Dec. 4, 2014
WACO, Texas – Homer Rice, former director of athletics at Georgia Tech, North Carolina and Rice, will be the 2014 recipient of the Executive Director’s “Spirit of Giving” Award. The award will be presented to Rice at the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) Coach of the Year Dinner on Tuesday, January 14 at the 2015 AFCA Convention in Louisville.
The Executive Director’s “Spirit of Giving” Award was created to honor AFCA members who have volunteered and donated their time to help serve the Association and the American Football Coaches Foundation.
“When I received the call from Grant Teaff, I was updating a book that I am writing called Leadership Fitness and I was reflecting on a lesson that my father taught me as a child about the world, that there are grabbers and givers and how important it is to be a giver. It’s so interesting that it was at this time that Grant would call me, I knew God had a hand in this,” said Rice.
“I have studied for years and years on how to be a giver from coaching, to my time as an athletic director and now as a professor teaching a leadership course at Georgia Tech. I have always wanted to give and have done so. And at that exact moment that Grant called, I got the idea to give each football coach at the 2015 AFCA Convention a copy of my book.”
After graduating as an All-American quarterback at Centre College, Rice began his career in athletics in the 1950s as a high school football coach. Rice was a head coach for three schools in Tennessee and Kentucky, and in 10 seasons, had a record of 101-9-7 and was named Coach of The Year nine times. Rice moved to college football and was an assistant coach at Kentucky and Oklahoma before making his debut as the head football coach at Cincinnati in 1967.
After coaching at Cincinnati, Rice became the director of athletics at North Carolina in 1969. In 1972, Rice led the Tar Heels to the NCAA’s top rank of athletic programs based on championships for that year. Under Rice, North Carolina also won three Carmichael Cups, symbolizing athletic excellence in the Atlantic Coast Conference. Rice departed from North Carolina after seven years to serve as both the head coach and director of athletics at Rice University in 1976. Rice then went to the NFL, where he became the head coach of the Cincinnati Bengals in the late 1970’s. He returned to collegiate sports in 1980 as the director of athletics for Georgia Tech, where he would help develop the athletic program for 17 years.
While at Georgia Tech, Rice built a model program by increasing student-athlete graduation rates, raising over $100 million for athletic facilities, as well as developing and implementing the Total Person Program, which became the model for the NCAA Life Skills program used by schools throughout the nation.
Rice was also responsible for creating the women’s athletics program at Georgia Tech and increasing fundraising for athletic scholarships. Rice brought success to Georgia Tech on the field by winning 14 ACC championships, a national championship in football in 1990, a NCAA Men’s Basketball Final Four in 1990, a College Baseball World Series runner-up in 1994, a NCAA runner-up in golf in 1993 and a 1992 National Women’s Invitation Tournament title in basketball.
Rice was the founder and first president of the 1A Athletic Directors’ Association and has authored several books on leadership and his famous triple option offense. Rice has been recognized for his achievements and contributions to athletics on numerous occasions, including receiving The FCA’s Grant Teaff Award, becoming an honoree in the AFCF Plaza of Influence and having the 1A Athletic Directors’ Association name the “Homer Rice Award” in his honor, to name a few.
The American Football Coaches Foundation was created to provide education and development for football coaches at all levels. Financial support for The Foundation is generated by givers that include coaches, Foundation board members, corporations and those who care about and play the game.
The AFCA was founded in 1922 and currently has more than 11,000 members around the world ranging from the high school level to the professional ranks. According to its constitution, the AFCA was formed, in part, to “maintain the highest possible standards in football and in the coaching profession” and to “provide a forum for the discussion and study of all matters pertaining to football.”
For more information on the AFCA and its programs, log on to www.afca.com, or follow us on Twitter, @WeAreAFCA.