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Four Named To Receive NFF Major Awards In 2003

Riska, Patey, Geiger and Clune will be honored by the Foundation at its Annual Awards Luncheon, December 9, 2003 in New York City.

May 8, 2003

MORRISTOWN, N.J. - Jon F. Hanson, Chairman of The National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame, announced today the 2003 recipients of its prestigious Major Awards - Outstanding Contribution to Amateur Football Award, Outstanding Football Official Award and the John L. Toner Award.

RUDY RISKA
Outstanding Contribution To Amateur Football Award
Presented annually, the award recognizes individuals whose efforts and activities have made a significant impact on amateur football and contributed to the advancement and betterment of the game.

R.L. "BUDDY" PATEY
Outstanding Football Official Award
Given annually, this prestigious award honors an outstanding official who has demonstrated sportsmanship, integrity, character, and contribution to the sport of amateur football throughout his career.

ANDY GEIGER
JOHN CLUNE
(co-recipients)
John L. Toner Award
Presented annually, the Toner Award is given to a director of athletics who has demonstrated superior administrative abilities and shown outstanding dedication to college athletics and particularly college football.

The Outstanding Contribution to Amateur Football Award will go to, Rudy Riska, executive director of The Heisman Memorial Trophy Trust and The Heisman Memorial Trophy Foundation. This year's Outstanding Football Official is R.L. "Buddy" Patey, most notably of the Southeastern Conference.

For only the second time since the award's inception, the John L. Toner Award will be presented to two exceptional athletics directors, Andy Geiger currently of The Ohio State University and John Clune, a posthumous honoree, from the United States Air Force Academy.

"We are pleased to be awarding these deserving honorees with Major Awards," said Hanson. "Their commitment, dedication and dynamic leadership towards the betterment of amateur football represent the ideals of our mission and organization. I thank the Awards Committee, chaired by Robert E. Mulcahy, for selecting another fine group of honorees."

Each of these recipients will be honored at the Foundation's Annual Awards Luncheon at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York City on Tuesday, December 9, 2003. The event will also honor four of the nation's top high school scholar-athletes.

That evening, the 46th Annual Awards Dinner will highlight the college football season, honor special awardees, induct the 2003 College Football Hall of Fame Class, and award approximately 15 National Scholar-Athletes with over $300,000 in postgraduate scholarships.

HONOREE BIOGRAPHIES

RUDY RISKA
Executive Director of The Heisman Memorial Trophy Trust
and Heisman Memorial Trophy Foundation
Outstanding Contribution To Amateur Football Award
Presented annually, the award recognizes individuals whose efforts and activities have made a significant impact on amateur football and contributed to the advancement and betterment of the game.

Born across the street from The Downtown Athletic Club (DAC), of which he would become a lifetime employee, Rudy Riska has devoted his career to honoring the very best of college football.

An accomplished high school athlete, Riska was signed by the New York Yankees and played professional baseball for three seasons - the final with the Baltimore Orioles. Following his baseball career, he enlisted in the U.S. Army where he served for three years prior to joining the DAC in 1961.

For 30 years, Riska served as the director of athletics at the club while having the prestigious honor of being executive director of the National Association of Club Athletics Directors.

Now in his 43rd year with the DAC, he currently serves as executive director of both The Heisman Memorial Trophy Trust and The Heisman Memorial Trophy Foundation. First awarded in 1935 to Jay Berwanger of the University of Chicago, The Heisman Trophy is awarded annually to the "Outstanding College Football Player of the United States." As one of the most recognized trophies in the world of sport, with its unique pose and bronze finish, the Heisman has come to represent excellence and achievement on the football field.

Riska's work with the Heisman Foundation has helped raise more than $1 million over the past 12 years for various foundations and charitable organizations throughout the country. Currently, he is in the process of developing the Heisman After School Academy with the Boys Club of New York focusing on middle school children. Riska plans on establishing an After School Academy in each Heisman Trophy winner's hometown.

R.L. "BUDDY" PATEY
Ohio Valley Conference
Southeastern Conference

Outstanding Football Official Award
Given annually, this prestigious award honors an outstanding official who has demonstrated sportsmanship, integrity, character, and contribution to the sport of amateur football throughout his career.

Buddy Patey's career demonstrates a deep commitment and love for college football, and a high level of accomplishments that few have achieved.

After his football playing days at Union University, he began officiating, governing over 200 games including many traditional SEC rivalries such as seven consecutive Alabama-Auburn encounters. His resumè contains numerous "big" games and a number of bowl appearances which includes the Bluebonnet, Cotton, Peach, Gator, Liberty and Orange Bowls.

Patey earned his stripes officiating for 48 years, 20 as supervisor of officials for the Ohio Valley Conference.

Patey has been inducted into the Tennessee State High School Athletic, Jackson-Madison County Sports, and the Ohio Valley Conference Halls of Fame. He was the recipient of the Lawrenceburg Quarterback Club Officiating Award and the Jackson's Young Man of the Year Award. More recently, he was inducted into the State of Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame, in February of 1999.

