With college football celebrating its 150th season in 2019, The National Football Foundation (NFF) & College Hall of Fame announced this week its “Team of Excellence,” highlighting those NFF board members who played football and have gone on to success in life.
University of Colorado athletic director Rick George was one of 30 people named to the unique and prestigious team.
A four-year cornerback for the Illinois Fighting Illini, George played in 44 straight games at Illinois. Serving as athletics director at the CU since August 2013, his successful career in athletics has included stints in football operations at Illinois, Colorado and Vanderbilt; president and CEO of the Fore!Kids Foundation; and executive positions with the PGA Tour, the Senior (now Champions) Tour; and the Texas Rangers.
George was listed second on the defensive back “depth chart” behind multiple Hall-of-Famer Ronnie Lott.
“It is truly and honor and most humbling to be mentioned among the group of people that the National Football Foundation named on that team,” George said. “I’m proud to represent my alma mater, the University of Illinois, as a player, and the University of Colorado as an administrator.”
“From College Football Hall of Fame inductees to successful business leaders and athletics directors to broadcasters, the National Football Foundation’s board of directors includes some of the most powerful people in the country,” said NFF President & CEO Steve Hatchell, a 1970 graduate of the University of Colorado. “By highlighting the members of our board who played football and have gone on to great success in their chosen fields, we hope to showcase the impact the game has had over 150 years in shaping some of our nation’s greatest leaders.
“The Team of Excellence featuring our board members creates an impressive depth chart of talent that could go the distance against any football team out there. When your top three quarterbacks are Archie Manning, Roger Staubach and Troy Aikman, you know you have a loaded roster, and it just continues on from there.”
The Team of Excellence is just one part of the NFF’s plans to celebrate the anniversary. Founded in 1947 with early leadership from General Douglas MacArthur, legendary Army coach Earl “Red” Blaik and immortal journalist Grantland Rice, the NFF is highlighting throughout the season its 72-year history of using the power of amateur football in developing scholarship, citizenship and athletic achievement in young people.
NFF Chairman Archie Manning serves as the honorary captain of the Team of Excellence, which features 10 members of the College Football Hall of Fame, 13 business executives, eight current or former athletics directors, five current or former broadcasters, two owners of NFL teams, the commissioner of the NFL, the commissioner of the ACC and the head football coach at Northwestern.