2013 Speaker Lineup
You Wanted More Coaches? You Got More Coaches!
Some of the biggest names in college football coaching entertained and inspired us in 2013 such as FSU Coach Jimbo Fisher, new FAMU Coach Earl Holmes, Former Tennessee Coach Philip Fulmer, Former Georgia Tech & Buffalo Bills Coach Chan Gailey, Former Maryland Coach Ralph Friedgen, and Legendary Coach Tom Osborne from Nebraska. In addition we had the star of last year’s Roast & Toast, FSU & Dallas Cowboy great Clay Shiver plus broadcasting legend and superstar Lynn Swann!
Head Coach Of FSU Seminoles
Courtesy of Seminoles.com
Hard work was a family value in the Clarksburg, West Virginia home where Jimbo Fisher was raised; the oldest son of a coal miner and a teacher. Applying those lessons instilled at an early age served Fisher well both athletically and professionally and ultimately delivered him to Florida State University, where he was elevated to head football coach on January 5, 2010.
A veteran of 22 seasons as a college assistant, including three as FSU’s offensive coordinator, Fisher succeeded Bobby Bowden – the second winningest coach in major college football – as the Seminoles’ ninth head coach and first new one in 35 years.
In just over a year, he has helped deliver the Seminoles back to a place of national prominence. Boasting a final ranking of No. 16 in the USA Today Coaches Poll, Fisher led his team to the 2010 Chick-fil-A Bowl Championship with a 26-17 win over then No. 19 South Carolina. His first season also included a season sweep of in-state rivals Miami and Florida, an ACC Atlantic Division title and the program’s first 10-win season since 2003 as the Seminoles finished 10-4. In just his first season as a head coach, Fisher won the most games (10) by a first-year coach in Florida State history and the third-most by a rookie coach in ACC history. He was named the 2010 Football Writer’s Association of America’s Freshman All-America Team Coach.
Three of his players in 2010 earned All-America honors in offensive guard Rodney Hudson (consensus All-America selection), defensive end Brandon Jenkins and cornerback Xavier Rhodes. Rhodes was named the ACC Rookie of the Year and National Defensive Freshman of the Year. Fisher capped off the 2010 season with three seniors selected in the 2011 NFL Draft led by quarterback Christian Ponder – the No. 12 overall pick in the draft by the Minnesota Vikings. Ponder became the highest offensive player to go for the ‘Noles since offensive lineman Alex Barron in 2005. Before Ponder, Gary Huff was the highest drafted FSU QB as the 33rd overall pick in the second round of the 1973 draft.
Fisher carried the success of his first season onto the recruiting trail as he put together a 2011 recruiting class ranked either first or second nationally by ESPN.com, Scout.com and Rivals.com.
Coach has been a winner and leader all his life. He credits his parents, community leaders, teachers and coaches in the small middle Tennessee town of Winchester for helping him develop those skills and traits. He learned the principles of family, hard work, dedication to goals, teamwork and using the Christian foundation taught by his parents.
Coach Fulmer’s positive experiences continued into the world of major-college football when he accepted a football scholarship in 1968 to play at the University of Tennessee. His Tennessee teams excelled by going 31-5, and Coach Fulmer served as team co-captain during his senior year of 1971.
Coach stayed on as a Graduate Assistant at UT in charge of the freshman team’s defense and linebackers. During that time, former Vols All-American Player and Legendary Assistant George Cafego taught Coach Fulmer the values and skills needed to scout the opposition. It became a key development to Coach Fulmer’s future success. He then took those experiences away from his comfort zone and coached five seasons at Wichita State and one season at Vanderbilt before returning to Knoxville for 13 years as a Tennessee Assistant – the last four as Assistant Head Coach and Offensive Coordinator.
Coach Fulmer served as Head Football Coach at Tennessee for 17 years, from 1992-2008. He and his staff built an organization that produced the most successful era in modern Tennessee football history. Coach and his staff were tireless recruiters and mentored some of the top names in college and NFL history. In Coach’s last 11 years, he played in the SEC Championship game five times, winning twice. He also led the Vols to one of the greatest moments in school history, the 1998 National Championship in the very first BCS title game.
In his 17 seasons, his record was 152-52 with a 74 percent winning percentage, he had 92 players make a NFL roster, 18 players earned All-American honors and another 68 players were selected All-SEC. Coach Fulmer is also very proud of the family approach he took to guiding his players to off the field successes as well as on the field successes.
Coach recently found time to spend a few days filming a special movie, The Blind Side, about a young man he had recruited. The story of Michael Oher received an Academy Award nomination for Best Picture, and Sandra Bullock won her first Academy Award for Best Actress. In the film, Coach Fulmer played himself and ranks the opportunity as one of his most enjoyable events.
