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Don Hansen's Football Gazette Blog of information, comments, notes, and tidebits on Small College Football. NCAA 1-AA & Mid Major, Division II & Mid Major, Division III, NAIA, and NCCAA

Monday, July 03, 2006

Lou Holtz and LSU Coach Les Miles Visit Troops in Iraq

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Monday's Chalktalk

News and notes from around college football for July 3, 2006

Lou Holtz and LSU Coach Les Miles Visit Troops in Iraq

Louisiana State head coach Les Miles joined longtime college head coach Lou Holtz and Vince Naimoli, the former general managing partner of the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, on a United Service Organization Tour in the Middle East last month. The group visited U.S. troops at three bases in Kuwait before embarking on a two-day visit to troops in Iraq, including a stop in Baghdad. Miles, entering his second year as coach of the Tigers after a stint as the head coach at Oklahoma State, even met a few soldiers from Louisiana and talked and played football with some of the troops. The group departed for the weeklong trip on Sunday, June 18th, and returned to the States the following Saturday. Holtz will resume his duties as college football analyst on ESPN after spending 33 years as head coach at Arkansas, Minnesota, NC State, Notre Dame, South Carolina and William & Mary.

Terrapins Announcer Johnny Holliday Named 2006 Chris Schenkel Award Winner

Johnny Holliday, a 27-veteran of the airwaves as the voice of University of Maryland football, was named the 2006 recipient of the National Football Foundation's Chris Schenkel award last week. Annually presented since 1996, the award recognizes longtime college football broadcasters who primarily have direct ties to colleges and universities. As the Terrapins play-by-play announcer since 1979, Holliday has called more than 1,075 football and basketball games for the school. "My tenure with the University of Maryland has been the highlight of my broadcasting career and being associated with the sports teams and the great Terrapin fans has been an honor," Holliday said. He will receive his award during the College Football Hall of Fame's 2006 Enshrinement Festival August 11-12 in South Bend, Ind.

Northwestern Coach Randy Walker Dies at 52

Randy Walker, who was set to enter his eighth year as the head coach at Northwestern this year, died suddenly last Thursday after suffering an apparent heart attack. He was 52 years old. Walker became the first coach in school history to lead three different NU teams to the postseason when he led the 2005 squad to a berth in the Sun Bowl. Back in 2000, in just his second season in Evanston, Walker earned Big Ten Coach of the Year honors after Northwestern captured a share of the Big Ten title and a berth in the Alamo Bowl. His 37 wins with the Wildcats rank him second all-time in school history. Walker previously served as head coach at Miami (Ohio), his alma mater, and accumulated 59 wins in his nine seasons there, including a 10-1 in his final year in 1998. His career record of 96-81-5 placed him 27th among active Division I-A coaches for career victories. Walker played for Miami (Ohio) from 1973-1975, helping the school to a 32-1-1 record and three Tangerine Bowl victories during that time. Among his teammates in Oxford was current Illinois head coach Ron Zook.

Two-Minute Drill

Memphis deep snapper Rusty Clayton and Marshall tight end Jeff Mullins both received $4,000 postgraduate scholarships from Conference USA... Central Arkansas defensive back Cory Cangelosi, a 2005 Draddy Trophy presented by HealthSouth finalist, won the Gulf South Conference's 2005-06 Commissioner's Trophy last Thursday for excellence in athletics and academics... Vanderbilt quarterback Jay Cutler was selected as the school's Male Athlete of the Year... Thirty-nine members of the Tennessee football team earned a spot on the university's spring semester honor roll for receiving a GPA of 3.0 or better...

The 12th edition of Phil Steele's College Football Preview have hit the newsstands, while his five college regional preview magazines will be available July 19. Visit for more information... College football columnist Ivan Maisel profiled the best college player ever to wear each jersey number in a feature appearing on ESPN's college football website this past week... Now through July 16, fans of 66 of the top college football programs have the opportunity to vote on their school's all-time greatest player by logging onto

North Carolina State coach Chuck Amato will host his 6th Annual Football Clinic for Women on July 15... Georgia coach Mark Richt and Bulldog quarterback D.J. Shockley presented a check for $25,000 to the Fragile X Foundation last month to help fight Fragile X Syndrome, a genetic mental disorder which afflicts Shockley's two brothers. The money was raised through a tribute dinner held in Shockley's honor back in March, when Florida State coach Bobby Bowden served as the banquet's keynote speaker...

The NCAA approved a new bowl game to take place in Houston this December, which will feature two participants pulled from the Big 12, the Big East, Conference USA or the Mountain West. The game, the fifth new bowl approved by the NCAA this year, replaces the former Houston Bowl... The Sun Belt Conference, which approved instant replay for all of its games this season, is currently installing five replay cameras in each stadium with the help of XOS Technologies: a camera on each goal line, cameras in the back of each end zone to shoot from behind the offense and defense, and one on the 50-yard line... Players and coaches from Penn and Princeton traveled to Japan last month to hold football clinics and seminars before participating in the third annual Samurai Bowl, where Penn players join Japanese players to square off against a contingent of Princeton and Japanese gridders...

