Oct. 20, 2009
Lou Holtz has been a busy man in 2009.
In addition to traveling to Tokyo this summer to coach a team of Notre Dame football alumni against Japan and continuing his role as an ESPN television analyst, the former Fighting Irish head football coach is helping shine a spotlight on a select group of college football players who are stepping up and making a difference in their communities.
For the second consecutive year, Holtz has teamed with Allstate Insurance Company and the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) to serve as the official spokesperson for the Allstate AFCA Good Works Team. The 2009 team, which honors college football players who embody the true spirit of teamwork through commendable acts of kindness, was announced on Sept. 22, 2009.
“It’s been a pleasure to partner with Allstate and the AFCA to celebrate these wonderful student-athletes and the tremendous impact that each has made off the field,” said Holtz, who coached at Notre Dame from 1986 to 1996. “There are over 50,000 players competing in the sport of college football, so these 22 members of the Allstate AFCA Good Works Team have done some amazing things to stand out and should be very proud.”
The Allstate AFCA Good Works Team award is now in its 18th season. The two 11-member teams – one composed of players competing in the NCAA® Football Bowl Subdivision (I-A) and a combined team representing the NCAA® Football Championship Subdivision (I-AA), Divisions II, III and the NAIA – were selected from 106 players who were nominated by their school’s sports information directors.
Among this year’s Good Works Team members are Heisman Trophy winner and University of Florida quarterback Tim Tebow and standout defensive linemen Jeff Owens of the University of Georgia and Jammie Kirlew of Indiana University.
Since the award began in 1992, five Notre Dame players have been selected to the Good Works Team, including former defensive lineman Grant Irons (1999), linebackers Courtney Watson (2003) and Derek Curry (2004), offensive lineman Bob Morton (2006) and safety Tom Zbikowski (2007). Current Fighting Irish quarterback Jimmy Clausen was one of a record number of nominees for the 2009 team.
In addition to serving as spokesperson, Holtz is also a member of this year’s high-profile voting panel, helping to select the team along with former Good Works Team members Matt Stinchcomb (Georgia) and Mewelde Moore (Tulane) and college football media personalities Kirk Herbstreit (ESPN) and Dennis Dodd (CBSSports.com).
“Some of the things that these players are doing in their communities are just so remarkable,” said Holtz. “There are so many amazing stories of service that remind us that college football players are much more than just great athletes – they’re also outstanding human beings.”
The list of accomplishments is indeed impressive. Indiana’s Kirlew, for example, regularly visits Riley’s Children’s Hospital in Indianapolis where he distributes gifts and spends time with the patients. David Pesek, a senior quarterback at the Colorado School of Mines, joined a team of fellow students to help refugees on a mission trip to Afghanistan.
Chris Owens, a standout wide receiver at Earlham College (Richmond, Ind.), has completed over 1,500 hours of community service since 2005, working with organizations such as the Make-a-Wish Foundation, United Way and the Richmond State Hospital.
UCLA sophomore running back Derrick Coleman, who is deaf, has spoken to students in school programs for the hearing impaired and helped instill confidence in one Los Angeles-area youth football player who was, at first, too embarrassed to wear his hearing aid during football games.
At the end of the season, the 22 members of the Allstate AFCA Good Works team will be invited to New Orleans to participate in a community service project as well as be honored at halftime of the Allstate® Sugar Bowl.
2009 Allstate AFCA Good Works Team
Football Bowl Subdivision (I-A)
|Xavier Dye||Jr.||WR||Clemson||Greenwood, S.C.|
|Tim Tebow||Sr.||QB||Florida||Jacksonville, Fla.|
|Jeff Owens||Sr.||DL||Georgia||Sunrise, Fla.|
|Jammie Kirlew||Sr.||DL||Indiana||Orlando, Fla.|
|Darrell Stuckey||Sr.||DB||Kansas||Kansas City, Kan.|
|Zoltan Mesko||Sr.||P||Michigan||Twinsburg, Ohio|
|Andrew Brewer||Sr.||WR||Northwestern||Tulsa, Okla.|
|Taylor Kavanaugh||Sr.||WR||Oregon St.||Portland, Ore.|
|Travis Jones||Sr.||LB||San Jose St.||Atascadero, Calif.|
|Derrick Coleman||So.||RB||UCLA||Fullerton, Calif.|
|Chris Maragos||Sr.||DB||Wisconsin||Racine, Wis.|
Football Championship Subdivision (I-AA), Divisions II, III, and NAIA
|Joe Goldufsky||Sr.||DL||Beloit||Buffalo Grove, Ill.|
|Reid Velo||Jr.||WR||Bethel (Minn.)||Nashwuak, Minn.|
|David Pesek||Sr.||QB||Colorado School of Mines||Centennial, Colo.|
|Paul Hughes||Sr.||LB||Cumberlands (Ky.)||Montezuma, Ga.|
|Chris Owens||Sr.||WR||Earlham||Ft. Thomas, Ky.|
|Joshua Cain||Sr.||DB||Jacksonville St.||Wetumpka, Ala.|
|Tim Miller||Sr.||OL||Johns Hopkins||Ronkonkoma, N.Y.|
|Richard Bowman||Sr.||DB||North Dakota St.||Houston, Texas|
|Kevin Grayson||Jr.||WR||Richmond||Richmond, Va.|
|Jeffrey Hilliard||Sr.||DB||St. Thomas (Minn.)||Woodbury, Minn.|
|Jacob Rowe||Jr.||DL||Tarleton St.||Alvarado, Texas|