Clay Shiver accepted an athletic scholarship to attend The Florida State University where he played for coach Bobby Bowden and the Seminoles from 1992 – 1995. He played the Center position during the 1993 national championship team that defeated the Nebraska Cornhuskers in the Orange bowl. Clay went on to have a successful career in the NFL with the Dallas Cowboys.
Shiver was recognized as a first-team All-Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) selection in 1993, 1994 and 1995, and a first-team All-American in 1994 and 1995, garnering “consensus” All-American status in 1995. Bobby Bowden called him “the greatest center I ever coached.” In his junior and senior years, Shiver was awarded the Jacobs Blocking Trophy presented annually to the best blocker in the ACC.
Shiver was the first Florida State Seminole selected in the 1996 NFL draft, the 67th overall pick by the Dallas Cowboys and he played for the Cowboys from 1996 to 1998. He finished his NFL career with the Carolina Panthers in 2000, but did not appear in regular season game for Carolina
After retiring from football due to a shoulder injury, Shiver was inducted into the Florida State Hall of Fame in 2001. He has been featured in many national publications and on CBS’s 48 Hours special about character in college football.
Clay was a fan-favorite at Tallahassee Quarterback Club’s Roast and Toast of Clay’s teammate, Charlie Ward on April 19, 2012.
One of Florida A&M’ greatest defensive players of all time, Tallahassee native Earl Holmes is in his fourth year on the coaching staff of his alma mater under the legendary Joe Taylor, bringing with him a tremendous passion for the game along with his ties to the program. Holmes will tutor the Rattlers linebackers and will serve as Defensive Coordinator, a position he has taken sole control of this season.
Known affectionately by family and FAMU fans as “The Hitman,” Holmes played for the Rattlers from 1992 to 1995, finishing as the school’s all-time leader in tackles.
Holmes captured NCAA Division I-AA and Black College All-American honors in 1994 and 1995 , and was selected as the Sheridan Broadcasting Network College Defensive Player of the Year as well as the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference Defensive Player of the Year in 1995.
A three-time first team All-MEAC selections, Holmes was a devastating tackler while at Florida A&M, completing his career with 509 total tackles, 309 solo takedowns and 200 assisted tackles – all Rattler career records.
Holmes also finished his playing days at FAMI with eight career interceptions, returning three for touchdowns, with 38 tackles for loss, 6.5 quarterback sacks, 32 pass break-ups and a trio of fumble recoveries.
His 1995 senior season totals shattered all existing school marks for season solo tackles (103) and total tackles (171), highlighted by a spectacular one-man demolition derby performance against Southern University in Atlanta on Nov. 4, with 30 tackles.
Following his collegiate career, Holmes was drafted in the fourth round of the 1996 National Football League drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers. He played 10 seasons in the NFL at linebacker, six with Pittsburgh (1996-2001), one season with the Cleveland Browns (2002) and three with the Detroit Lions (2003-05) before retiring.
A solid, run-stopping middle linebacker in the NFL, Holmes totaled 958 career tackles (685 solos), with 89 tackles for loss, 29 pass deflections and five recovered fumbles in 10 seasons.
A member of the Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Holmes was inducted into the FAMU Sports Hall of Fame in 2005. He and his wife Tiffany reside in Tallahassee are the proud parents of one son, Earl Jr.
- 10-2 in his 1st season at Maryland
- Top 10 ranking in his first season
- 1st ACC title by a team other than FSU since 1992
- 2010 ACC Coach of the Year
Ralph Friedgen spent 10 years (2001-10) as head coach at the University of Maryland with a reputation as one of the top offensive minds in college football.
Friedgen lifted the Terrapins to unprecedented heights in his tenure, taking the team to seven bowl games, including a pair of New Year’s Day appearances, and a school record five bowl victories. Prior to Friedgen’s arrival, Maryland had just one bowl game appearance in the previous 15 seasons.
He was the 33rd head coach in school history and ranks third in school history in career victories (75-50) and fourth in winning percentage (.600). Friedgen’s 75 wins rank 10th on the Atlantic Coast Conference all-time list and are more than the Terps had (60) in the 15 years prior to his arrival.
The consensus national coach of the year in 2001 when he led Maryland to its first ACC title in 16 years, Friedgen ranks third in ACC history with five bowl wins and is one of eight coaches with seven or more bowl game appearances. He became the 13th coach in ACC history to amass 70 wins with the victory over Duke (10/2/10).
He was voted ACC Coach of the Year in 2001 and 2010, the final one coming when he engineered the second-best turnaround in the FBS. Maryland improved its win total by seven games in 2010 from the previous season and posted the 14th nine-win campaign in school history after finishing 9-4, including a victory in the Military Bowl. Three of those nine-win seasons came under Friedgen.
