Board, the Advisory Board and over 100 distinguished individuals involved in athletics across the country.