SOURCE: Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation

Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation

Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation

December 08, 2011 17:29 ET

The Army-Navy Football Game on December 10, 2011 Honors the 100th Birthday of President Reagan

WASHINGTON, DC--(Marketwire - Dec 8, 2011) - As the home team for the 112th Army-Navy Football game on December 10, 2011, the United States Naval Academy partners with the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation to honor 100 years since the birth of President Reagan by showing a video tribute to our nation's fortieth president and by tossing a Ronald Reagan Centennial Commemorative Coin prior to their game this Saturday. The two teams will join over 7,000 High School, College, and NFL football teams across America honoring the Ronald Reagan Centennial, a historic, year-long tribute sponsored by the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation.

"Ronald Reagan's belief and support of the military was steadfast," said Stewart McLaurin, Executive Director of the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation's Centennial Celebration. "We are extremely honored to have these two military teams recognize President Reagan's centennial in such a special way."

President Reagan played high school and college football in Illinois, started his career as a radio sports broadcaster, and played a number of iconic football roles in movies such as "Knute Rockne: All American," where he uttered the famous line, "Win one for the Gipper." In 1985, via live video feed from the Oval Office, he also flipped the coin to start Super Bowl XIX. (See below for more information on Ronald Reagan's football ties).

"Whether on the football field in High School and College, or behind the desk in the Oval Office, Ronald Reagan played to win," said T. Boone Pickens, Member of the Board of Trustees of the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation. "To him, leadership and good sportsmanship were instincts -- not choices. We could certainly use more of those values on and off the field today."

About Football and Ronald Reagan

Ronald Reagan was a guard for the North Dixon (Illinois) Dukes high school. He would later write in his memoirs that "filling out one of those purple and white jerseys became the noblest and most glamorous goal in my life." In college, he played guard and also punted for the Eureka College Red Devils.

In 1932, Ronald Reagan was a broadcaster for the University of Iowa Hawkeyes. Soon, he transferred to sister station WHO in Des Moines, Iowa, and was promoted to be a regular announcer for the station. He would later write, "for a twenty-one year old fresh out of college, broadcasting the Big Ten games was like a dream." Ronald Reagan recalled in his memoirs that one of his most memorable games during his college football announcing career was one in which Gerald Ford played center for the University of Michigan.

Ronald Reagan's first film was playing a radio announcer in "Love Is on the Air," which jumpstarted his acting career. In Hollywood, he played the role of Notre Dame legend George "The Gipper" Gipp in the film "Knute Rockne, All American" (1940); from it, he acquired the lifelong nickname, "The Gipper."
President Reagan taped a public service announcement about college football

In 1983, the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) bestowed upon President Reagan the prestigious Tuss McLaughry Award. The Tuss McLaughry Award, established in 1964, is given to a distinguished American (or Americans) for the highest distinction in service to others. It is named in honor of DeOrmond "Tuss" McLaughry, the first full-time secretary-treasurer of the AFCA and one of the most dedicated and influential members in the history of the Association.

In 1985, President Reagan flipped the coin for Super Bowl XIX via video from the White House

In 1987, President Reagan signed into law legislation that allowed the AFCA to set up a qualified pension plan. Then-president of AFCA, Lavell Edwards of Brigham Young University, called the signing, "One of the most significant events in the 65-year history of the Association."

In 1990 President Reagan received the Theodore Roosevelt Award, the National Collegiate Athletic Association's highest honor to recognize an individual for whom competitive athletics in college and attention to physical well-being thereafter have been important factors in a distinguished career of national significance and achievement.

Contact Information

  • Media Contacts:

    United States Naval Academy:
    Cmdr. Marks
    (410) 293-1521

    Reagan Foundation:
    Melissa Giller
    (805) 522-2977