Jerome Bettis becomes the latest former Notre Dame player to be awarded Walter Camp Man of the Year honor.

Notre Dame's Jerome Bettis Named Walter Camp Man of the Year

Oct. 30, 2014

NOTRE DAME, Ind. University of Notre Dame and Pittsburgh Steelers football great Jerome Bettis is the recipient of the Walter Camp Foundation’s 2014 Man of the Year award.

The Walter Camp Man of the Year award honors an individual who has been closely associated with the game of football as a player, coach or close attendant to the game. He must have attained a measure of success and been a leader in his chosen profession. He must have contributed to the public service for the benefit of his community, country and his fellow man. He must have an impeccable reputation for integrity, be dedicated to our American heritage and the philosophy of Walter Camp.

Bettis is the fourth Man of the Year recipient from Notre Dame, joining Edward “Moose” Krause (1976), Rocky Bleier (1985) and Nick Buoniconti (1990). Notre Dame matches Yale for the most recipients from any school.

“Jerome Bettis’ success on the football field pales in comparison to what he has done off the field to help children succeed. This devotion makes him a worthy recipient of the Man of the Year Award,” said Foundation president James Monico.

A native of Detroit, Michigan, Bettis was an all-state running back and linebacker at Mackenzie High School before attending Notre Dame. He played three seasons for the Irish, accumulating 1,912 rushing yards while setting what remains a record with 20 total offensive touchdowns during the 1991 season.

Bettis was drafted in the first round (10th overall) in the 1993 NFL Draft by the Los Angeles Rams and played three seasons with the team before being traded to the Pittsburgh Steelers in 1996. He rushed for more than 1,000 yards in each of the next six seasons for the Steelers, including a career-best 1,665 in 1997.

In 2005, Bettis led the Steelers to Super Bowl XL and a 21-10 victory over the Seattle Seahawks. Following that Super Bowl win, Bettis announced his retirement.

During his NFL career, he earned first-team All-Pro honors twice (1993 and 1996) and second-team honors once (1997). Bettis was selected to play in six Pro Bowls. He finished his 13 NFL seasons as the NFL’s fifth all-time leading rusher with 13,662 yards and 91 TDs.

In 2002, he was named the recipient of the NFL’s Walter Payton Man of the Year award. Following his playing career, Bettis began television work for NBC and the NFL Network. He currently hosts a radio show and is an NFL analyst for ESPN. More importantly, he founded the Jerome Bettis Bus Stops Here Foundation, which creates a variety of programs and provides resources to assist under-privileged youth in making healthy choices. In addition, Bettis, who suffered from asthma as a child, focuses his efforts to encourage and educate children how to better manage their asthma and reduce its limitations.

Jerome and his wife Trameka reside in Georgia and have two children.

Bettis, other major award-winners, and members of the 2014 Walter Camp All-America team will be honored at the organization’s 48th annual national awards banquet on Jan. 17, 2015, at the Yale University Commons in New Haven, Connecticut.

Walter Camp, “the father of American football,” first selected an All-America team in 1889. Camp–a former Yale University athlete and football coach–also is credited with developing play from scrimmage, set plays, the numerical assessment of goals and tries and the restriction of play to 11 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.

Walter Camp Man of the Year Recipients

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, Illinois

2006 – Mike Utley, Washington State

2005 – Dwight Stephenson, Alabama

2004 – Anthony Munoz, USC

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

1997 – Calvin Hill, Yale

1996 – Lynn Swann, USC

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 – Rocky 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