Penn State will take center stage at Maxwell Football Club Awards Gala

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- The varied and numerous accomplishments of the 2012 Penn State football team will be prominently recognized at the 76th Maxwell Football Club National Awards Gala on March 1.

Head coach Bill O’Brien, the 2012 Nittany Lion senior class and junior Eric Shrive will be recognized at the MFC awards event, to be held at Harrah’s Atlantic City Resort. The black tie banquet will be streamed live on ESPN3.com.

Among the other Maxwell Football Club awards that will be announced Friday are the Bert Bell Award (Adrian Peterson, Minnesota Vikings), the Maxwell Award and Chuck Bednarik Award (Manti Te'o, Notre Dame) and the Francis "Reds" Bagnell Award (Ozzie Newsome, Baltimore Ravens).

O’Brien was selected the 2012 MFC Collegiate Coach of the Year, one of three national coaching honors he received, after leading the Nittany Lions to wins in eight of their final 10 games. In his first season as a head coach, O’Brien also was selected the Bear Bryant and ESPN Coach of the Year and the Big Ten-Dave McClain Coach of the Year after guiding Penn State to an 8-4 overall (6-2 Big Ten) record.

The Nittany Lions’ 15th head coach all-time, O’Brien was just the seventh first-year head coach to earn the Big Ten Coach of the Year in the 41 years it has been awarded. His eight wins were the most by a first-year Penn State coach in the 126 years of the program.

O’Brien engineered a dynamic, fast-paced offense that featured the Big Ten’s passing leader (Matt McGloin), top receiver (Allen Robinson) and a running back (Zach Zwinak) who gained 100 yards six times in eight Big Ten games and 1,000 yards for the season. McGloin broke 10 school passing records during the 2012 season and Robinson eclipsed the Penn State record for season receptions with 77. Penn State led the Big Ten in total offense (437 ypg) in conference games and was second in scoring offense (32.6 ppg) and second in pass offense (283.1 ypg) against Big Ten foes last season.

The 31 senior members of the Penn State football team will be honored as winners of the Maxwell Football Club’s Thomas Brookshier Spirit Award in recognition of their commitment, leadership and outstanding effort in 2012. Starting the season 0-2 after a 1-point loss at Virginia, the Nittany Lions had one of their best practices the following Monday and defeated Navy in their next game to begin a five-game winning streak. With the five wins, O’Brien tied George Hoskins (1892) and Dick Harlow (1915) for the most consecutive wins by a first-year Nittany Lion coach.

Penn State also won its initial three Big Ten road games, en route to a second place finish in the Leaders Division, making O’Brien just the fifth Big Ten coach since 1950 to win his first three conference away contests.

Led by team captains Jordan Hill (Steelton), Michael Mauti (Mandeville, La.), Matt McGloin (Scranton), Michael Yancich (Washington, Pa.) and Michael Zordich (Youngstown, Ohio), the Nittany Lions rallied in the fourth quarter and beat Wisconsin, the eventual Big Ten champion, 24-21, in overtime on an emotional Senior Day to cap the season.

Shrive will be honored with the 2012 Uplifting Athletes Rare Disease Champion Award. The honor is presented annually to recognize a leader in the world of college football who has realized his or her potential to make a positive and lasting impact on the rare disease community.  More than 30 million Americans are affected by rare diseases.

A junior guard from Scranton, Shrive is the president of Penn State’s Uplifting Athletes chapter after serving as vice president the past two years. He has been a significant contributor in the planning of the chapter’s events to benefit the Kidney Cancer Association. The most well-known event for Penn State’s Uplifting Athletes chapter is the Penn State Lift for Life, a strength and conditioning challenge among football squad members held annually in July. The 2013 event will be held July 12 during the Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts.

Shrive has raised $69,500 for the Penn State Lift For Life during his four summers on campus, including approximately $32,000 in 2012, helping boost the total to a record $110,374.00. During the 10 years of the Penn State Lift For Life, members of the Nittany Lion football team have raised in excess of $700,000 for the Kidney Cancer Association.

Shrive also will be honored for the Uplifting Athletes Rare Disease Champion Award on Saturday night at the Uplifting Athletes Gridiron Gala in Harrisburg.

The Maxwell Football Club was founded in 1935 and is the oldest football club of its kind in America. The organization is devoted to recognizing excellence at all levels of football from high school through the NFL ranks. Under the stewardship of President Ron Jaworski, the club has grown rapidly and has members in 40 states. The MFC provides educational and training programs for players and coaches, and also provides scholarships to outstanding student-athletes who demonstrate excellence on the field, in the classroom and in the community.

Season tickets are available for the 2013 Penn State football season. The Nittany Lions will host three teams that finished in the 2012 BCS Top 25: Michigan (Oct. 12-Homecoming), Nebraska (Nov. 23) and Kent State (Sept. 21). Purdue, Illinois, University of Central Florida and Eastern Michigan also will visit Beaver Stadium this year. Penn State opens the season Aug. 31 vs. Syracuse at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J.

For information on joining the Nittany Lion Club and purchasing season tickets, as well as club seating in Beaver Stadium, fans can go to www.GoPSUsports.com or call 800-NITTANY from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. weekdays.

Penn State Athletics is on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/pennstatenittanylions) and Twitter (http://www.gopsusports.com/ot/twitter.html).

Contacts: 
Last Updated March 01, 2013