Dec. 1, 2000

NOTRE DAME, Ind. — Senior linebacker Anthony Denman received Notre Dame’s 2000 MVP award Friday night at the 81st annual Notre Dame Football Banquet sponsored by the Notre Dame Club of St. Joseph Valley.

Former Irish All-America quarterback and current ESPN analyst Joe Theismann served as guest speaker at the event, which attracted approximately 1,300 people.

Denman, a linebacker from Rusk, Texas, was selected as the MVP for the Irish, with his award coming from the Notre Dame National Monogram Club via vote of the players.

A second-team All-America pick in 2000 by The Sporting News and a third-team selection by Football News, Denman led the Irish in tackles with 84 and also paced the team with 14 tackles for losses. One of the Irish captains this season, Denman also shared the team lead for fumbles caused with two.

Senior flanker Joey Getherall won the Nick Pietrosante Award — also voted on by the players — as the individual who best exemplifies the courage, loyalty, teamwork, dedication and pride shown by the late Irish All-America fullback. Pietrosante died of cancer on Feb. 6, 1988.

Getherall, a third-team All-America selection by, ranked ninth nationally in punt returns at 16.3 yards each, including two returns for touchdowns. The Hacienda Heights, Calif., product led the team in receiving yards (323) and receiving TDs (four).

Defensive tackle Lance Legree won the Lineman of the Year Award from the Moose Krause Chapter of the National Football Foundation and Hall of Fame. The senior from St. Stephen, S.C., led the 2000 Irish defensive line in tackles (50) and minutes played. He added six tackles for losses and two sacks.

Senior offensive guard Mike Gandy won the Guardian of the Year Award from the Guardian Life Insurance Company as the top offensive lineman. The Garland, Texas, product earned third-team All-America honors from The Sporting News, started every game in 2000 (and 25 straight) and helped the Irish rank 14th nationally in rushing.

Veteran free safety Tony Driver received the inaugural Golden Helmet Award as the senior player who went above and beyond the call of duty by contributing, in whatever way he was asked, to help further the success of the team. The awardwinner was selected by the coaching staff.

The Louisville, Ky., native finished second on the team in tackles with 65 and tied an NCAA record with his two fumble recoveries for TDs against Navy. He played safety as a senior after playing tailback as a freshman and junior and safety as a sophomore.

Adam Tibble received the Knute Rockne Student-Athlete Award from the Notre Dame Club of St. Joseph Valley. He owns a 3.915 grade-point average as a pre-professional major in the College of Arts and Letters. The junior from Northville, Mich., served as the Irish holder in 2000.

Junior center John Crowther (3.6 from Mendoza College of Business) earned the Westwood One/State Farm Student-Athlete of the Year Award. One of 11 weekly winners announced during radio broadcasts of Irish games in 2000, the Edina, Minn., product served as the Notre Dame special-team snapper.