Matt Kopsea, Regional Radio Sports Network/Indiana Football Digest After nearly 20 years with the South Bend Tribune, Matt is now in his fifth year of working with the Regional Radio Sports Network and writing for the Indiana Football Digest. In addition to his experience as a sportswriter, Matt has worked in the front office for the South Bend Silver Hawks (now Cubs) and as the sports information director at Bethel College.
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WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Former Purdue All-America defensive back Rod Woodson has been elected to the College Football Hall of Fame.
The Football Bowl Subdivision Class of 2016 was announced today in Scottsdale, Arizona, and includes 14 players and two coaches. The class was chosen from a national ballot of 76 All-America players and five elite coaches from the Football Bowl Subdivision and 92 players and 27 coaches from the divisional ranks.
Woodson, who played for head coach Leon Burtnett from 1983 to 1986, is the 16th Boilermaker (11 players and five coaches) to be chosen for college football’s ultimate shrine. Woodson is the fifth Purdue player to be elected in the last 11 years, following quarterback Mike Phipps in 2006, quarterback Mark Herrmann in 2010, halfback Otis Armstrong in 2012 and defensive tackle Dave Butz in 2014.
Woodson, who was inducted into the Purdue Intercollegiate Athletics Hall of Fame in 2003 and the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2009, will join quarterback Bob Griese as the only Boilermakers to be enshrined in the Purdue Intercollegiate Athletics, College Football and Pro Football halls of fame.
“Without a doubt, Rod is the most extraordinary athlete that I was associated with during my playing days at Purdue and in the NFL,” said Calvin Williams, who was teammates with Woodson in 1985 and 1986. “His selection to the College Football Hall of Fame is well deserved for a player of his stature.”
As a senior with the Boilermakers, Woodson was a consensus All-American and runner-up for the Jim Thorpe Award. He was a first team All-Big Ten selection his sophomore, junior and senior seasons – one of only four players in school history to be honored three times. Woodson tied the Purdue career record with 11 interceptions (since broken and now tied for third) and owned the record for interceptions returned for touchdowns with three (since broken and now second). He presently ranks second in career solo tackles (320), fourth in total tackles (445) and ninth in pass breakups (29). He left Purdue as the career leader with 1,535 kickoff return yards, which now ranks fifth.
In his final collegiate game Nov. 22, 1986, Woodson played both ways in the Boilermakers’ 17-15 Old Oaken Bucket victory over Indiana. He started at tailback and rushed for a team season-high 93 yards on 15 carries while catching three passes for 67 yards. At his usual cornerback position, he recorded 10 tackles, one pass breakup and one forced fumble. He also returned three punts for 30 yards and two kickoffs for 46 yards. In all, Woodson appeared in an astounding 137 plays, approximately 90 percent of the game.
“I’ve seen a lot of football, and I’ve never seen a young man play a game like that,” Burtnett said afterwards of Woodson. “If he’s not the best player in this conference, I don’t believe I’ve seen him. I wouldn’t trade anybody in the country for Rod Woodson.”
In the 1987 NFL Draft, the Pittsburgh Steelers picked Woodson with the 10th overall pick. He played defensive back for 17 seasons with the Steelers (1987-96), San Francisco 49ers (1997), Baltimore Ravens (1998-2001) and Oakland Raiders (2002-03). He retired with 71 interceptions, the third-most in NFL history, a then-league-record 1,483 interception return yards, and league records of 12 interception returns for touchdowns and 32 fumble recoveries. Woodson was selected to 11 Pro Bowls, and, in 1994, he was one of only five active players to be selected to the NFL’s 75th Anniversary Team.
Woodson is one of only 10 players in NFL history to reach the Super Bowl three times with three teams: XXX with the Steelers, XXXV with the Ravens (a 34-7 win over the New York Giants) and XXXVII with the Raiders. He was the 1993 NFL Defensive Player of the Year.
Woodson became just the 62nd individual elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility, and he was the fourth individual with Purdue ties to be enshrined, following quarterback Len Dawson (1987), Griese (1990), and running back and assistant coach Hank Stram (2003).
During his Pro Football Hall of Fame induction speech, Woodson paid homage his alma mater, saying, “My home away from home was Purdue University … All the multiple coaches there taught me so much. All the professors taught me so much. They got me ready for the National Football League. But more importantly, they got me ready for life.”
A native of Fort Wayne, Indiana, Woodson also ran track at Purdue and twice earned All-America honors in the hurdles. He was a five-time Big Ten champion and still boasts school records in the 60- and 110-meter hurdles.
