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