The Rimington Trophy announced that Carl Mauck is the 2017 recipient of the Gerald R. Ford Legends Award. The award is presented to former collegiate or professional centers who, in addition to standout football careers, have also made significant contributions to the football and/or business communities, or through philanthropic endeavors. The Rimington Trophy is awarded to the most outstanding center in NCAA Division I-A football.
Carl Mauck’s NFL career spans 34 years as both a player and a coach. During his 13 years as a center, he played with the Colts, Dolphins, Chargers, and Oilers and then continued his time with the NFL as an Offensive Line coach.
Starting at Hamilton County High School, Mauck’s football career led him to Southern Illinois University and then to the NFL where he encountered some of the best coaches and players in the game. Some of the greats he encountered over the years were Johnny Unitas, Bob Griese, Dan Fouts, Ken Stabler, Paul Warfield, and Earl Campbell, among countless others.
Upon his retirement from playing in the NFL, Mauck was prepared to do a radio show, but was contacted several weeks before it began by Bum Phillips, head coach of the New Orleans Saints, about an offensive line coach opening. Mauck agreed to try the job on for fit – and the rest is history. His coaching career led him to seven different NFL teams and a Super Bowl visit.
About the Gerald R. Ford Legends Award
In the summer of 2005 The Rimington Trophy and the office of President Gerald R. Ford announced the creation of the Gerald R. Ford Legends Award. President Ford was the first recipient of the annual award that will bear his name for future winners.
The award will be presented to former collegiate or professional centers who, in addition to standout football careers, have also made significant contributions to the football and/or business communities, or through philanthropic endeavors.
“I look back on my days as a center at the University of Michigan as one of the best times of my life. The leadership lessons I learned on the football field served me well in my political and public service career. I am honored to be the recipient of this award and I truly appreciate the hard work that Dave Rimington and everyone associated with the Rimington Trophy have done to promote the significance of the center position in college football,” said President Gerald R. Ford.
Gerald R. Ford was a successful center at the University of Michigan prior to entering a career of public service. President Ford rose through the leadership ranks of the Republican Party culminating with his appointment to the Presidency of the United States of America.
The addition of the Gerald R. Ford Legends Award will continue to draw attention to the position of center, which is one of the major goals of the Rimington Trophy. The award will be presented during the annual Rimington Trophy banquet held each January in Lincoln, Nebraska.
History of the Remington Trophy
While researching for a series of articles on college football awards in 2000, retired San Francisco Examiner sportswriter Syd Russell interviewed former Nebraska center Dave Rimington about being the only two-time winner of the Outland Trophy.
During the discussion, Russell noted that there was a college football award for every position except center – and it was then that the idea for the Rimington Trophy was born.
Russell’s argument for naming the Trophy after Rimington was simple: look at his credentials. In addition to winning the prestigious Outland Trophy in consecutive years, he was named a first-team All-American center in 1981 and 1982. In his final year with Nebraska, he was named the Big Eight Conference “Offensive Player of the Year” and would later see his jersey retired among Cornhusker legends at Memorial Stadium.
Russell and Rimington presented the idea to Boomer Esiason, Rimington’s former Bengal teammate and longtime friend. They suggested that the Boomer Esiason Foundation sponsor the Trophy, which would be awarded to Division I-A college football’s most outstanding center.
The relationship between the Boomer Esiason Foundation and the Trophy was a perfect fit. Esiason and Rimington had remained close friends since they played together with the Bengals – with Rimington eventually becoming the President of BEF, the Foundation founded after Esiason’s son, Gunnar, was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis in 1993. Under Rimington’s leadership, the Foundation has raised over $115 million.
The Rimington Trophy, now well over a decade old, has played a major role in raising money to support the CF community and is essential in honoring one of the most pivotal roles on the football field.