IRVING, Texas (Oct. 18, 2018)
– The National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame (NFF) announced today the five outstanding recipients of the 2018 NFF Chapter Leadership Awards.
The NFF Chapter Leadership Awards, first presented in 1988, annually recognize five individuals, one from each region of the country, for their commitment, generosity and leadership at the local level in fulfilling the NFF's mission of demonstrating that Football Matters®
. Each of the five leadership award winners will be honored during festivities surrounding the 61st NFF Annual Awards Dinner on Tuesday, Dec. 4, at the New York Hilton Midtown.
"Each of these individuals has embraced the mission of the NFF and promoting the good in the game," said NFF President & CEO Steve Hatchell
. "Their dedication and passion create a powerful presence for the NFF in their communities, making an impact and inspiring excellence on and off the field. We are excited to honor their exceptional commitment and sincere desire to give back."
2018 NFF Chapter Leadership Award Recipients
(Full Bios Included)
With 120 chapters and more than 12,000 members, the NFF Chapter Network impacts more than 500,000 student-athletes at 5,000 high schools in 47 states each year. Collectively, the NFF chapters stage more than 300 annual events, celebrating the game and its unique ability to teach the values of leadership, teamwork and the drive to compete. The events include coaching clinics, leadership conferences, college nights, media days and local awards banquets that recognize more than 3,500 scholar-athletes and distribute more than $1 million in annual scholarships.
The Chapter Leadership Award recipients have spearheaded the efforts of their respective outposts: securing funds for scholarships; selecting the honorees; and staging events to benefit the young people who play football. Their efforts ensure that future generations of players are inspired to achieve on and off the field.
An NFF member for more than 30 years, Roger Crosley
has been committed to football and giving back to amateur football players throughout the Northeast.
After playing high school football as a running back and safety, Crosley earned his Bachelor of Science degree from SUNY College at Brockport in 1978 before earning his master's from Syracuse University in 1980.
Crosley went on to become the secretary, treasurer and information director of the Eastern Collegiate Football Conference from 1987-1996 while also being a part of the Kodak/Hewlett Packard Division III All-America Selection Committee. Crosley was the Media Relations Director for the New England Football Conference from 1997-2016 while serving as an executive board member for the New England Football Writers Association from 1988-2016, before becoming Chair in 2017. Additionally, he became the color commentator for Bentley University (Mass.) football webcasts starting in 2010.
A member of the NFF since 1987, Crosley has held multiple leadership roles within the Jack Grinold/Eastern Massachusetts Chapter. He served as the chapter's treasurer from 2006-10 before becoming the chapter's executive director from 2010-18. Crosley has played a pivotal role in growing the chapter, including coordinating a membership drive that increased membership by more than 100 percent. He added a collegiate scholar-athlete-citizen award, and he solicited and secured the largest sponsorship gift in chapter history.
Recognizing the immense impact Crosley has made, the chapter now awards the Roger Crosley Chapter Contributor Award, which goes to a person for outstanding work in promoting the ideals and values of the sport of football and continued support of the mission of the National Football Foundation.
"Football has been a driving force throughout my adult life," said Crosley. "It has offered me opportunities to hone my leadership skills, but more importantly given me the opportunity to meet and get to know the incredible men who play, coach, officiate and administer this magnificent game. Any contribution I have made to the game is dwarfed by what the game has given me both on and off the field. With the exception of the guidance of my parents, football has been my greatest teacher of the values of teamwork, leadership, work ethic and camaraderie, just to name a few."
Crosley lives in Clinton, New York, and loves watching college football and the New York Yankees and going on bike rides.
A high school and college football player, Dick DeWire
has been an exceptional leader in helping to start and grow the NFF Colorado Chapter
DeWire attended Phillipsburg High School in New Jersey where he was a co-captain of the football team and earned High School Scholar-Athlete honors from the NFF Lehigh Valley Chapter
. He was then recruited to play at Princeton by then Tigers head coach Bob Casciola
(and subsequent NFF president from 1995-2004). DeWire graduated from Princeton in 1980 with a bachelor's in history.
DeWire has more than 35 years of experience working in banking and currently serves as senior vice president of Academy Bank in Denver. He has served on numerous boards of directors, including the Colorado Sports Hall of Fame (1993-2018) and the Sportswomen of Colorado Inc. (2003-10).