Following his retirement from the NFL, Woodson worked as an analyst for the NFL Network and Big Ten Network from 2003 to 2011. He spent the 2011 season as the Raiders’ cornerbacks coach before resuming his broadcasting career with Westwood One as a college football analyst in 2012 and 2013. Woodson interned with the Steelers in training camp in 2013 and participated in the Bill Walsh Minority Coaching Fellowship Program with the Denver Broncos during the 2014 offseason. Woodson returned to Oakland as assistant defensive backs coach in 2015.
Woodson and his wife, Nickie, have five children.
The Class of 2016 will be inducted at the 59th NFF Annual Awards Dinner on Dec. 6 at the Waldorf-Astoria in New York City. The inductees and their accomplishments will be immortalized forever at the College Football Hall of Fame in Atlanta.
Of the 5.12 million individuals who have played or coached college football over the past 147 years, only 963 players and 209 coaches have been immortalized in the Hall of Fame. In other words, only two ten-thousandths of one percent (.0002) of those who have been involved in the game have been deemed worthy of the honor.
Two other former Boilermakers, wide receivers Larry Burton (1973-74) and Taylor Stubblefield (2001-04), were on the ballot.
Pinto Named NCCAA DI Men's Soccer Coach of the Year
The National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) announced on Wednesday that Bethel men’s soccer head coach Thiago Pinto has been named the NCCAA DI Men’s Soccer Coach of the Year. This national honor comes after Pinto led the Pilots to a runner-up finish at the 2015 NCCAA National Tournament.
Pinto has been guiding the Pilots since 2009 and holds a career record of 84-50-12 that includes an 18-1-1 record in 2009, which is the best record in BC men’s soccer history. During his tenure, Pinto has led his squad to two conference championships and two conference tournament championships along with two NCCAA national runner-up finishes. Under his tutelage, Bethel athletes have acquired NAIA all-American status four times, NCCAA all-American honors 16 times, MCC/Crossroads League Player of the Year awards seven times and All-MCC/Crossroads League honors 28 times.
This year, the Pilots made a repeat trip to the NCCAA national title match after putting together a fantastic run in 2014. The 2015 squad posted a 1-0-1 record in pool play before defeating Belhaven in the national semifinals to clinch a berth in the finals. Bethel’s run was cut short by NCAA DII Southern Wesleyan. Bethel finished the campaign with a 13-7-3 overall record, which is the second best record recorded by BC during the Pinto era.
Coach Pinto will collect his award at the NSCAA Awards Banquet which will be held on Friday, January 15th, 2016 in the Grand Ballroom of the Baltimore Convention Center. The event will be held in conjunction with the 69th annual NSCAA Convention.
Historically, Pinto becomes the first Bethel men’s soccer coach to receive National Coach of the Year honors and becomes the 34th recipient of a National Coach of the Year award in Bethel Athletics history.
Congratulations to Coach Pinto and the Pilots on a fantastic and historic 2015 season.
RYAN KERRIGAN SELECTED AS REDSKINS’
2015 WALTER PAYTON MAN OF THE YEAR
LOUDOUN COUNTY, Va. – The Washington Redskins announced today that they have selected linebacker Ryan Kerrigan as the team’s 2015 Walter Payton Man of the Year. Kerrigan’s selection qualifies him as one of 32 candidates to receive the league-wide award, an honor given annually by the league to recognize a player’s community service and volunteer efforts as well as his excellence on the field.
Between his work with the Washington Redskins Charitable Foundation (WRCF) and individual efforts, Kerrigan has focused on the importance of living a healthy lifestyle through physical activity and nutrition choices, supporting childhood cancer awareness, and supporting children and families in need.
“Ryan cares deeply about this community and has put a great deal of thought into the causes he supports,” said Jane Rodgers, Executive Director of the WRCF. “As a result, his ability to make a difference and his impact is truly powerful. Once he decides to get involved, he does it with the same level of intensity he shows on the field.”
In addition to his work with the WRCF, Kerrigan, who signed a multi-year contract extension this past July, has become a fixture in the Washington, D.C. metro community. During his time in Washington, Kerrigan has launched “Ryan Kerrigan’s Blitz for the Better Foundation,” which aims to provide opportunities, resources, support and encouragement to seriously ill, physically challenged and special need children and their families. Blitz for the Better serves more than 18,000 children annually.
On Sept. 28, Kerrigan hosted 185 guests at the Grand Hyatt Washington for his Third Annual Celebrity Waiter Night, which raised more than $100,000 to benefit the foundation. Among the efforts funded by the annual event are “Ryan’s Reindeer Rush,” in which he tows a wagon full of footballs, photos and more to personally deliver to the patients and families in the Children’s National Health System, as well as “Kerrigan’s Korner,” a in-patient surgery wing locker stocked with kid-friendly portable DVD players, video gaming systems, iPads, Kindles and Leap Pads for children making extended stays with the Children’s National Health System.
