Thursday, June 29, 2006

Honors for Johnny Holliday

I've had the opportunity to get to know Johnny Holliday, the voice of University of Maryland football and basketball, a little bit over the years and can honestly say I have never met a nicer, more genuine person in sports. I have written a couple of pieces about him over the years:

February, 2004: The People Behind the Voices

September, 2002: "From Rock to Jock" Book Review

I bring this up because Johnny recently received two awards that show the balance his life has and the excellence he brings to every phase of it.

Today, the National Football Foundation announced Holliday will be the recipient of its 2006 Chris Shenkel Award. This award is given annually to a college football broadcaster who has enjoyed a long and distinguished career with a direct tie to a specific university. Johnny's 27 year career at Maryland certainly qualifies.

"Johnny's remarkable career with the Terrapins makes him the perfect recipient of this award," said NFF President Steven J. Hatchell. "His level of passion, integrity and commitment to his profession is exceptionally rare."

In acknowledging the award, Holliday said, "To be mentioned in the same breath with some of the past recipients of this award is humbling. My tenure with the University of Maryland has been the highlight of my broadcasting career and being associated with the sports teams and the great Terrapin fans has been an honor."

Only two weeks ago, Johnny was honored in a totally different arena. He was one of five men named "Father of the Year" by the Father's Day Council of Washington, D.C. and the American Diabetes Association. This honor recognized his success in balancing home and career while raising remarkable children.

Back in May, Holliday was presented the James Cardinal Hickey National Figure Award by the Office of the Youth Ministry/Catholic Youth Organization, which is presented annually to an individual who exhibits excellence in his/her career and personal life, while acting as a positive role model for both youth and adults.

I am proud to have a man like Johnny Holliday representing my school.


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