EAST LANSING, Mich. – College football legend Johnny Majors and high school coaching institution Walt Braun will receive the 2008 Duffy Daugherty Memorial Award for outstanding contributions to amateur football.
The record-setting teams from Hudson High, which won 72 straight games from 1968-75, also will be saluted at a banquet on Thursday, April 17, at Eagle Eye Golf Club in Bath, Mich., just north of East Lansing.
The event will honor the memory of Daugherty, a jovial Irishman whose strong influence was felt on the Michigan State sideline and in civil rights advances for 26 seasons, including 19 as head coach from 1954-72. His Spartan teams in 1955, 1957, 1965 and 1966 were recognized as National Champions.
“I loved Duffy and his wife, Frances,” Majors said. “We were the greatest of friends. And he had some great, great teams at Michigan State. When he quit coaching there, he kept coaching me. That’s why this award ranks at the top in my football career.”
As a single-wing tailback at Tennessee, Majors finished second to Notre Dame’s Paul Hornung for the Heisman Trophy in 1956 and earned a place in the College Football Hall of Fame..
After a stint with the Montreal Alouettes of the Canadian Football League, the Lynchburg, Tenn., native began a long, successful coaching career. Majors’ teams won 185 games, including nine bowls, in 29 years at Iowa State (1968-72), Pittsburgh (1973-76) Tennessee (1977-92) and Pitt again (1993-96). Behind Tony Dorsett, the 1976 Panthers went 12-0 and captured the National Championship.
No football coach in Michigan at any level had more victories than Walt Braun did when he retired as head coach of the Marysville High Vikings in 1998. He finished with an even 300 wins in 43 seasons and led his 1983 squad to a 9-0 record. That super-team had six shutouts on defense and zero punts with his starting offense.
Coach Tom Saylor’s Hudson Tigers broke the U.S. record of 71 straight wins with a Class C championship triumph on Nov. 22, 1975. Those undefeated teams scored as many as 372 points and allowed as few as 20 in a season.
“It’s another great group of honorees,” said Pat Boog , president of the Duffy Daugherty Memorial Award Committee. “Their accomplishments speak for themselves. But this is a chance to remember their special contributions and a game they loved.”
They join an list of honorees that includes college coaches Bud Wilkinson, Bob Devaney, Eddie Robinson, Joe Paterno, Ara Parseghian, Bo Schembechler, Woody Hayes, Frank Kush, Biggie Munn, Hayden Fry, Tom Osborne and LaVell Edwards, broadcaster Keith Jackson, A.D. Don Canham, two-time Heisman winner Archie Griffin and high school coaches Al Fracassa, John Herrington, Jeff Smith and Smokey Boyd.
Tickets for an expected sellout are available by calling Michelle Fink at (517) 853-6457. Tables of eight are $400, with individual tickets $50.