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Penn State football team joins elite company at the Maxwell Football Club's National Awards Gala ^ | 3-2-13 | Audrey Snyder

Posted on 03/02/2013 8:35:33 AM PST by FlJoePa

ATLANTIC CITY – The Penn State seniors and Bill O'Brien took part in a star-studded awards gala Friday evening. Gone were the uniforms, ball caps and sweatshirts. Forget the sneakers and shorts which were traded in for tuxedos, bow ties and freshly-pressed suits. O'Brien and the senior class both received loud ovations from the crowd inside the Maxwell Football Club's awards gala.

Bill O'Brien was honored as the Maxwell Football Club's Collegiate Coach of the Year during Friday's national awards gala and the senior class was also honored with the Brookshire Spirit Award. The award was accepted on behalf of the class by captains Michael Mauti, Michael Zordich, Mike Yancich, Matt McGloin and Jordan Hill. Many members of the senior class attended the event and were seated at tables in the front of the room.

Mauti addressed the crowd inside the Harrah's Atlantic City Resort ballroom where he thanked his fellow classmates, as well as the underclassmen who opted to stay with the program once the NCAA handed down unprecedented sanctions.

“We weren't playing for a trophy. We weren't playing for a championship game but awards like this mean more to us than a championship trophy,” Mauti said.

He thanked the coaches and staff for helping the team through and added that they couldn't have done it without the underclassmen who stayed with the program.

“Every senior here tonight has graduated or will graduate with their degree,” Mauti added.

Mauti left the state to chants of We Are... and another standing ovation. Video of Mauti's entire speech can be found here.

Former Penn State football player and Board of Trustees member Adam Taliaferro also attended the event and was seated at the front of the room along with all of the award winners and presenters.

Penn State player Eric Shrive was honored at the event where he was recognized for his work with Penn State's chapter of Uplifting Athletes. Shrive has raised more than $70,000 during his time at Penn State for kidney cancer research and patients. Shrive is in charge of Penn State's annual Lift for Life event.

The Maxwell Awards continued with a heavy dose of Penn State when former All-American and Nittany Lion alumni Matt Millen introduced O'Brien for the Football Club's Collegiate coach of the Year Award. Millen said no other college coach in the country ever received the award with four losses on his resume, but what O'Brien had to overcome made him more than qualified for the honor.

O'Brien was welcomed by a standing ovation and the head coach went through thanking the athletic department, his wife, the assistant coaches, trainers and players. A highlight video of O'Brien's rookie head coaching year at Penn State played and teammates and coaches laughed when the video mentioned O'Brien taking over coaching “a somewhat erratic quarterback Matt McGloin.”

McGloin laughed and quarterbacks coach Charlie Fisher did too. O'Brien's voice grew louder as his five-minute speech went on, ending the evening with one last point of emphasis.

“All the credit goes to these players,” O'Brien said. “To all the people outside Penn State that think it can't be done look around you at this crowd of guys right here. I'm telling you it's going to get done.”

TOPICS: Education; Miscellaneous; Sports
KEYWORDS: joe; pa; psu
31 out of 31 PSU seniors either have graduated already or will graduate in May. A handful of those will leave with graduate degrees as well.
1 posted on 03/02/2013 8:35:43 AM PST by FlJoePa
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To: FlJoePa

2012 turned out to be a special season, and stickin’ with Ficken paid off big in OT against Wisconsin. O’Brien carried a heavy load and deserves the honor.

2 posted on 03/02/2013 10:08:57 AM PST by ntnychik
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To: ntnychik

Those seniors deserve every accolade they receive as well. They obviously aren’t the “cut and run” or “woe is me” types. Whoever hires them in the future will be doing themselves and their organization a big favor.

3 posted on 03/02/2013 11:01:02 AM PST by FlJoePa ("Success without honor is an unseasoned dish; it will satisfy your hunger, but it won't taste good")
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To: FlJoePa
I thought O'Brien fully deserved to win coach of the year award, every last one that was given out in NCAA football. What he did was extraordinary.

Glad to see he got this one.

4 posted on 03/02/2013 11:05:46 AM PST by Lakeshark (!)
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To: FlJoePa

Good story till they had to mention Millen......31-81 record as Detroit Lions CEO for 7 years.

5 posted on 03/02/2013 11:10:52 AM PST by Hot Tabasco (God bless you Tommy and thank you for your service:
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To: Lakeshark

I have to disagree a bit on all the coach of the year awards. If he had beaten Ohio and UVA, I’d be on board though. That said, he seems like he “gets it” and that “Success with Honor” will continue. That means more to me than records or awards.

6 posted on 03/02/2013 1:00:50 PM PST by FlJoePa ("Success without honor is an unseasoned dish; it will satisfy your hunger, but it won't taste good")
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