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Jimmy Collins Special Awards

While there are many different categories of awards presented by the Greater New Orleans Sports Awards Committee, some years the committee finds that there are people deserving of recognition who do not necessarily fit into one specific category. For that reason, the Committee presents the Jimmy Collins Special Awards to outstanding individuals and organizations. Collins was a leader of the local Veterans of Foreign Wars post and a hard-working community contributor, who is credited with creating the Greater New Orleans Sports Awards and forming the awards committee in 1958.

 2019 Conner Killian Louisiana Tech
 Joe Scheuermann Delgado Baseball
 2018  Joe Este Bonnabel High School
  Brittany Grunberg 50 Legs Foundation
 2017 Miracle League of New Orleans New Orleans
 2016 Princeton Carter Isidore Newman School
 Gabrielle Jennings First Baptist Christian School
 2015 Manny Barocco Jefferson Parish Athletics
 Jim Ravannack Louisiana wrestling
 2014 Rob Bernardi Nicholls State Athletics
 Paul Hoolahan Allstate Sugar Bowl
 Ragin’ Cajun Athletics UL-Lafayette
 Mark Slessinger UNO Basketball
 2013 Team Gleason Team Gleason
 Robin and Sally-Anne Roberts New Orleans
 2012 J.T. Curtis John Curtis School
 Bo McCalebb O.P. Walker HS/UNO Basketball
 2011 Tyler Dutruch Pope John Paul II
 Lurlyn Fitzpatrick Tulane University
 2010 Sandra Bullock Warren Easton HS
 Kelly Gibson New Orleans golf
 New Orleans Boosters AAABA Baseball
 Harold Shelly New Orleans
 2009 Jim Headrick First Tee of New Orleans
 2008 Dolphin Baseball Delgado Community College
 Privateer Baseball UNO
2004Churchill DownsFair Grounds Race Course
2003Mewelde MooreTulane Football
LSU Football TeamSEC & BCS
Southern University FootballSWAC & NCAA
 2002 George Shinn & Ray Woolridge New Orleans Hornets
 2001 Super Bowl XXXVI Host Committee
 Tommy Henry LHSAA
2000 Randy Mueller New Orleans Saints
1999 Brother Martin Wrestling LHSAA
 New Orleans Times-Picayune
 1990 Alvin Gauthier Cohen High School basketball
 New Orleans Sports Foundation
 1988 Risen Star Horse Racing
 1986 Louis “Red” Slade New Orleans
 1985 Tom Benson New Orleans Saints
 Lou Messina
 1984 Carl Maddox National Sports Festival
 1983 Joe Delaney Kansas City Chiefs
 Dave Dixon New Orleans/Superdome
 1981 Firmin E. Simms NORD/Biddy Basketball
 Brother Melchior Polowy Holy Cross Wrestling
 1980 Brother Martin Hernandez
 1979 Joseph Dorignac, Jr. Fairgrounds Racing
 B.E. Lumzy Carter Woodson Junior High
 Ben Weiner Tulane University
 1978 Commercial Athletic Association
 Joe’s Jungle Marching Club
 Sports Acrobatic School
1975 Art Burke New Orleans States-Item
1974 Jim Hall Louisiana Weekly
1973 John North New Orleans Saints
1972 Herbert J. Hauck Amateur Golf
1971 Dave Dixon Superdome
1970 Lester Lautenschlaeger New Orleans Recreation Dept.
 Hoss Memtsas West Jefferson Football
1969 Doug Atkins New Orleans Saints
 Jack Van Berg Thoroughbred Horse Racing
1968 John Letellier Fairgrounds Racing
1967 John W. Mecom, Jr. New Orleans Saints
1966 Dave Dixon New Orleans Pro Football
1965 Jim Corbett LSU
1964 William H. Bishop Thoroughbred Horse Racing
1963 Jackie Higgins New Orleans

In 2018, the Committee chose to recognize two individuals for exhibiting excellence, but in widely different ways.

Photo courtesy of the Killian family

Conner Killian, a Metairie product and a graduate of Archbishop Rummel, serves as President of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee at Louisiana Tech. Killian was the third-best finisher for the Bulldogs at the Conference USA Cross Country Championships; he also competed in the C-USA indoor championship, but suffered an injury during the outdoor season and was confined to a walking boot when a deadly tornado hit Ruston on April 25.

The tornado wreaked havoc on the Louisiana Tech campus and many residential areas, but despite his injury, Killian was a leader in the clean-up effort on the campus and in the community.

“Conner was one of the first students to arrive on the scene after the tornado,” said Louisiana Tech Director of Athletics Tommy McClelland. “He immediately began to remove debris as he organized a small team of other students (mostly student-athletes) to help clean up. Being a forestry major he had a chainsaw and started cutting limbs and removing trees from damaged areas. All of this started within hours of the tornado devastation and continued for many days. Not only has he helped on our campus, but he has gone out into our community into the residential areas and helped as well. He has done all of this while wearing a boot due to an injury sustained while competing as a member of our track and field team. When I think of what a servant looks like, I will now think of Conner.”

“I am truly honored to be receiving the Jimmy Collins Special Award,” Killian said. “Louisiana Tech University and Ruston are my home and I will always do everything I can to help the Ruston community, especially in the wake of a disaster.”

Photo Courtesy of Delgado Athletics

Meanwhile, in New Orleans, Joe Scheuermann was adding to his tremendous legacy on the baseball field. Delgado’s 10-4 win on April 9 marked the program’s 1000th victory under Scheuermann. Now in his 29th season as the Dolphin’s head coach, Scheuermann became the 30th baseball coach in National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) history to reach the milestone, joining nine active coaches. Scheuermann has a career mark of 1000-490 and he ranks ninth among active coaches in the all-time NJCAA wins category. In addition, in January, Scheuermann was announced as a member of the National Junior College Baseball Coaches Association Hall of Fame’s Class of 2019; he was inducted into the Hall in May in Grand Junction, Colo. He is the first college coach in Louisiana to reach the thousand-win mark at the same college and the first junior college baseball coach to be inducted into the Hall of Fame.

On learning of his selection to the Hall of Fame, Scheuermann said, “This is a tremendous honor that I share with my family, my coaches and players, and our entire Delgado family. This would have never been possible without the constant support that I have received on and off the field through the years. This is about WE, not just about ME. Thanks to everyone who had a part of my nomination and selection.”

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