Curley to receive National Football Foundation's John L. Toner Award

June 16, 2011

Dallas, Texas — The National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame (NFF) announced today that Penn State Director of Athletics Tim Curley has been named the 2011 recipient of the John L. Toner Award. One of the top honors that a college athletics administrator can receive, the Toner Award is presented annually by the NFF to an athletics director who has demonstrated superior administrative abilities and shown outstanding dedication to college athletics and particularly college football.

"Tim Curley is a great leader with unparalleled vision, and he has helped Penn State maintain and expand its role as a national powerhouse in collegiate athletics and academics," said NFF president and CEO Steve Hatchell. "He is extremely deserving of this honor, and we are excited to recognize him at the NFF Annual Awards Dinner in December."

Curley has presided over Penn State athletics since Dec. 30, 1993, and his leadership has resulted in 21 NCAA and 64 Big Ten championships and numerous individual national and conference crowns for the Nittany Lions during his tenure. His passion for winning has also extended to the classroom with the NCAA reporting in October 2010 that Penn State student-athletes compiled a school-record 90 percent Graduation Success Rate, 11 points higher than the national average for schools in the NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision.

Penn State has had a remarkable 116 CoSIDA/Capital One Academic All-Americans® under Curley's leadership.

Curley manages a $105 million annual budget and a varsity sport program that will expand from 29 to 31 men's and women's varsity teams in 2012-13. He pioneered the expansion of Beaver Stadium in 2001, pushing the venue's capacity to 107,282, which ranks second nationally. During Curley's tenure, the Nittany Lion football team has posted six 10-win seasons, a 10-4 bowl record, appeared in 12 New Year's Day bowl games and won Big Ten championships in 1994, 2005 and 2008. Penn State has produced five NFF National Scholar-Athletes under Curley's watch, as well as four NACDA Postgraduate Scholarships and four NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship recipients.

Curley's fundraising knows no equal in Penn State annals. He launched the school's "Success With Honor" campaign, which raised $128 million, far succeeding the goal of $100 million. In 2010, he landed the largest private gift in school history, an $88 million donation to launch varsity men's and women's hockey teams and construct a multi-purpose ice arena. Currently, his "For the Future" campaign runs through 2014. Behind Curley's efforts, Penn State has erected new baseball and softball stadiums and a new golf clubhouse in recent years, and improved facilities for the basketball, soccer and field hockey teams, in addition to the renovating Rec Hall and the Beaver Stadium expansion.

Curley is a two-time Northeast Athletic Director of the Year honoree by the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA), and he served as the NACDA president for the 2005-06 academic year. This past year, he was among five finalists for the Sports Business Athletic Director of the Year.

NCAA President Mark Emmert recently appointed Curley as one of the members of the Division I Bowl Licensing Task Force, a group that includes leading corporate executives, university presidents, athletics directors and conference representatives. Curley and Oklahoma's Joe Castiglione are the athletic directors selected to serve on the 12-member panel.

A State College native and 1976 Penn State graduate, Curley began his career with the Nittany Lions' athletic department by selling game programs and serving as the baseball team's batboy. He was a member of the Nittany Lion football team and in 1978 became Penn State's first full-time recruiting coordinator and was instrumental in identifying and recruiting a number of the members of the Nittany Lions' 1982 National Championship team. Prior to becoming athletics director, he served as his predecessor Jim Tarman's top assistant.

Curley is married to the former Melinda Harr of Washington, Pa., who also is a Penn State graduate. The Curleys have two children, Devon and Tanner.

Curley is the second of the NFF's 2011 Major Awards winners to be announced this year, joining Ted Ruta, who claimed the Outstanding Football Official Award. The Gold Medal, Distinguished American, Outstanding Contributor to Amateur Football, and Chris Schenkel awards winners will be announced via national press releases in the coming weeks.

The NFF Major Award winners, along with the 2011 College Football Hall of Fame inductees and the NFF National Scholar-Athlete class, will be honored at the NFF 54th Annual Awards Dinner on Tuesday, Dec. 6 at the Waldorf-Astoria in New York City. For ticket information, please contact NFF director of national events Will Rudd at 800-486-1865 or

Past recipients of the John L. Toner Award include:

1997 -- John L. Toner (Connecticut)
1998 -- Doug Dickey (Tennessee)
1999 -- Jake Crouthamel (Syracuse)
1999 -- Davey Nelson (Delaware)*
2000 -- Frank Broyles (Arkansas)
2001 -- Milo R. "Mike" Lude (Washington)
2002 -- Bill Byrne (Oregon, Nebraska, Texas A&M)
2003 -- Andy Geiger (Brown, Penn, Stanford, Maryland, Ohio State)
2003 -- John Clune (Air Force)*
2004 -- Vince Dooley (Georgia) 2005 -- Jack Lengyel (Fresno State, Missouri, and Navy)
2006 -- DeLoss Dodds (Texas)
2007 -- Jeremy Foley (Florida)
2008 -- Gene Smith (Eastern Michigan, Iowa State, Arizona State, Ohio State)
2009 -- Jim Weaver (Virginia Tech)
2010 -- Robert Mulcahy (Rutgers)
*Posthumously honored

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, a non-profit educational organization, runs programs designed to use the power of amateur football in developing scholarship, citizenship and athletic achievement in young people. With 121 chapters and 12,000 members nationwide, NFF programs include the College Football Hall of Fame, Play It Smart, the NFF Hampshire Honor Society, the NFF National Scholar-Athlete Alumni Association, the NFF Gridiron Clubs of New York City, Dallas, and Los Angeles, and scholarships of more than $1.3 million for college and high school scholar-athletes. The NFF presents the MacArthur Bowl, the Campbell Trophy, endowed by HealthSouth, and releases the Bowl Championship Series (BCS) Standings.


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Last Updated June 17, 2011