DeWire was a charter member of the Colorado Chapter
, serving as secretary and treasurer from the chapter's formation in 1992 until 2014, when he took over as executive director. Celebrating its 25th anniversary in 2018, the Colorado Chapter
annually recognizes the top high school scholar-athletes and contributors from across the state at its annual scholar-athlete banquet. The chapter prides itself on being the only chapter nationwide that selects collegiate players of the week and a collegiate All-State team. The chapter also recognizes an Academic All-Colorado team comprised of the 10 football-playing colleges and universities in the state.
"Football is the greatest team sport ever," said DeWire. "A successful play is every player doing their job. Our Colorado NFF Chapter makes a strong pitch every year to scholar-athletes how important it is to give back to the game. We stress the importance to acknowledge everyone involved in the football production: trainers, equipment managers, video techs, ticket managers, groundskeepers, etc. Be grateful to everyone who makes it possible!"
DeWire and his wife, Sue
, live in Denver and have two children, Brett
. DeWire is a diehard football fan at all levels and loves to play guitar and spend time with his family.
A player, coach, and athletics director, Herb Goins
has had success at every level of football and expanded his love for the game by giving back to amateur football through the NFF Corrigan/Faircloth Chapter
for 27 years.
After graduating from Myers Park High School in Charlotte, North Carolina, Goins earned his bachelor's degree while playing offensive guard at Duke from 1964-67. After graduating from Duke in 1969, he became the head football coach and athletic director at Northern Durham High School from 1971-1975. In five seasons, Goins led Northern Durham to four conference championships and four trips to the state playoffs while also receiving his master's degree from the University of North Carolina in 1973.
Goins then spent 16 years at T. Wingate Andrews High School in High Point, North Carolina, serving as the school's athletic director, head football coach and head golf coach. On the gridiron, he led Andrews to 13 playoff appearances and 11 conference titles while bookending his time in High Point with state championships in 1976 and 1991. He was Conference Coach of the Year 13 times, and finished his 21-year head coaching career with 169 wins.
Retiring as a coach and focusing solely on athletics administration, Goins served as athletic director for High Point Public Schools from 1991-93 and coordinator of athletics for Durham Public Schools from 1993-96. Next, he became director of athletics for Guilford County Schools, administering programs for 15 high schools and 20 middle schools from 1996 until he retired in 2008. Goins has been inducted into four halls of fame.
A member of the NFF Corrigan/Faircloth Chapter
since its inception in 1991, Goins has served as a board member from 1991-1993 and 1996-present. He served as the chapter's president from 2001-08 before taking on the role of treasurer, and he has served as both president and treasurer since 2017. Goins has helped the chapter award nearly $700,000 in scholarships over the past 27 years, including an impressive $36,000 to 35 high school scholar-athletes in 2018.
"I have been actively involved with the game of football since an early age as a high school and college player, high school coach and athletic administrator," said Goins. "My entire working career involved association with football and those that played and coached the game. The Corrigan/Faircloth Chapter
of the NFF allows me to maintain an ongoing active relationship with high school athletes and coaches through our scholarship program."
Goins and his wife, Lindsay
, live in High Point, N.C. Goins loves football at all levels and loves spending time with his three children and seven grandchildren.
The president and founder of the NFF Greater Morris County Chapter
in New Jersey, former football player and coach Matt Sellitto
expanded upon his 30 years of giving back to amateur football by launching a second NFF chapter in 2018 in Collier County, Florida.
Sellitto earned first team all-conference honors while playing guard at Wesley College (Del.) from 1966-67. He was inducted into the Wesley College Hall of Fame in 2010. Sellitto earned a bachelor's degree in international business from Central Connecticut State University in 1970 and his MBA from Montclair State University in 1975.
Sellitto taught business law and marketing classes at Millburn High School in New Jersey from 1971-2001 and was a member of the football coaching staff from 1971-77, serving as head coach for the 1976 and 1977 seasons. He then served as offensive coordinator at Seton Hall University from 1978-80. An entrepreneur, Sellitto created a development business in 1982, which he presided over until his retirement.
In 2002, Sellitto helped create the Matthew C. Sellitto Foundation in memory of his eldest son, Matthew
, who at age 23 was lost in the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001. Rather than wallow in his loss, Sellitto channeled his energy and strength of character into a determination to fight terrorism. The Matthew C. Sellitto Foundation awards scholarships annually to deserving young people based on financial need, academic excellence, school participation and community service. After the sudden death of Sellitto's other son, Jonathan
, in 2017, the Foundation is currently in the process of establishing an awards' program in the area of culinary arts.