Last May, Kerrigan also hosted the 10th Annual Leukemia Golf Classic at Lansdowne Resort in Leesburg, Va., helping raise funds for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. Later this month, he and former Redskins cornerback Shawn Springs will co-host an event benefiting the Elaine Shuster Foundation.
Kerrigan joined the Redskins as the No. 16 overall pick in the 2011 NFL Draft and has started all 75 regular season games and one postseason game played by the franchise since his selection. He earned PFWA All-Rookie Team honors in 2011 and earned a Pro Bowl selection following the 2012 campaign, and his 44.5 career sacks are third-most in team history since the NFL made sacks an official statistic in 1982. Since being drafted, the native of Muncie, Ind., also returned to Purdue University during previous offseasons to complete his degree in May 2013.
The prestigious Man of the Year award has been given annually since 1970. The award was renamed in 1999 for legendary Pro Football Hall of Fame running back Walter Payton.
Past Redskins winners of the Walter Payton Man of the Year include: Darrel Young, 2014; Alfred Morris, 2013; Joshua Morgan, 2012; Lorenzo Alexander, 2010-11; London Fletcher, 2008-09 (selected as NFL finalist in 2009); Rocky McIntosh, 2007; Renaldo Wynn, 2006; Shawn Springs, 2005; Chris Cooley, 2004; Darnerian McCants, 2003; Eddie Mason, 2002; Chris Samuels, 2001; Darrell Green, 1996 (won the national award); and Joe Theismann, 1982 (won the national award).
ABOUT THE REDSKINS: Headquartered at Redskins Park in Ashburn, Virginia, and owned by Daniel Snyder, the historic Washington Redskins Football Club has won five World Championship titles including the 1937 and 1942 National Football League Championship games, as well as Super Bowls XVII, XXII and XXVI. Founded in 1932 as the Boston Braves in Massachusetts, the team changed its name to the Redskins in 1933 and relocated to Washington, D.C., in 1937. Since then, the team has become one of the most recognizable professional sports franchises in history, featuring multiple Hall of Fame coaches, 19 members of the Pro Football Hall of Fame (with seven others who also were Redskins) and becoming the first team in the NFL with an official marching band and fight song, "Hail to the Redskins." The Redskins have been owned by Dan Snyder since 1999, and beginning in 1997, began playing their home games at FedExField in Landover, Md.
ABOUT THE WASHINGTON REDSKINS CHARITABLE FOUNDATION: Since inception, the Washington Redskins Charitable Foundation has provided nearly $20 million dollars in support to our community. Founded in 2000 by Dan and Tanya Snyder, the mission of the Washington Redskins Charitable Foundation is to make a positive and measurable impact in the lives of children in our community. For more information on the Washington Redskins Charitable Foundation’s programs and events or to donate, visit www.redskins.com/community or follow the Foundation on twitter at @RedskinsCR.
Indiana Football Coaches Association
2015 Senior 6A All-State Football Team
Pos School Year Name
OL Kyle Ball Perry Meridian 12
OL Matt Garrett Southport 12
OL Eric Ferguson Noblesville 12
OL Deshawn Williams Carmel 12
OL Nate Warnock LaPorte 12
OL Jason Mitchel Warren Central 12
OL M.J. Dumas Lawrence North 12
OL Jordan Lapsley Indpls. Cathedral 12
TE Evan Higgs Southport 12
TE Matt Moore Avon 12
WR Greg Miller Hamilton Southeastern 12
WR Stori Emerson Ben Davis 12
WR Tyler Kirtz Brownsburg 12
WR Austin Krider Homestead 12
QB Michael Viktrup Carmel 12
QB Aiden Smith Carroll (Allen) 12
RB Jaylen Coe Warren Central 12
RB Gerrid Doaks Lawrence Central 12
RB Bryce Crook Valparaiso 12
RB Gino Francesconi LaPorte 12
PK Cameron Fox FW Northrop 12
Indiana Football Coaches Association
Pos School Year
DL Dylan Roth Perry Meridian 12
DL Kyle Williams Southport 12
DL Jasison Brogan Warren Central 12
DL A.J. Elcock Avon 12
DL James Jamicich Carroll (Allen) 12
DL Zach Main Penn 12
LB Matt Thompson Avon 12
LB Wally Dahlkamp Lake Central 12
LB Ryan Guhl Indpls. Cathedral 12
LB Brandon Martin Lawrence North 12
LB Jackson Sodrel Center Grove 12
LB Luke Finke Chesterton 12
DB Eli Walton Southport 12
DB TraVon Smith Ben Davis 12
DB Anthony Tucker Merrillville 12
