The Allstate Sugar Bowl Believes in Champions
Champions have long defined the Allstate Sugar Bowl. The list of Hall of Fame athletes who have competed in the annual contest is staggering.
Coaches and players who have taken part in one of college football’s premiere bowls represent the finest of the sport. Heisman Trophy winners, future NFL Super Bowl champions and national championship coaches have made their mark in the annual game that brings in thousands of fans and millions of television viewers.
But the list of champions extends well past the football game. Since its inception in 1934, the Allstate Sugar Bowl has given opportunities to young athletes in many amateur sporting events.
The organization sponsors more than 50 competitions around the Greater New Orleans area and Louisiana. These include events in baseball, basketball, bowling, cross country, football, golf, gymnastics, lacrosse, powerlifting, regatta/sailing, road racing, soccer, softball, swimming, tennis, track & field, volleyball and wrestling.
The Sugar Bowl also sponsors the Manning Award for the top collegiate quarterback in the country, the Eddie Robinson Award for the national coach of the year, the New Orleans Chapter of the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame, the Greater New Orleans Sports Hall of Fame and a free annual youth clinic for more than 400 children.
Those who have participated include Hall of Famers in several sports and Olympic gold medalists. But it also includes men and women who have gone on to success in other fields.
Take Janice Davis for example. She was an All-American sprinter from Stanford who competed in the Allstate Sugar Bowl Track and Field Classic while in high school at Natchez, Miss., High. Davis is now an anesthesiology resident physician at UT-Southwestern in Dallas.
The Sugar Bowl has also played host to athletes who have gone on to the top of their sport. Bob Cousy, the great Boston Celtic point guard from the 1950s and 60s known as Mr. Basketball, competed in the Sugar Bowl Basketball Tournament while in college at Holy Cross.
Patrick Mullins, a New Orleans native who is enjoying a stellar Major League Soccer career, helped lead his amateur squad to championships in Sugar Bowl soccer events.
In the recently completed Rio Olympics, Jemima Jelaget Sumgong made history by becoming the first Kenyan female to win gold in the marathon. Sumgong, who returned to a hero’s welcome in her country, competed in the 2006 Crescent City Classic, which is now sponsored by the Allstate Sugar Bowl. She’s one of several CCC alums to take part in the Olympics.
“The Allstate Sugar Bowl has an outstanding history of turning out top level champions in not only our signature football game but also in all the sports we so proudly sponsor,” said Allstate Sugar Bowl CEO Paul Hoolahan. “We’d like to feature just a few of those athletes in our Sugar Bowl Believes in Champions series. Their stories are inspiring as many have overcome difficult obstacles on and off the field of competition. We hope you enjoy getting to know them.”
Over the next five Saturday, the Allstate Sugar Bowl will publish stories on five athletes who have competed in Sugar Bowl events and then gone on to excellence after their New Orleans’ experiences.
From its earliest years, the Sugar Bowl Committee has been honored to provide opportunities for young athletes from around the country. That’s because, at the Allstate Sugar Bowl, We Believe in Champions.
– Trey Iles