Distinguished Sportswriter and longtime National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame Honors Court chairman Fred Russell, called Patey "one of football's best ever officials." Patey authored a children's book on officiating, hosted radio and television sports shows, and wrote a column for two newspapers entitled "Ask the Ref."

He also served as vice-mayor of the City of Jackson, which included numerous posts in community service groups. Patey has been honored with "Buddy Patey Day" in Camden, Tennessee, and also served on the Board of Directors of the YMCA, Boys & Girls Club, Jaycees, and Lions Club, among others.

Patey is the former secretary of the Collegiate Commissioners Association, Football Supervisors Committee and member of the Editorial Committee for the NCAA Football Rules Book. He currently serves as a technical advisor for officiating in the SEC and resides in Jackson, Tennessee.

ANDY GEIGER
Director of Athletics - The Ohio State University
John L. Toner Award
Presented annually, the Toner Award is given to a director of athletics who has demonstrated superior administrative abilities and shown outstanding dedication to college athletics and particularly college football.

Andy Geiger, one of college athletics most dynamic and respected leaders, is now in his ninth year as Director of Athletics at The Ohio State University. Overseeing a program that has 35 varsity sports and over 900 athletes, he has managed an annual operating budget of more than $50 million to near perfection.

Instrumental in hiring Jim Tressel as head football coach in 2000, Geiger secured one of today's best-known college coaches. In only three seasons, Geiger's choice of coaches paid off in 2002 as Tressel led the Buckeyes to an undefeated season and their first National Championship since 1970.

Maintaining the great Ohio State tradition of athletic excellence, Geiger's career as an athletics director spans a total of 33 years with stints at Brown University, University of Pennsylvania, Stanford University and the University of Maryland.

Upon accepting his position at Ohio State, Geiger led an ambitious campaign to update the school's aging facilities. The first facet of that drive became a reality in the spring of 1997 when the 4,300-seat Bill Davis Baseball Stadium opened its gates. The 19,100-seat Jerome Schottenstein Center, a state-of-the-art, multi-purpose facility, now in its fifth year, houses men's and women's basketball and men's ice hockey, as well as various other entertainment events. The Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium, which is home to soccer, lacrosse and field hockey, was completed in 2001 as was the three-year $187 million renovation of storied Ohio Stadium, which now seats nearly 100,000 and is truly one of the most magnificent facilities in the country.

Under Geiger, Ohio State has also added three new varsity sports - women's rowing, lacrosse and ice hockey - at a time when most schools are dropping sports because of budget constraints.

Extremely active in the community and huge jazz music fan, Geiger is a member of the Columbus Jazz-Arts Board and also hosts a two-hour weekly radio show called "Classic Jazz Masters." He also serves on the Board of Directors of Easter Seals and the YMCA.

JOHN CLUNE
Former Director of Athletics - United States Air Force Academy
John L. Toner Award
Presented annually, the Toner Award is given to a director of athletics who has demonstrated superior administrative abilities and shown outstanding dedication to college athletics and particularly college football.

As the sixth director of athletics in Air Force history, Colonel John Clune played a major role in enhancing the extensive Air Force Academy athletic and physical education program.

A 1954 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, Clune was no stranger to the world of athletics. He was an All-America basketball player at Navy, who held scoring records that lasted for 30 years.

A native of Jersey City, New Jersey, Clune graduated from St. Peter's High School where he earned all-state honors in basketball. He earned a master's degree in electrical engineering from Southern California and completed the Armed Forces Staff College in 1959 and the Industrial College of the Armed Forces in 1972.

Clune served as president of the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics and as a member of the NCAA's Postseason Football Committee. He is the former Chairman of the Board of Directors of the College Football Association and served as chairman of the NCAA Voting Committee.

He arranged for the Academy to become a member of the Western Athletic Conference, the first service academy to join a conference. He was responsible for initiating a 10-sport intercollegiate program for women when the first class was admitted in 1976. Once joining the WAC, Col. Clune served on the Compliance Committee, Finance Committee and the Extra Events Committee.

He was also instrumental in working with Colorado Springs civic leaders in bringing the Olympic Training Center, Olympic House and two Olympic Sports Festivals to Colorado Springs. He served as the president of the Air Force Academy Athletic Association and was one of the 10 board members designated by Congress to serve on the Academy Board, which is the governing body of the Air Force Academy.

While in the military, Clune was rated as a senior missleman. Among his military decorations the Legion of Merit, two Meritorious Service Medals and the Air Force Commendation Medal.

Colonel Clune died of Cancer in 1992 after serving 16 years as the director of athletics at Air Force. He is survived by his wife Pat, who currently resides in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

With 119 chapters and over 12,000 members nationwide, The National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame, a not-for-profit educational organization, runs programs designed to use the power of amateur football in developing scholarship, citizenship and athletic achievement in America's young people. 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 nearly $1 million for College and High School Scholar-Athletes.


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