Coach Chan Gailey was the head coach of the Buffalo Bills from 2010 – 2012. He was formerly the head coach of the Dallas Cowboys and the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets. Gailey has served as offensive coordinator for the Miami Dolphins and Kansas City Chiefs and on the coaching staff of the Pittsburgh Steelers. During his tenure as coach at Georgia Tech, Gailey coached the Yellow Jackets to bowl games in each of his first five seasons on the Flats, the only head coach in Georgia Tech’s storied history to do so. With Tech’s trip to the 2007 Toyota Gator Bowl, Gailey’s Yellow Jackets achieved a feat unprecedented in school history with their 10th consecutive bowl berth.
Swann attended the University of Southern California, where he was an All-American on the Trojans football team. He played under legendary coach John McKay, including the 1972 undefeated and national championship season. McKay said of Swann, “He has speed, soft hands, and grace.” He completed a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Public Relations in 1974. In 1993, he was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame.
Swann was selected by the Pittsburgh Steelers with the 21st pick of the first round in the 1974 NFL Draft. The Steelers draft class of ’74 is considered one of the best in NFL history and included 4 eventual Hall of Famers: Swann, John Stallworth, Mike Webster, and Jack Lambert.
Swann spent his entire NFL career with the Steelers and wore the jersey number 88. As a rookie, he led the NFL with 577 punt return yards, a franchise record and the fourth most in NFL history at the time. He went on to win a championship ring with the Steelers in Super Bowl IX but did not record any receptions in the tough defensive struggle (Pittsburgh quarterback Terry Bradshaw completed only nine passes in the game). However, he returned 3 punts for 34 yards.
The following season became the highlight of Swann’s career. He caught 49 passes for 781 yards and a league-leading 11 touchdowns. In the AFC title game against the Oakland Raiders George Atkinson cheap shotted Swann with a vicious hit. He suffered a severe concussion that forced him to spend two days in a hospital, but surprised many by returning to play for Super Bowl X. Swann recorded four catches for a Super Bowl record 161 yards and a touchdown in the game, assisting the Steelers to a 21–17 win and becoming the first wide receiver to earn Super Bowl MVP honors.
Swann was unique among football players in that he credited his experiences in dance earlier in life with contributing to his aptitude on the football field. A 1981 interview which aired on Mr. Rogers Neighborhood showed him on the field, and then in the Pittsburgh dance studio where he later underwrote scholarships.
Three seasons later the Steelers made it to Super Bowl XIII. In the game, Swann caught seven passes for 124 yards and scored the final touchdown for Pittsburgh in their 35–31 win over the Dallas Cowboys. The Steelers made it back to the Super Bowl again in the 1979 season, and Swann caught five passes for 79 yards and a touchdown in Pittsburgh’s 31–19 win in Super Bowl XIV. Overall, Swann gained 364 receiving yards and 398 all-purpose yards in his four Super Bowls, which were both Super Bowl records at the time.
Swann retired after the 1982 season with four Super Bowl rings. He amassed 336 career receptions for 5,462 yards and 51 touchdowns, along with 72 rushing yards, a rushing touchdown, and 739 punt return yards and a touchdown. He was a pro bowl selection three times (1975, 1977, 1978) and was selected on the 1970s all-decade team.
Swann was named an All-Pro Team Selection in 1975, 1977, and 1978. He was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2001, a year before his teammate John Stallworth. He was also selected to the NFL 1970s All-Decade Team by Hall of Fame voters. On January 11, 1983 Swann announced his retirement from the Steelers.
Swann went on to serve as a director on the boards of H J Heinz Co., Hershey Entertainment and Resorts and Wyndham International. He was a football and sports broadcaster for ABC Sports from 1976–2006, but left to run for Pennsylvania governor.
During his time at ABC, Lynn Swann began his broadcasting career in 1976 while still active with the Pittsburgh Steelers. Upon retirement in January, 1983, Swann began his career full-time with ABC Sports, which ended after the 2006 Orange Bowl. Swann has broadcast a variety of events as a host, reporter, and analyst. Included in these events are: the 1976 Winter Olympics, the 1976 Summer Olympics, the 1980 Winter Olympics, the 1984 Winter Olympics, the 1984 Summer Olympics, the 1988 Winter Olympics, the Iditarod Trail sled dog race, International Diving Championships, USFL, college football and Monday Night Football, the Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes, Belmont Stakes, the Irish Derby, ABC’s Wide World of Sports, and Curt Gowdy’s The American Sportsman
Swann made an appearance, playing himself in the role of a sideline reporter at the “Bourbon Bowl”, in the 1998 Adam Sandler comedy feature film The Waterboy.
Dr. Thomas William “Tom” Osborne (born February 23, 1937) was one of the most successful and highly regarded coaches in college football history, due to his tenure as head coach of the University of Nebraska football team. He also was a member of Congress and recently retired as the Athletic Director at Nebraska.