DB Blake Schumacher Carroll (Allen) 12
DB Tyler Pence Center Grove 12
DB Mitchell Kelley Columbus North 12
P Nash Griffin Lawrence Central 12
Indiana Football Coaches Association
2015 Top 50 All-State Football Team
Pos School Year Cl Name
OL Emil Ekiyor Indpls. Cathedral 10 6A
OL Ben Knutson Penn 12 6A
OL Coy Cronk Lafayette CC 12 1A
OL John Richardson Center Grove 12 6A
OL Caleb Jones Lawrence North 11 6A
OL Shawn Streck Merrillville 12 6A
OL Trent Maynard Decatur Central 12 5A
OL Dominick Mathis Warren Central 12 6A
OL Dan Godlevske Indpls. Chatard 12 3A
OL Titus Martin Fishers 12 6A
TE Ben Skowronek Homestead 12 6A
TE Martin Petruf Whiting 12 2A
WR Austin Mack FW Luers 12 3A
WR Mac Hippenhammer FW Snider 11 5A
WR Andrew Griffin Avon 12 6A
WR Jalen Walker Carmel 11 6A
QB Brandon Peters Avon 12 6A
QB Alex Neligh New Palestine 12 5A
QB Isaac Stiebeling FW Snider 12 5A
QB Camden Bohn Penn 12 6A
QB Hunter Johnson Brownsburg 11 6A
RB Kiante Enis Winchester 12 2A
RB Chris Evans Ben Davis 12 6A
RB Toks Akinribade Brownsburg 12 6A
RB Titus McCoy Center Grove 11 6A
RB Jackson Anthrop Lafayette CC 12 1A
RB Jaden Rhea Monrovia 12 2A
PK Nate Needham Chesterton 12 6A
Indiana Football Coaches Association
2015 Top 50 All-State Football Team
Pos School Year Cl Name
DL Javon Swann Center Grove 12 6A
DL Collin Miller Hamilton Southeastern 12 6A
DL Kendall Coleman Indpls. Cathedral 12 6A
DL Cameron Tidd Center Grove 12 6A
DL Kaleb Slaven Delta 12 4A
DL Rondell Weathers Indpls. Arsenal Tech 12 5A
DL Mitchell VanBrocklin Woodlan 12 2A
DL Colin Zeh W. Lafayette Harrison 12 5A
LB Noah Burks Carmel 12 6A
LB Kobe Woods Penn 12 6A
LB Joe Lambright Leo 12 4A
LB Jacob Earl North Vermillion 12 1A
LB Matt Otwinowski LaPorte 12 6A
LB Dylan Conner Carroll (Allen) 12 6A
LB Tommy Richardson Bloomington South 11 5A
DB Justin Saylor Indpls. Roncalli 12 4A
DB Josh Hayes Indpls. Pike 12 6A
DB Alex Akins Carmel 12 6A
DB Zach Norton FW Dwenger 12 4A
DB Jeremy Chinn Fishers 12 6A
DB Luke Diener North White 12 1A
P Jared Smolar Valparaiso 12 6A
KEVIN O’SHEA OF CENTRAL CATHOLIC HIGH SCHOOL
NAMED ELEVENTH COACH OF THE WEEK FOR 2015
Kevin O’Shea of Lafayette Central Catholic High School has been named the Colts/NFL Coach of the Week, a program presented by Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield.
Coach O’Shea was nominated and selected for this award after Lafayette Central Catholic defeated Linton-Stockton 34-7 in the Class 1A State Championship. The win capped off and undefeated season earned the school’s seventh state title.
The 2015 season marks the sixteenth year the Indianapolis Colts will be recognizing outstanding Indiana High School football coaches through the Colts/NFL Coach of the Week program, presented by Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield.
All high school head coaches in the state of Indiana are eligible regardless of their school size, league or division. Coaches are evaluated on various factors including the coach’s impact on his team, school and community, as well as performance of the team. The honorees are selected by a panel of high school football media, former athletic directors and other football representatives from all regions of the state.
Each Monday, following a high school football game weekend, one head coach will be announced. At the conclusion of the high school football season, each winning coach will receive a framed certificate signed by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, Colts Head Coach Chuck Pagano, Colts General Manager Ryan Grigson and Colts Youth Football Commissioner Mike Prior, as well as a $1,000 donation from the NFL Foundation. In addition, Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield will contribute $1,000 for the school’s athletic fund.
The following coaches were recognized as honorable mentions for Week 11:
Class 1A - Winner Class 1A - Brian Oliver – Linton-Stockton
Class 2A – Kevin Hutchins - Monrovia Class 2A – Jeff Cain - Whiting
Class 3A – Vince Lorenzano – Bishop Chatard Class 3A – Shane Fry – West Lafayette
Class 4A – Ernie Bojrab – Bishop Dwenger Class 4A – Justin Roden – East Central
Class 5A – Kurt Tippmann – FW Snider Class 5A – Kyle Ralph – New Palestine
Class 6A – Eric Moore – Center Grove Class 6A – Cory Yeoman - Penn