COACH BLANTON COLLIER AWARD
Blanton Collier (1906-1983) M.A., 1947, UK College of Education
Born in Millersburg Ky., July 2, 1906 was inducted into the College of Education Hall of Fame, University of Kentucky.
Coach Blanton Collier taught and coached basketball, football, baseball, and track at Paris High School. Following his discharge from the U.S. Navy after World War II, Collier served twice as assistant coach with the Cleveland Browns under the legendary Paul Brown. At Brown’s retirement, Collier was named Cleveland head coach.
He led the team to a NFL championship in 1964. Between stints with the Browns, Collier was head coach of University of Kentucky football from 1954 until 1961. Collier was named to the UK Hall of Distinguished Alumni on April 7, 1975.
All time great NFL player running back Jim Brown said of Coach Collier, “I was prepared for his football genius…… but not his humanity.” Coach Collier was one of the trustworthy teaching mentors in football.
“The idea for the BCSG became a passion for many after a reunion of the 1961-1962 University of Kentucky Freshmen football team in June, 2008. A book “The Thin Thirty” was written about the Freshmen and Varsity teams and published in August, 2007.
“This book told the story of the extreme physical and psychological abuse suffered by the players under the new coaching staff that was hired in 1962. During contacts to arrange the reunion, it became apparent that many former players suffered a form of post-traumatic stress disorder (“PTSD”). Questionnaires were developed by a PhD in Counseling Psychology.
“These questionnaires were completed prior to the reunion and the results discussed at the reunion. The results of the study revealed that the majority of the former players had some degree of PTSD from the physical and psychological abuse that they received at the hands of the new coaches.
“Former teammates at the reunion, and the PhD, decided to get together later to discuss forming a group with the objective of the elimination of abuse of all athletes. The name Blanton Collier was chosen because he was the team’s initial head coach and he exemplified the character that should be an example for all coaches to follow. Coach Collier’s middle daughter is on the BCSG Board. The entire team was awarded the 2008 NFLPA- Kentucky Chapter’s 2nd Annual Blanton Collier Award.”
The Blanton Collier Sportsmanship Group Web Site:
NFL Players Association, Kentucky Chapter’s Annual Blanton Collier Award
2007 University of Kentucky Head Coach Rich Brooks – former American football player and coach. He served as the head coach at the University of Oregon from 1977 to 1994 and at the University of Kentucky from 2003 to 2009, compiling a career college football record of 128–154–4. Brooks was also the head coach of the NFL’s St. Louis Rams from 1995 to 1996, tallying mark of 13–19. Brooks’ 1994 Oregon team won the Pacific-10 Conference title and made an appearance in the 1995 Rose Bowl. For his efforts that season, he won a number of national coaching awards.[Wikipedia]
2008 1961-1962 University of Kentucky Football Team – The Thin Thirty refers to the 1961-1962 football team at the University of Kentucky. In Jan 1962 Coach Charlie Bradshaw, a Bear Bryant disciple, took over as head Coach of UK after Coach Blanton Collier was fired. The team was thinned by Bradshaw’s brutal methods from 108 players beginning the FAll of 1961 to just 30 beginning the Fall of 1962. The 1962 team’s record was just 3-5-2. The 12-10 winning margin that year over Tennessee was provided by a field goal by Clarkie Mayfield, one of the heroes of the game, who later died in the Beverly Hills Supper Club fire on May 28, 1977.
2009 Coach Tony Dungey – was head coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers from 1996 to 2001, and head coach of the Indianapolis Colts from 2002 to 2008. He became the first black American head coach to win the Super Bowl when his Colts defeated the Chicago Bears on February 4, 2007. .[Wikipedia]
2010 Cleveland Browns Running Back Jimmy Brown – American former professional football player who has also made his mark as an actor. He is best known for his exceptional and record-setting nine-year career as a running back for the NFL Cleveland Browns from 1957 to 1965. In 2002, he was named by Sporting News as the greatest professional football player ever. He is considered to be one of the greatest professional athletes the U.S. has ever produced.[Wikipedia]
2011 Gayle Sayers – known as “The Kansas Comet”, is a former professional football player in the National Football League who spent his entire career with the Chicago Bears. Sayers is a member of both the Pro Football Hall of Fame and the College Football Hall of Fame. His friendship with fellow Chicago Bear Brian Piccolo was the basis for the 1971 movie Brian’s Song. He is a successful entrepreneur in the information technology field and an active philanthropist.[Wikipedia]