The United States Sports Academy recently hosted its 28th annual Academy’s Awards of Sport celebration, which annually pays tribute to those who have made significant contributions to sport.

Pictured above are the Academy's Board of Trustees. In the front row (left to right) are: Dr. Nick Niccolai, Mobile, Ala.; Dr. Don Wukasch, Westhampton, Mass.; Dr. Thomas P. Rosandich, Daphne, Ala.; Robert Campbell III, Mobile; Dr. Robert Block, Reno, Nev.; and Jack Scharr, St. Louis. In the back row are: Dr. Gary Cunningham, Santa Barbara, Calif.; Dr. T.J. Rosandich, Fairhope, Ala.; Dr. Milly Cowles, Fairhope, Ala.; William Clark, Mobile, Ala.; Tom Cafaro, Dudley, Mass.; and financial adviser Randy Smith. Not pictured are: Jack Kelly, Lexington, Ky.; Dr. Lee McElroy, Albany, N.Y.; Dr. Linda Moore, Unionville, Conn.; and Peter Tichansky, New York.


This prestigious Awards of Sport event, which marked the university’s 40th anniversary of excellence in sport education,  was held Thursday, Nov. 1 at the Academy’s Daphne, Ala., campus. The 2012 program, whose theme was “The Artist & The Athlete,” recognized many of the world’s top athletes, coaches and administrators from the 2012 London Olympic Games.

Also in recognition of the 40th anniversary of the landmark Title IX legislation that ushered in a new era of gender equity in college athletics, the Awards of Sport honored several women pioneers in the sport world. (Click here to see a complete list of the Academy’s 2012 Awards of Sport honorees.)

This year’s show featured the Academy’s 2013 Sport Artists of the Year: Primo Angeli and Martin Linson. Primo Angeli is a world-renowned artist who the late International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Juan Antonio Samaranch personally selected to create the official poster to commemorate the 1996 Atlanta Centennial Olympic Games. Martin Linson is the IOC’s 2012 London Olympics Sport and Art Contest winner in the sculpture category with his bronze, “Omnipotent Triumph,” that pays tribute to the Paralympic athlete. He is the second American sculptor in the past three Olympiads to win the international art competition.

Those honored at the Academy's Awards of Sport were (left to right): Dr. Mark Janas, 2013 Alumnus of the Year; Dr. Robert Goldman, 2012 Dwight D. Eisenhower Fitness Award; Primo Angeli, graphic works, 2013 Sport Artist of the Year; Robert Campbell III, Board of Trustees chairman; Martin Linson, sculptor, 2013 Sport Artist of the Year; and Joe Castiglione, 2012 Carl Maddox Sports Management Award.

The Academy presents awards each year to honor exemplary achievement in coaching, all-around athletic performance, courage, humanitarian activity, fitness and media, sports art, as well as the top professional athletes of the year. The Academy recognizes these men and women through its Sport Artist of the Year, Honorary Doctorates, Distinguished Service Awards, Medallion Series, Athletes of the Year, and Alumni of the Year awards.

Joe Castiglione (right), who heads the University of Oklahoma's athletics and won the Academy's 2012 Carl Maddox Sports Management Award, is interviewed before the awards program.

Honorees may be nominated by any of the Academy’s worldwide constituents. This assemblage includes administration, alumni, faculty, national faculty, staff, students and members of various organizations and boards that work closely with the Academy on this special project. Following the nomination process, honorees are selected by the Awards of Sport Committee, a special group within the Academy that is comprised of the Academy President’s Cabinet and other staff members with a vested interest and an extensive knowledge of sports and the arts.

Every honoree chosen by the Awards of Sport Committee is presented to the Academy’s Board of Trustees. All honoree selections are subject to a vote and must be formally approved and ratified by this group. Award recipients are traditionally presented with the Academy’s Order of the Eagle Exemplar Medal and Academy Rosette. For more background on the Academy’s Awards of Sport and a list of past winners, click here.