The honorees appearing on the Sun Belt Conference's list of 30th Anniversary Distinguished Alumni released last week include former gridiron standouts Tim Langford (Arkansas State); Doug Pederson (Louisiana-Monroe); Kelly Holcomb and Emmett Kennon, Jr. (Louisiana-Lafayette); Joe Greene and James McIngvale (North Texas); Sim Byrd (Troy); and Romeo Crennel (Western Kentucky)... Reggie Bush's punt return against Washington and Tyrone Prothro's catch behind a Southern Miss defender are two of the moments nominated for a 2006 ESPY Award in the Top Play category. Nominees for other awards include Bush (Best Male College Athlete), Texas QB Vince Young (Best Male Athlete, Best Championship Performance, Best Male College Athlete), USC QB Matt Leinart (Best Male College Athlete, Undeniable Performance Award), the Texas Longhorns football team (Best Team) and the 2006 Rose Bowl (Best Game)...

SEC Commissioner Mike Slive announced the league is contemplating starting its own television channel once their current television agreements expire in 2009... San Diego State signed a five-year, $1.2 million deal with Nike to be the school's official shoe and apparel provider... Arizona State will honor their 1986 and 1996 Pac-10 Championship teams this season during the school's "Champions Weekend" on November 10-11... Stan Torgerson, the longtime radio announcer for Ole Miss football, died last week at the age of 82...

The second annual Ladies Football Clinic hosted by Steve Spurrier and his staff at South Carolina will take place on July 29... Players from the Western Michigan football team took part in a youth Rocket Football Camp last month in Kalamazoo... Notre Dame head coach Charlie Weis sung "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" during the seventh-inning stretch of a recent game between the Cubs and the Houston Astros at Chicago's Wrigley Field...

Former Texas fullback Byron Townsend and 2003 College Football Hall of Fame inductee Jerry LeVias from SMU earned induction into the Oil Bowl Hall of Fame last month. The game, which celebrated its 69th anniversary this year, annually pits All-Star high school football teams from Oklahoma and Texas against one another... John Frank, a former Ohio State tight end who starred for the Buckeyes from 1980-1983, was inducted into the National Jewish Sports Hall of Fame this past spring... Former Northeastern guard/defensive tackle George Makris earned election into the Athletic Hellenic Hall of Fame last week...

Street & Smith's SportsBusiness Journal named Florida athletics director Jeremy Foley the 2006 National Athletic Director of the Year... Former Wisconsin head coach and current AD Barry Alvarez is in the mix for a television game analyst position with Fox Sports, which takes over the broadcast of the Bowl Championship Series this year... Albany athletics director Lee McElroy was appointed the president of the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics...

The University of Maryland Board of Regents approved a $35 million loan from the state last week to help offset expenses for the planned renovation of Byrd Stadium. The stadium makeover, which includes new luxury suites and an expanded press box, is scheduled to be completed just prior to the 2008 football season... TCU plans to construct an indoor practice facility thanks to $7 million in donations the school received from the Jane and John Justin Foundation and another anonymous donor... Worsham Field at Virginia Tech will switch to Patriot Bermuda Grass in time for the beginning of this season... $15 million renovations set for next spring on Florida's Ben Hill Griffin Stadium will include work on the stadium's southwest corner as well as expanding the weight room and the football coaches' offices... Buffalo received a $500,000 gift from Robert and Carol Morris to construct a new sports performance training facility for its student-athletes...

Penn State sold out their 21,000-seat student season ticket allotment in a school-record 13 days... LSU introduced a new "Priority Point System" this year to distribute tickets for both home and road games to those who donate to the school's Tradition Fund... Auburn has already sold out their season ticket allotment for the 2006 season... Iowa named Gary Barta their new director of athletics... Central Florida named David Kelly the director of high school relations for football.

Schedule Spotlight: Sun Belt Conference

Team - Date - First Opponent (Home/Away)

Arkansas State - September 2 - Army (H)

Florida Atlantic - September 2 - Clemson (A)

Florida International - August 31 - Middle Tennessee (A)

Louisiana-Lafayette - September 2 - Louisiana State (A)

Louisiana-Monroe - September 2 - Alcorn State (H)

Middle Tennessee - August 31 - Florida International (H)

North Texas - September 2 - Texas (A)

Troy - September 2 - Alabama State (H)

With 120 chapters and 12,000 members nationwide, The National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame, a non-profit educational organization, runs programs designed to use the power of amateur football in developing scholarship, citizenship and athletic achievement in young people. The NFF presents the MacArthur Trophy, the Draddy Trophy and releases the Bowl Championship Series (BCS) Standings. NFF programs include the College Football Hall of Fame in South Bend, Ind., Play It Smart, the NFF Center for Youth Development Through Sport at Springfield College (Mass.), the NFL-NFF Coaching Academy, and scholarships of over $1 million for college and high school scholar-athletes.

For more information, please visit

NFF Contacts

Phil Marwill.......................Director of Communications

Chris Caputo.....................Communications Assistant

22 Maple Avenue

Morristown, NJ 07960

973.829.1933 (phone)


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