Chet Simmons, a famed television sports executive and past winner of a Distinguished Service Award from the United States Sports Academy, passed away recently at the age of 81.

Simmons was awarded a DSA in 2007. He died of natural causes in Atlanta.

Simmons is best known as ESPN’s first president and later was named commissioner of the United States Football League. He was responsible for the development of SportsCenter, ESPN’s nightly news show featuring sports highlights and the concept of covering the National Football League draft, which has since become one of cable television’s highest rated shows.