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Del Rio among Silver honorees


For NCAA student-athletes, the lessons learned on the field are as valuable as the ones they pick up away from the action.

Those lessons are evident through the professional achievements of former student-athletes such as Doug Flutie, Jackie Joyner-Kersee, Jack Del Rio, Gregg Carr, Maureen O'Toole-Purcell and Deb Richard, the recipients of the 2010 NCAA Silver Anniversary Awards.

The Silver Anniversary Awards annually recognize six distinguished former student-athletes on the 25th anniversary of the conclusion of the college athletics careers.

For Richard, the time spent competing for Florida was about much more than perfecting her short game.

"Living the dream began the day I signed my National Letter of Intent to go to the University of Florida," she said. "I was challenged everyday on the golf course and in the classroom to push the bar to the next level by my teammates and coach. Committing everyday to get the most out of every day in order to have a successful college experience provided invaluable lessons that have guided me through every endeavor in my life."

Similarly, Del Rio, a two-sport athlete at Southern California, said his time as an NCAA student-athlete established an important foundation for success later in life.

"While attending USC and playing football, I came into contact with some amazing people who were great teachers and mentors," he said. "They taught me that wonderful things can be accomplished with hard work and dedication. I have carried those lessons over into my professional and personal life and have benefited from them immensely.

"I also learned excellent time-management skills. The only way to be a successful student-athlete is to properly manage your time. Fortunately, those same skills apply throughout all areas of life, and I was lucky to learn them at such an early age. Being a student-athlete gave me an early start to being a success in life."

The Silver Anniversary Award winners will be recognized in January during the Honors Celebration at the 2010 NCAA Convention in Atlanta.

Following are summaries of each Del Rio's accomplishments.

Jack Del Rio, Southern California

Football and baseball

Public administration

NFL head coach

Collegiate achievements

  • Four-year starter for the Southern California football team
  • Named consensus All-American and runner-up as Lombardi Trophy winner as a senior
  • Named as co-Most Valuable Player of the 1985 Rose Bowl
  • Batted .340 as a catcher for the Trojans baseball in 1983 and 1984
  • Drafted by the Toronto Blue Jays out of high school in 1981
  • Currently in his 24th overall season in the NFL and his seventh as head coach of the Jacksonville Jaguars * Guided the Jaguars to playoff berths twice in the past two years * Served as linebackers coach for the Baltimore Ravens team that won Super Bowl XXXV in 2001 * Compiled 1,078 tackles, 12 sacks, 13 interceptions and more than 100 consecutive starts as an NFL player with New Orleans, Kansas City, Dallas and Minnesota

Professional and civic contributions

  • Established the Jack Del Rio Foundation in 2008 to help improve the lives of children in northeast Florida by assisting programs that aid in their development, education and enrichment
  • Actively supports the American Cancer Society in Jacksonville as well as numerous other charities in his hometown of Hayward, California, and in New Orleans, where he was a player and coach for the Saints
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