Academy’s 32nd Annual Awards of Sport Program Honors Accomplishments in Sport and Art

By November 11, 2016News & Events
Academy Board of Trustees

The United States Sports Academy Board of Trustees paused for a photo during the Annual Meeting, held in conjunction with the 32nd Annual Awards of Sport Program on 10 November 2016. Shown in front from left are Founding Board Chairman Dr. Robert Block of Reno, NV ; Founding President and President Emeritus Dr. Thomas P. Rosandich of Daphne, AL; Board Chairman Robert C. Campbell III of Mobile, AL; President and Chief Executive Officer Dr. T.J. Rosandich of Fairhope, AL; and Joan Cronan of Knoxville, TN. Second row from left are Jack Scharr of St. Louis, MO; Marcus Bailey of Stapleton, AL; Susan McCollough of Gulf Shores, AL; Dr. Don Wukasch of Austin, TX; Dr. Linda Moore of Quincy, IL; Dr. Gary Cunningham of Goleta, CA; and Joseph Szlavik of Washington, D.C. Back from left are Thomas Cafaro of Dudley, MA; Dr. Nick Niccolai of Mobile, AL; and Trustee Emeritus Randy Smith of Mobile, AL. Not shown are Dr. Lee A. McElroy of Troy, NY, and Peter Tichansky of New York, NY.

To view a full length video of the Awards of Sport 2016 ceremony, click here.

Inspirational Remarks by U.S. Sports Academy 2016 Alumna of the Year LaTanya Sheffield
President Emeritus Dr. Thomas P. Rosandich

United States Sports Academy founder and President Emeritus Dr. Thomas P. Rosandich, left, was presented the 2016 National Honorary Doctorate by Academy trustee Dr. Don C. Wukasch.

DAPHNE, Ala. – The United States Sports Academy honored individuals from around the globe who have made significant contributions to the world of sport and art at its 32nd annual Awards of Sport program – “A Tribute to the Artist and the Athlete” – held on campus on 10 November 2016.

Among those honored was Academy founder and President Emeritus Dr. Thomas P. Rosandich, who received an Honorary Doctorate for his more than 43 years of service to the Academy.  Rosandich was recognized for his leadership in the founding of the Academy in 1972, as well as his service overseeing the growth and progress of the Academy for 43 years as President.  The Academy’s Board of Trustees also named the “Dr. Thomas P. Rosandich Gallery” in honor of the Founding President.

Sr. Hector F. Cardona

Sr. Hector F. Cardona, right, was presented the United States Sports Academy’s 2016 International Honorary Doctorate by Academy trustee Dr. Gary Cunningham.

Héctor F. Cardona of San Juan, Puerto Rico, received the 2016 International Honorary Doctorate for his work as a leader instrumental in the success of sport in Central America, South America and the Caribbean. Cardona is serving his fourth term as president of the Central American and Caribbean Sport Organization (CACSO), which oversees the Central American and Caribbean Games.

LaTanya Sheffield was named the 2016 Alumna of the Year. Sheffield is a former Olympic hurdler and American record holder who is now a successful college associate head track coach at Long Beach State University in California. She recently served as assistant coach for USA Track & Field at the 2016 Rio Olympics, working with the women’s sprinters and hurdlers. She earned her Bachelor of Sports Science in sports management degree from the Academy in 2011.

The Academy also honored its 2016 Sport Artists of the Year – Steven Whyte and Gregory Burns.

The United States Sports Academy 2016 Alumna of the Year Award went to LaTanya Sheffield, left, and was presented by Academy trustee Dr. Linda Moore.

The United States Sports Academy 2016 Alumna of the Year Award went to LaTanya Sheffield, left, and was presented by Academy trustee Dr. Linda Moore.

Burns, who resides in Singapore, is a world champion Paralympic swimmer who has won five gold and silver medals and broken four world records in three Paralympic Games. He is also a world-class contemporary artist, whose abstract impressionist paintings and exhibitions have received international acclaim. He was honored as the Academy’s 2016 Sport Artist of the Year, Painter.

Greg Burns

The United States Sports Academy 2016 Sport Artist of the Year, Painter, Greg Burns, center, with trustee Jack Scharr and Nancy Raia, chairperson of the Academy’s Art Committee.

Whyte, who resides in Carmel, Calif., has received acclaim for his highly detailed and stirring works on the dynamic spectacle of athleticism. One of his most famous works is a 39-foot-long monument to the tradition of Texas A&M University’s dedicated student fans, referred to as the “12th Man.” It graces the entrance to Kyle Field stadium. Whyte was honored as the Academy’s 2016 Sport Artist of the Year, Sculptor.

The Academy unveiled a painting by Burns – “The Podium” – depicting an Olympic medal ceremony, as well as a sculpture by Whyte representing former Texas A&M football player and Heisman Trophy winner John David Crow. The works will now be showcased in the Academy’s American Sport Art Museum & Archives (ASAMA).

Other honorees on campus for the event were Gretchen Kelsey Brown and Dr. Dirk Craen, who received Distinguished Service Awards.

Steven Whyte

The United States Sports Academy 2016 Sport Artist of the Year, Sculptor, Steven Whyte, center, with trustee Susan N. McCullough (left) and Nancy Raia, chairperson of the Academy Art Committee.

