38 Armed Forces Merit Award Nominations Announced

A total of six collegiate players, one college president, 14 college coaches, 12 college and university administrators, two college referees and three program have been nominated for the 2017 Armed Forces Merit Award presented by the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA).

Coordinated by the staff at the Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl, the Armed Forces Merit Award presented by the FWAA was created in June 2012 “to honor an individual and/or a group with a military background and/or involvement that has an impact within the realm of college football.”

With 38 nominations to be considered, the award’s selection committee of five FWAA members and two representatives from the Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl will determine the 2017 recipient that will be announced the week of November 5 by Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl Executive Director Brant Ringler and FWAA President David Jones of the PA Media Group (Downingtown, Pa.).

Steven Rhodes, a defensive lineman at Middle Tennessee State University and four-year letterman for the Blue Raiders, was the 2016 recipient of the Armed Forces Merit Award presented by the FWAA.  Nate Boyer of the University of Texas was the initial recipient in 2012.  Other recipients were Brandon McCoy of the University of North Texas in 2013, Daniel Rodriguez from Clemson University in 2014 and Bret Robertson of Westminster College (Fulton, Mo.) in 2015.

Programs

Active College Football Players

  • Kyle Boyd, Sophomore fullback, Baylor University (U. S. Marine Corps)
  • Ben Brickman, Junior wide receiver, Syracuse University (Marine Corps)
  • Rory Coleman, Senior defensive lineman, University of Central Florida (U. S. Army)
  • Christian Hill, Senior defensive lineman, Arizona State University (U. S. Air Force)
  • Damian Jackson, Freshman defensive lineman, University of Nebraska (U. S. Navy)
  • Jose Renderoskeiffer, Graduate linebacker, Fairleigh Dickinson University (U. S. Navy)

College Football Playoff

Football Staff

  • Troy Calhoun, Head Coach, United States Air Force Academy (U. S. Air Force)
  • Jake Campbell, Assistant Backfield, United States Air Force Academy (U. S. Air Force)
  • Lt. Col. Robert Green, Cornerbacks, United States Naval Academy (U. S. Marine Corps)
  • Steed Lobotzke, Offensive Line, United States Air Force Academy (U. S. Air Force)
  • Ben Miller, Running Backs/Special Teams Coordinator, United State Air Force Academy (U. S. Air Force)
  • Maj. Dylan Newman, Defensive Assistant/Senior Military Rep., United States Air Force Academy (U. S. Air Force)
  • GySgt. Tim Owens, Assistant Director of Player Development, United States Naval Academy (U. S. Marine Corps)
  • John Rudzinski, Secondary, United States Air Force Academy (U. S. Air Force)
  • Steve Russ, Assistant Head Coach/Def. Coordinator/Defensive Backs, United States Air Force Academy (U. S. Air Force)
  • Mike Thiessen, Offensive Coordinator/Quarterbacks, United States Air Force Academy (U. S. Air Force)
  • Jim Turner, Offensive Line Coach, Texas A&M University (U. S. Marine Corps)
  • Mike Viti, Assistant Football Coach/Fullback, United States Military Academy (U. S. Army)
  • Maj. Ross Weaver, Assistant Offensive Line Coach, United States Air Force Academy (U. S. Air Force)
  • Mick Yokitis, Wide Receivers, United States Naval Academy (U. S. Navy)

Football Support Staff

  • Jordan Simmons, Strength & Conditioning, Nevada (U. S. Army)
  • Rusty Whitt, Strength & Conditioning, Texas Tech University (U. S. Army)

College & University Administration

  • Col. Jon Aytes, Officer Representative, United States Naval Academy (U. S. Marine Corps)
  • Cmdr. H. Lamont Gourdine, Deputy Director of Athletics (Military), United States Naval Academy (U.S. Navy)
  • Cmdr. Kevin Haney, Faculty Representative, United States Naval Academy (U. S. Navy)
  • Brian Hill, Vice Director of Athletics, United State Air Force Academy (U. S. Air Force)
  • Jim Knowlton, Director of Athletics, United State Air Force Academy (U. S. Army)
  • Lance E. LeClere, Orthopedic Surgeon, United States Naval Academy (U. S. Navy)
  • LTC John Nawoichyk, Assistant AD/Military Operations, United States Military Academy (U. S. Army)
  • Capt. Scott Pyne, M.D., Team Physician, United States Naval Academy (U. S. Navy)
  • Steve Senn, Director of Recruiting and Player Personnel, United State Air Force Academy (U. S. Air Force)
  • Capt. Ryan Tully, Military Liaison, United States Naval Academy (U. S. Marine Corps)

Referees