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Issue 99
November 10, 2003
Vol. 2 Issue 36

The Downtown Athletic Club of Orlando (DACO) extends a special invitation to members of the Orlando Regional Chamber of Commerce and its affiliated chambers to be a part of this year’s nineteenth annual Butkus Awardâ Gala, honoring the Best Linebacker in College Football, on December 12th
Trev Alberts from ESPN Sports, the 1993 Butkus Award ® winner, will serve as the evening’s Master of Ceremonies.  Tom Cousineau, former All-American linebacker from Ohio State and one of only three linebackers to ever be chosen as the #1 pick in the NFL Draft (1979) will be presented the Silver Anniversary Butkus Award ®, honoring the best college linebacker from twenty five years ago.
The selection process for this year’s award began in mid-August when the twenty-seven member national Butkus Award ® Selection Committee released its annual Watch List for the upcoming football season – this year comprising more than 90 outstanding athletes.    In October, the Committee narrowed the field to eleven semifinalists, and this past Thursday, November 13th, they named the three finalists, who will come to Orlando for the Gala Awards presentation where the 2003 Butkus Award ® winner will be named.

The 2003 Finalists are Derrick Johnson from the University of Texas, Teddy Lehman from the University of Oklahoma and Jonathan Vilas from the University of Miami (FL).  Lehman will be returning for his second consecutive year as a finalist.  These three players and their head coaches will be honored at the Gala Dinner before one will be named as this year’s best college linebacker.
Individual tickets and corporate tables are available for the Gala evening, and a limited number of playing spots remain for the tournament. For more information please contact the DACO office at 407-774-7813 or visit our websites and .
Founded in 1985, the DACO’s mission is to promote and encourage amateur athletics and academic excellence, particularly among youth in the Central Florida area.  In the past 18 years, the DACO, through its charitable arm the DACO Foundation, has contributed more than $160,000 to amateur athletics in Central Florida and has presented more than 25 four-year full-tuition scholarships to area student athletes.  In addition, it annually honors the top 10 male and top 10 female high school scholar athletes at an Awards Banquet and names the Male and Female Scholar Athletes of the Year.
The Butkus Award®, created in 1985 by DACO, carries the name and support of one of the greatest middle linebackers in football history, Dick Butkus. The Butkus Award® is regarded as one of the most elite individual honors in college football. Past recipients include such outstanding linebackers as:

E.J. Henderson (2002-Maryland); Rocky Calmus (2001-Oklahoma); Dan Morgan (2000- Miami, FL); LaVar Arrington (1999-Penn State); Chris Claiborne (1998-Southern California); Andy Katzenmoyer (1997-Ohio State); Matt Russell (1996 Colorado); Kevin Hardy (1995-Illinois); Dana Howard (1994-Illinois); Trev Alberts (1993-Nebraska); Marvin Jones (1992-Florida State); Erick Anderson (1991-Michigan); Alfred Williams (1990-Colorado); Percy Snow (1989-Michigan State); Derrick Thomas (1988-Alabama); Paul McGowan (1997-Florida State); and Brian Bosworth (1985 and 1986-Oklahoma).
Past Silver Anniversary winners include: Lucius Sanford (2002-Georgia Tech); Bob Brudzinski (2001- Ohio State); Greg Buttle (2000-Penn State); Bob Breunig (1999-Arizona State); Randy Gradishar (1998-Ohio State); Jamie Rotella (1997-Tennessee); Jeff Siemon (1996-Stanford); Jack Ham (1995-Penn State); Steve Kiner (1994-Tennessee); Bob Babich (1993-Miami (OH)); Fred Carr (1992-Texas-El Paso); Jim Lynch (1991-Notre Dame); Tommy Nobis (1990-UT); Dick Butkus (1989-Illinois); Gerry Philbin (1988-Alabama); Lee Roy Jordan (1987-Alabama); and Roy Winston (1986-LSU).
These athletes are all members of the College Linebacker Hall of Fame, sponsored by the Downtown Athletic Club of Orlando.  Tom Cousineau and the 2003 Butkus Award ® winner will become members this December.

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