Brown is co-founder of Athletic Business magazine and chief executive officer of Athletic Business Media, Inc. Athletic Business is read in print by more than 40,000 subscribers in sport related fields and has expanded into digital media and live events. The company also hosts the Athletic Business Conference.

Craen is president of the European University-Business School, which is consistently ranked among the top business schools in Europe. Craen has served since 1998 as president of the private, triple-accredited business school. It has campuses in Spain, Switzerland and Germany and has partnered with nearly 70 other institutions worldwide.

Also in association with this year’s program, the Academy named its library the “Dr. Robert Block Library” in honor of the Founding Chairman of the Academy Board of Trustees.

Additional honorees in the 2016 Awards of Sport program are receiving their awards in special presentations around the world.  Here is a complete list of all 2016 Awards of Sport honorees:

Gretchen Brown

Gretchen Brown receives the United States Sports Academy 2016 Distinguished Service Award from Academy trustee Dr. Nick Niccolai.

International Honorary Doctorate: Sr. Héctor F. Cardona, President, Central American and Caribbean Sports Organization.

National Honorary Doctorate: Dr. Thomas P. Rosandich, Founding President, United States Sports Academy; and Mr. Chuck Wielgus, Executive Director, USA Swimming.

Alumna of the Year: Ms. LaTanya Sheffield, Assistant Coach, Women’s USA Track and Field, 2016 Rio Olympic Games.

Sport Artist of the Year, Painter: Mr. Gregory Burns, Painter and former Paralympic World Record Holder.

Sport Artist of the Year, Sculptor:  Mr. Steven Whyte, Sculptor.

Eagle Award: Sir Craig Reedie, President, World Anti-Doping Agency.

Dr. Ernst Jokl Sports Medicine Award: Bennet Omalu, M.D., Physician, Forensic Pathologist, Neuropathologist, and Leading Research Pioneer on Concussions in Sport.

Dr. Dirk Craen

Dr. Dirk Craen, right, receives the United States Sports Academy 2016 Distinguished Service Award from Academy trustee Thomas R. Cafaro.

Theodore Roosevelt Meritorious Achievement Award: Ms. Donna de Varona Olympic Swimmer, Former World Record Holder, and Television Sportscaster.

Carl Maddox Sports Management Award: Mr. Bernard Muir, Jaquish & Kenninger Director of Athletics, Stanford University.

Amos Alonzo Stagg Coaching Award: Mr. Dabo Swinney, Head Football Coach, Clemson University.

Jim Thorpe All-Around Athlete Award: Mr. Ashton Eaton, 2016 Rio Olympics Decathlon Gold Medalist, Indoor Heptathlon World Record Holder.

Mildred “Babe” Didrikson Zaharias Courage Award: Mr. Ibrahim Al-Hussein, Paralympic Swimmer, 2016 Rio Olympics Independent Paralympic Athletes Team.

Dwight D. Eisenhower Fitness Award:  Dr. Brad Schoenfeld, Internationally Renowned Fitness Expert.

Jackie Robinson Humanitarian Award: Mr. Mel Young, President, Homeless World Cup.

C. Vivian Stringer Coaching Award: Ms. Marta Karolyi, National Team Coordinator, USA Gymnastics, 2016 Rio Olympics.

Juan Antonio Samaranch IOC Disabled Athlete Award: Ms. Omara Durand, Paralympic Sprinter, 100m and 400m World Record Holder.

Ronald Reagan Media Award: Mr. Verne Lundquist, Eminent Sportscaster, CBS Sports.

Distinguished Service Awards:  Ms. Gretchen Brown, Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer

Robert Block Library

Left to right: Academy President and Chief Executive Officer Dr. T.J. Rosandich, founding chairman of the Academy Board of Trustees Dr. Robert Block and Academy founder and President Emeritus Dr. Thomas P. Rosandich dedicated the “Robert Block Library” in Block’s honor at the Awards of Sport event.

Athletic Business Media; Mr. Albert Cantello, Heads Men’s Cross Country Coach, U.S. Naval Academy; Dr. Dirk Craen, Owner and President, European University-Business School; Mr. Philip Hersh, Former Olympic Specialist, Chicago Tribune; Mr. Nick Mitchell, Head Wrestling Coach, Grand View University; and Ms. Kim Rhode, American Skeet-Shooter and first person to win Olympic Medals at six Summer Games.

The Academy’s Awards of Sport, which each year serve as “A Tribute to the Artist and the Athlete,” honor those who have made significant contributions to sport, in categories as diverse as the artist and the athlete. The awards honor exemplary achievement in coaching, all-around athletic performance, courage, humanitarian activity, fitness, and media, among others. The Academy’s American Sport Art Museum and Archives annually recognizes these men and women through its Sport Artist of the Year, Honorary Doctorates, Medallion Series, Distinguished Service Awards, Outstanding Athletes, College Football Game of the Year, and Alumni of the Year awards.

Founded in 1984, ASAMA is dedicated to the preservation of sports art, history, and literature. The ASAMA collection is composed of nearly 2,000 works of sport art across a variety of media, including paintings, sculptures, assemblages, prints and photographs. The museum is open free to the public from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays. For more information, go to www.asama.org .

Based in Daphne, Ala., the United States Sports Academy is an independent, non-profit, accredited, special mission sports university created to serve the nation and world with programs in instruction, research, and service. The role of the Academy is to prepare men and women for careers in the profession of sports. For more information about the Academy, call (251) 626-3303 or visit www.ussa.edu.