Sellitto joined the NFF in 1985 as vice president of the Essex County Chapter
in New Jersey. In 1995, he recognized the need to establish a new chapter in neighboring Morris County, launching and serving as president of the Greater Morris County Chapter
ever since. The chapter has become a hallmark of the community, annually recognizing more than 30 student-athletes at its annual banquet and hosting a highly successful Sports Nut Night, which draws over 200 people every year. For his work with the chapter, he was honored with an NFF Chapter Leadership Award in 2004, and he now becomes just the second person in the 31-year history of the awards to twice claim the honor.
Spending his winters in Naples, Florida, Sellitto again saw the need to support high school football in a local community, and he launched the NFF Collier County Chapter
in 2018. The new chapter is already a success, awarding $16,000 in scholarships at its inaugural banquet. Sellitto will continue to serve as president of both NFF chapters, becoming one of only two people to ever simultaneously lead two chapters.
"The NFF has kept me close to the game I played and coached," said Sellitto. "The game itself gave me the foundation to meet the challenges I have had to face in life, especially with the loss of both of my sons. The game taught me so much and prepared me to meet these horrific challenges. After getting knocked down, get back up, brush yourself off and get back in the game. Without this training, I don't think I could have ever moved forward."
Sellitto lives with his wife, Loreen
, in Naples, and he enjoys spending his free time volunteering and giving back to the community.
For more than 58 years, Tony Versaci
has been giving back to amateur football players as both a coach and a leader of the NFF State of Michigan Chapter
Versaci graduated from the University of Detroit in 1959 where he was a walk-on football player. He spent 11 years as the head coach of Divine Child High School where he won 84 percent of his games, including three undefeated seasons. Versaci was named Michigan High School Coach of the Year in 1966, which allowed him to visit any university in the country. He chose Alabama, and he ended up spending spring practices over four seasons being mentored by College Football Hall of Fame coach Paul "Bear" Bryant
and the rest of the Crimson Tide staff. Versaci also spent a season at Michigan State University as an assistant coach before moving on to the NFL to spend two years with the St. Louis Cardinals as a special teams coach.
Outside of football, Versaci has been a franchisee of Burger King for 41 years. He has served as the chairman of the National Franchisee Association, which represents over 1,700 Burger King Franchisees, and he is presently the chairman of the Great Lakes Midwest Coalition and CEO/President of Michigan Multi-King, Inc.
A member of the NFF State of Michigan Chapter
for 24 years, Versaci has served 17 of those years as president. Founded in 1962, the chapter has been a mainstay within the state's football community ever since. The chapter has a strong relationship with the 662 high schools and the many colleges and universities throughout Michigan. The chapter's highly popular annual awards banquet honors college and high school seniors from across Michigan, recognizing their academic excellence as well as on the field play and work in the community. The chapter also honors the Michigan All-State "Dream Team."
"I take great pride in being an active member of the NFF," said Versaci. "We honor the top 23 high school players in the state of Michigan. We also select and honor high school and college scholar-athletes annually. Having been a high school coach was my fondest memory. Having success on the field was great but watching the lessons that football taught the young men I coached, which has been converted into their lives, was definitely a marvelous experience."
Versaci and his wife, Sally
, live in Bingham Farms, Michigan, and have three children and five grandchildren. Versaci enjoys golfing and traveling in addition to football.
About The National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame
Founded in 1947 with early leadership from General Douglas MacArthur, legendary Army coach Earl "Red" Blaik and immortal journalist Grantland Rice, The National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame is a non-profit educational organization that runs programs designed to use the power of amateur football in developing scholarship, citizenship and athletic achievement in young people. With 120 chapters and 12,000 members nationwide, NFF programs include Football Matters®, the Chick-fil-A College Football Hall of Fame in Atlanta, The William V. Campbell Trophy®, annual scholarships of more than $1.3 million and a series of initiatives to honor the legends of the past and inspire the leaders of the future. NFF corporate partners include Delta Air Lines, Fidelity Investments – a proud partner of the Campbell Trophy®, Herff Jones, New York Athletic Club, the Pasadena Tournament of Roses, the Sports Business Journal, SportsManias, Under Armour and VICIS. Learn more at footballfoundation.org.