Allstate Sugar Bowl Chapter of the National Football Foundation and College Football Hall of Fame

In January of 2000, the Sugar Bowl Committee took over the title sponsorship of the New Orleans Chapter of the National Football Foundation and College Football Hall of Fame. Included in the Bowl’s sponsorship of the chapter is the administration of an annual awards banquet held each spring to honor deserving high school football scholar athletes from the metropolitan area. Since 2000, the Sugar Bowl has recognized nearly 500 student-athletes while distributing over $500,000 in scholarship money. To become a member of the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame, please click here.

The 2020 event will be held on Wednesday, April 8.

Twenty-nine local high school football players were recognized for their achievements in the classroom and on the football field at the 2019 Awards Luncheon held on May 7 at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. The honorees were chosen from a group of nominated talented scholar athletes from the New Orleans area. Archie Manning, the national chairman of the National Football Foundation and College Football Hall of Fame, recognized each of the 29 student athletes at the event. From that group of 29, four were selected to receive Allstate Sugar Bowl Scholarships for $20,000 each. The scholarship winners were chosen based on essays submitted after being notified of their selection as scholar-athletes.

The four scholarship winners were Tyruss Gayden (West Jefferson High School), William Harper (Thomas Jefferson High School), Kenny-Khai Vo (L.W. Higgins High School) and Jalen Womble (Holy Cross High School). Monique Morial, the President of the Sugar Bowl Committee, recapped their accomplishments and referenced their winning essays prior to presenting each scholarship winner with a commemorative check.

In addition to the high school honorees, two local leaders were recognized for their contributions to the community and the sport of football.

Paul Hoolahan, who will officially retire as chief executive officer of the Sugar Bowl on June 30, was presented with the Contributions to Amateur Football Award, which is given annually to an individual for his or her effort to promote the game, preserve its history and ensure its future. He took over the helm of the Sugar Bowl in 1996 and has directed the bowl’s operations for five national championship games during his tenure in New Orleans. In addition to maintaining the Sugar Bowl’s status as one of the premier bowl games in the nation, Hoolahan has been a driving force in the Bowl’s significant contributions to amateur football. While the Allstate Sugar Bowl is one of the top amateur football events in the nation on an annual basis, the organization also sponsors the Louisiana High School Athletic Association’s state football championships each December. In 2012, the Allstate Sugar Bowl was a major partner in the rebuilding of Joe Brown Park in New Orleans East. The multi-million-dollar project resulted in a state-of-the-art stadium, including field, locker rooms and meeting spaces, for youth and high school football. A native of New York, Hoolahan was an all-conference football player at North Carolina before working at his alma mater and Vanderbilt University before taking the helm of the Sugar Bowl organization.

The owner of the New Orleans Saints and New Orleans Pelicans, Gayle Benson was presented with the Distinguished American Award, which is presented each year to an individual who has set the standard for a life of service to the community and has made a significant contribution to the betterment of amateur football. The New Orleans native is an accomplished business professional and philanthropist with strong ties to the local community and who is dedicated to contributing to the growth and enhancement of the Gulf South region. Mrs. Benson has continued her late husband Tom’s vision to build championship-level NBA and NFL organizations, while making a positive impact in the community away from the basketball court and football field as well, through significant philanthropic investment, annually putting millions of dollars back into the community in financial supports, in-kind donation, charitable appearances and donations of goods and services.

Allstate Sugar Bowl Chapter of the NFF/CFHOF Special Awards

 Contributions to Amateur Football
 Distinguished American
 2019 Gayle Benson, New Orleans Saints Paul Hoolahan, Allstate Sugar Bowl
 2018 Alan Freeman, SMG Steve Gleason, New Orleans Saints
 2017 Marty Mulé, Sportswriter/Author Marshall Faulk, Carver High/NFL
 2016 Edwin Murray, Louisiana Senator Darryl Berger, Tulane/New Orleans
 2015 Karl Benson, Sun Belt Conference Jack Laborde, Sugar Bowl Committee
 2014 Jim Henderson, Sports Broadcaster Dennis Lauscha, New Orleans Saints
 2013 J.T. Curtis, John Curtis School Elliott Hill, Nike North America
 2012 Vince Gibson, Tulane University Elliott Laudeman, Sugar Bowl Committee
 2011 Bill Curl, Louisiana Superdome Doug Hertz, Tulane University
 2010 Bill Bumgarner, Sportswriter Mickey Loomis, New Orleans Saints
 2009 Wright Waters, Sun Belt Conference Doug Thornton, SMG (Louisiana Superdome)
 2008 Jerry Romig, Saints/Sugar Bowl Tony Biagas, New Orleans City Park
 2007 Skip Bertman, Louisiana State Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints
 2006 NA NA
 2005 Rick Dickson, Tulane University Jerry Ebbert, New Orleans Homeland Security
 2004 Archie Manning, NFF/Sugar Bowl Peter Finney, Times-Picayune
 2003 Don Wattigny, Edna Karr H.S. Tommy Henry, LHSAA
 2002 NA NA
 2001 Ken Trahan, Sports Reporter Gene Newton
 2000 Ed Daniels, WGNO-TV Tom Benson, New Orleans Saints
 1999 Edward Bravo Paul Buckley, Hilton
 1998 Leonard Reis James Wilson, Tulane University
 1997 Bobby Conlin, Brother Martin HS William Ross
 1996 Jack Salter, Covington HS Larry Lundy
 1995 Rev. John T. Curtis, Sr., Curtis School Jim Mora, New Orleans Saints
 1994 Roy Glapion, N.O. Public Schools Tony Reginelli, Newman HS
 1993 Otis Washington, St. Aug HS Pat Taylor
 1990 NA Bob Roesler, Times-Picayune
 1986 Shelby Fredrichs, Southern Yacht Club Tony Porter
 1984 Champ Clark, Sportswriter NA
 1984 Capt. Joe Katz, New Orleans Kent McWilliams
 1983 Ben Weiner, Tulane University NA
 1983 George Kalil, N.O. QB Club Stan Kotteman, Tulane/Official/QB Club
 1982 Hap Glaudi, Sports Reporter Kenny Konz
 1981 Armand Kitto Hank Lauricella, Louisiana Legislator
 1980 John Lynch Jim Taylor
 1979 A.B. Nicholas NA
 1979 Pie Dufour, Writer John Petitbon
 1978 NA Charles Cusimano
 1978 Marshall David, Sugar Bowl Andy Pilney, Tulane University
 1977 Theo Maumus, Sugar Bowl NA
 1977 Sam Corenswet, Sugar Bowl Hank Lauricella, Louisiana Legislator
 1976 Cliff Kern, Sugar Bowl Dr. Rix Yard, Tulane University
 1971 Ike Carriere Lester Lautenschlaeger
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