Former college and NFL coach Dick Vermeil will deliver the keynote address at the 2014 Biletnikoff Award Banquet, called by 2013 keynoter Larry Csonka and other observers “the best banquet in college sports.” Vermeil was an outstanding head coach on four levels of football in high school, community college, NCAA Division I and the National Football League. He was head coach of UCLA, the Philadelphia Eagles, the St. Louis Rams, and the Kansas City Chiefs.
Chairman Ritchie Pickron of the Tallahassee Quarterback Club Foundation (the creator and sponsor of the Biletnikoff Award) stated, “It is a great day for us to have the remarkable coach and great American Dick Vermeil as our 2014 banquet keynote speaker.”
In 1975, Vermeil led UCLA to its first conference championship in 10 years and that season the Bruinsbeat undefeated, top ranked, and heavily favored Ohio State in the 1976 Rose Bowl.
Coach Vermeil began his NFL head coaching career in 1976 with the Philadelphia Eagles. By 1978, the Eagles had reached the playoffs for the first time in 18 years.
Vermeil was named the NFL’s Coach of the Year in 1980 and led the Eagles to Super Bowl XV, losing in the Super Bowl to the Oakland Raiders.
Retiring after the 1982 season, Vermeil worked for the next 15 years as a sports commentator for CBS and ABC, before returning to the NFL to coach the St. Louis
Rams in 1997. Leading the Rams to a Super Bowl victory in Super Bowl XXXIV after the 1999 season, Vermeil was again named NFL Coach of the Year.
After retiring from the Rams in 2000, Vermeil was named head coach of the NFL’s Kansas City Chiefs. In 2003, the Chiefs won the AFC West Division with a 13-3
record and were the NFL’s top ranked offense. Coach Vermeil retired at the conclusion of the 2005 season.
In 2001, Coach Vermeil received the coveted Silver Beaver Award for his steadfast and significant support of Boy Scouts of America.
Born in Calistoga, Napa Valley, California, Vermeil partnered with OnTheEdge Winery to produce his own wine, named “Garage Cabernet”, in honor of his father,
Jean Louis Vermeil.
The Tallahassee Quarterback Club Foundation will celebrate its 20th annual banquet on February 8, 2014, with its usual sell-out crowd of 550 patrons at the University Center Club in the south end zone of Florida State University’s Doak Campbell Stadium in Tallahassee, Florida. The 2013 banquet saw a record $740,000 in college scholarships awarded to North Florida high school seniors who had overcome significant barriers to achieve at the highest academic and extra curricular levels. The 2014 banquet, like the 2013 banquet, will be broadcast through live streaming by ESPN3. Chairman Ritchie Pickron and Dick Vermeil will present the Biletnikoff Award trophy, the most beautiful in college sports, and the Biletnikoff Award ring to the 2013 season Biletnikoff Award winner at the 2014 banquet.
The Biletnikoff Award winner is selected by a 203- person national selection committee comprised of the nation’s outstanding college football writers, analysts, and commentators, as well as former eminent receivers and Biletnikoff Award winners.
The Foundation has achieved remarkable success over its twenty years of existence with all uncompensated volunteers as trustees and leaders. By 2013, the Foundation had achieved another milestone: Over the course of 20 years, the total value of trustees’ volunteered hours exceeded 3 million dollars. The Foundation boasts North Florida’s leading business and professional achievers as trustees. The Foundation has attracted the finest banquet keynote speakers in American sports, including Dick Vermeil, Larry Csonka, Bart Starr, Archie Manning, Don Shula, Mike Ditka, Steve Largent, Jerry Kramer, Bill Curry, Dan Fouts, and Ron Jaworski.
Fans can follow the Biletnikoff Award at its fact-filled web site: www.biletnikoffaward.com
The banquet, considered the best in college football, can be viewed at http://es.pn/YRssGR. ESPN3 is ESPN’s live multi-screen sports network, giving fans a destination that delivers thousands of live sports events annually, accessible online at WatchESPN.com, on smartphones and tablets via the WatchESPN app and through ESPN on Xbox LIVE to Gold members. It is available at no additional cost to fans who receive their high-speed internet connection or video connection from an affiliated service provider. ESPN3 is currently available in 83 million homes. It is also available at no cost to approximately 21 million U.S. college students and U.S.-based military personnel via computers connected to on-campus educational networks and on-base military networks.