He was the head coach of the Nebraska Cornhuskers football team for 25 years from (1973 to 1997), succeeding Bob Devaney. After coaching, Osborne was elected to Congress in 2000 and served six years in the U.S. House as a Republican from Nebraska’s 3rd district.
In 1964, Osborne joined the Cornhusker coaching staff as an unpaid offensive assistant to head coach Bob Devaney; his only compensation was being able to dine at the athletic training table. After two disappointing 6–4 seasons in 1967 and 1968, Devaney named Osborne as offensive coordinator for the 1969 season. Osborne immediately overhauled the offense, switching to a balanced attack operated from the I formation. The revamped offense sparked the Huskers to the national title in 1970.
Devaney announced he would step down as head coach at age 57 after the 1972 season to concentrate on his duties as athletic director, and named Osborne as his successor. Following a convincing win over Notre Dame in the 1973 Orange Bowl (NU’s third straight in that bowl), Osborne, age 35, took over as head coach. He was head coach for 25 seasons, through the 1997 season, serving for most of that time as his own offensive coordinator.
In his quarter-century as head coach, Osborne was a model of consistency. His teams never won fewer than nine games in a season, finished in the top 15 of the final AP poll 24 years out of 25 (having finished 24th in 1990), and were ranked in every single weekly AP poll barring one week in 1977 and two in 1981. Osborne’s teams won outright national championships in 1994 and 1995, and a share of another in 1997. Osborne’s Huskers also won or shared 12 Big Eight Conference titles and one Big 12 Conference title. His 255–49–3 record gave him the best winning percentage (83.6%) among active NCAA Division I-A coaches at the time of his retirement and the fifth-best of all time. As of 2006, only Joe Paterno of Penn State has reached 200 victories in fewer games. But Osborne, who went on an NCAA record 60–3 run over his final five seasons, won 250 games faster than any coach in Division I-A history. Osborne finished his coaching career with a bowl record of 12-13.
Osborne’s teams were known for their powerful rushing attack and strong defense (also known as the Blackshirts—referring to the black jerseys that are worn in practice by the defensive starters and certain selected special teams players). Nebraska led the nation in rushing several times in the 1980s and 1990s, due to the efforts of men like Jarvis Redwine, Heisman Trophy winner Mike Rozier, Calvin Jones, Ahman Green and Lawrence Phillips. After struggling to defend Oklahoma’s wishbone option in the 1970s, Osborne switched from a balanced attack to an option offense in 1980 in order to utilize the versatility of dual-threat quarterbacks, such as Turner Gill, Tommie Frazier, and Scott Frost.
Entering the 1984 Orange Bowl, the 1983 Cornhuskers were 12–0 and ranked #1 in the country for the entire season. Nebraska scored a late touchdown against the #5 ranked Miami Hurricanes to narrow the score to 31–30. Rather than attempt an extra point to tie, Osborne opted to attempt the 2-point conversion and go for the win. However, Gill’s pass attempt was tipped away in the end zone, giving hometown Miami the victory and the national championship.
In 1993, the Huskers again narrowly lost a national championship. Having gone into the 1994 Orange Bowl as a 17-point underdog to Florida State, Nebraska fought back from a 15–7 deficit to take a 16–15 lead with less than two minutes remaining in the Orange Bowl. After Florida State drove to retake the lead 18–16, Nebraska managed to hit a quick downfield pass in order to get one last field goal attempt as time ran out, which sailed wide. It was the last bowl game Osborne ever lost. The next year, however, Osborne earned his first title as head coach, defeating Miami in the 1995 Orange Bowl. The Huskers, who initially trailed, rallied to win 24–17. The next year, the Huskers roared through the regular season, stayed atop the rankings for all but one week, and crushed the Florida Gators 62–24 in the 1996 Fiesta Bowl, earning Osborne his second national championship. The 1995 team was voted as the greatest college football team of all time in an ESPN poll. His 1994 and 1995 teams still stand as the only undefeated, consensus back-to-back national champions in Division I-A college football since Oklahoma in 1955-56.
Osborne announced his retirement as head coach late in the 1997 season, selecting Frank Solich, his longtime running backs coach, to succeed him. In his final five seasons, Osborne’s record was a staggering 60–3 (.952), the strongest finale to any coaching career in college football history. His final game as head coach came in the 1998 Orange Bowl with a 42-17 victory over Tennessee, also the final NCAA game for Tennessee quarterback Peyton Manning.
Osborne was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1999, and in 2000, he received the Jim Thorpe Lifetime Achievement Award. In 1999, ESPN honored Osborne as the coach of the decade for the 1990s. This honor is even more impressive considering the fact that he did not coach for 20% of the decade. In a 2007 online ESPN poll, Osborne was voted the “greatest college football coach of all time”.