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 the president of a 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
2004 Churchill Downs Fair Grounds Race Course
2003 Mewelde Moore Tulane Football
LSU Football Team SEC & BCS
Southern University Football SWAC & 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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