In Its Seventh Year, The Stallings Award Earns NCFAA Recognition
Dallas, TX – October 17, 2018 – The Stallings Award, named in honor of the Hall of Fame football coach and devoted father Gene Stallings, was recognized by the National College Football Awards Association (NCFAA) in June of 2017. In its seventh year, The Stallings Award will join such prestigious awards as the Davey O’Brien Award, the Doak Walker Award, and the Heisman Trophy, all of which pay tribute to the greats of American college football.
The Stallings Award is awarded annually to an NCAA Division 1 college head football coach who is an exceptional coach and a humanitarian. This honor is reserved for those who excel, not just at coaching great football and building a winning program, but who also work to make a difference in the lives of their players and the community.
Proceeds from The Stallings Award benefit the Ashford Rise School of Dallas at The Moody Family YMCA. The school’s mission is to provide the highest quality education and therapy to children with and without intellectual disabilities, giving them the supportive start in life they need to thrive as adults. Approximately 99% of the children that attend the Rise School preschool program are eventually able to participate in a mainstream kindergarten program.
Within the first five years, The Stallings Award raised more than $2 million garnering attention from major organizations and the media. The recent inclusion by the National College Football Award Association will bring even more recognition to coaches like Gene Stallings who embody the highest values of the sport.
Recipients of The Stallings Award serve to inspire others to persevere, no matter what the circumstances, through their own personal stories of triumph.
Unlike other NCFAA awards, The Stallings Award winner is chosen by the former recipients. The process was designed this way to allow fellow coaches, who best understand the work and vision of other head coaches, to determine the most deserving individual.
Past Stallings Award recipients include: 2012 –Mack Brown, University of Texas 2013 –Mark Richt, University of Georgia 2014 –David Cutcliff, Duke University 2015 –Dabo Swinney, Clemson University 2016 – Mark Dantonio, Michigan State 2017 – Chris Petersen, University of Washington 2018 – Gary Patterson, Texas Christian University Stallings himself has become a living legend. He is most well-known for coaching the Alabama Crimson Tide to a 13-0 season in 1992. That year, his team defeated Miami to win the Sugar Bowl and was named the consensus national champion.
Stallings also served as head coach for the St. Louis/Phoenix Cardinals of the NFL (1986-1989) and was the head coach at Texas A&M University (1965-1971), his alma mater, where he played college football from 1954 to 1956 as one of the ‘Junction Boys,' for renowned coach, Paul Bryant.
He has been inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame and the Texas Sports Hall of Fame. In 2017, Stallings was honored with the Alabama Football Legend Award.
Gene Stallings hasn't just left his mark on national football. He has devoted much of his life to advocating for the special needs community. After raising his son Johnny Stallings, who had Down syndrome, Stallings and his wife helped start the Rise School of Dallas in 1998. He served on the Commission on Intellectual Disability with former President George Bush and has been involved in numerous committees and boards, always striving to advocate for individuals with intellectual disabilities.
Founders John Adams, John Duncan, Bill Duvall, John Poston and Pete Schenkel had a vision that went beyond stats and scores, an idea of recognizing coaches who will be remembered for more than their wins and losses.
Poston, who has been involved with the awards vision since the beginning says, “This award was founded to honor the legacy of Coach Stallings and his devotion to helping those with special needs. It is inspiring to see a coach so committed to making a difference beyond the field, and we look forward to continued recognition of those who embody the same giving spirit.”
The awards ceremony is held each year at the Dallas Country Club.