NSLA Award Recipients

2023 Recipients

Coach Bill Snyder

Precise. Intense. Tireless. Accomplished. Dedicated. Caring. 200-Game Winner. Hall of Famer. Kansas State head coach Bill Snyder is all of these and much more. Bill Snyder is a retired college football coach and former player. He served as the head football coach at Kansas State University from 1989 to 2005, and again from 2009 to 2018. Snyder initially retired from the position from 2006 to 2008, before being rehired. Snyder retired for the second time on December 2, 2018. He now serves as special ambassador for the athletics department.

Snyder was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2015 and won several conference and national coach of the year awards. He was the head coach at Kansas State for the program’s 300th, 400th, and 500th all-time wins. In recognition of his contributions to the program, the football stadium at Kansas State, Bill Snyder Family Football Stadium, is named in honor of him and his family.

The Late Coach Vince Dooley

For 40 years, Vince Dooley had an enduring impact on the University of Georgia, Southeastern Conference and collegiate athletics across the country.

Born into an athletic family in Mobile, Alabama, Dooley accepted a football scholarship to Auburn where he was an all-star football and basketball player. After receiving his bachelor’s degree in 1954 and masters in 1963, he accepted his first coaching job as an assistant with the Tigers – being promoted to head coach at the end of the 1963 season. Following one season at Auburn, Dooley took the helm at Georgia and found a permanent home. In 25 seasons, he won 201 games, six SEC titles and a national championship in 1980. For his legendary career, Dooley was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1994.

In 1979, Dooley accepted the dual role as head coach and director of athletics for the Bulldogs. During his tenure Georgia athletics has seen unprecedented success. Under his watch, Georgia teams have won 18 national championships, including an amazing four in the 1998-99 academic year. Georgia teams have also won 74 SEC team championships and numerous individual national titles in both men’s and women’s sports.

2022 Recipients

Coach Steve Spurrier

The winningest head coach in both Florida and South Carolina history, Steve Spurrier becomes just the fourth person ever to be inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame as both a player and coach. Spurrier began his 26-year head coaching career at Duke from 1987-89. The ACC Coach of the Year in both 1988 and 1989, his 1989 team won the university’s first ACC title since 1962 and made its first bowl appearance since 1960. Spurrier became the head coach at his alma mater, Florida, in 1990, compiling a 122-27-1 record over 12 seasons in “The Swamp.” His Gators appeared in back-to-back national championship games, winning the 1996 national title. During his tenure in Gainesville, Spurrier led the Gators to six wins in 11 bowl appearances, and he was named SEC Coach of the Year five times. He helped the Gators win their first-ever conference title in 1991, and he added five more, including four straight from 1993-96 and one in 2000. At Florida, he became the only coach in major college football history to win at least 120 games in his first 12 seasons at one school, and his teams never finished lower than No. 13 in the final rankings.

After coaching the NFL’s Washington Redskins, he became the head coach at South Carolina where he compiled an 86-49 record from 2005-15. Spurrier picked up two more SEC Coach of the Year honors, leading the Gamecocks to their first-ever SEC East title in 2010 and five bowl victories in nine berths. His South Carolina teams finished in the top 25 four times, including a No. 4 ranking after the 2013 season. He joins Hall of Fame coach Bear Bryant (Kentucky and Alabama) as the only two coaches in college football history to have the most wins at two different SEC schools. During his career at all three universities, Spurrier coached one Heisman Trophy winner in Danny Wuerffel (Florida), 34 First Team All-Americans, 118 first team all-conference players and nine First Team Academic All-Americans. He coached two members of the College Football Hall of Fame in Clarkston Hines (Duke) and Wuerffel (Florida).

The 1966 Heisman Trophy winner as the quarterback at Florida, Spurrier was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame as a player in 1986. He is a member of multiple other halls of fame, including the University of Florida and University of Florida Athletics. In 2016, his name was added to the Gators’ home field. After a 10-year playing career with the San Francisco 49ers and Tampa Bay Buccaneers, he served as an assistant coach at Florida, Georgia Tech and Duke and as head coach of the USFL’s Tampa Bay Bandits.

The Late Coach Eddie Robinson

Eddie Robinson coached Grambling State University 55 years. He won 408 games, lost 165, and tied 15. The 408 games won set a record for a college football coach. Among other achievements were these: 17 championships in the Southwestern Athletic Conference, 9 Black College National Championships, a streak of 27 consecutive winning seasons 1960-86. He had more than 80 players who joined teams in the National & American Football Leagues. Among the most famous were Willie Davis, Charlie Joiner, Buck Buchanan, Willie Brown, Tank Younger, Doug Williams, and Ernie Ladd.

Robinson received more awards than any other coach in history. Grambling named its new stadium after him. Both Grambling and Baton Rouge, Louisiana, named streets for him. Sports Illustrated had Eddie Robinson on its cover in 1985. The National Football Foundation gave him its award for Contribution to Amateur Football in 1992 and named him to College Football Hall of Fame in 1997. He is in another dozen halls of fame. Sports Network in 1987 started the Eddie Robinson Award for the coach of the year in Division I-AA. A Robinson Award for player of the year in black college football started in 1994.

The Football Writers Association named the Robinson Award for national coach of the year in 1997. Robinson served as president of the American Football Coaches Association & the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics. He talked about his career: “I’m proud that most of our players graduate. We begin each meeting with a talk about the importance of education. The most important thing in football is the boy who plays the game. You can’t coach ’em unless you love ’em.”

The game is raising money.
The opposing team is disease.