SOURCE: Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation

Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation

August 22, 2011 12:00 ET

Football Legends Lou Holtz, Doug Flutie and Lynn Swann Announced as Co-Chairs of the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation National Football Coin Toss

"For a twenty-one year old fresh out of college, broadcasting Big Ten games was like a dream." - Ronald Reagan, An American Life - Autobiography

SIMI VALLEY, CA--(Marketwire - Aug 22, 2011) - Today the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation announced that three football legends -- College Football Hall of Famer Lou Holtz; Boston College and NFL quarterback Doug Flutie; and four-time Super Bowl Champion and MVP Lynn Swann -- will serve as Co-Chairs of the Ronald Reagan Centennial National Football Coin Toss.

This event is part of the Ronald Reagan Centennial Celebration, a historic, year-long tribute to honor the 100th birthday of America's 40th President. It is sponsored by the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation.

In honor of President Reagan's 100th birthday, 32 NFL teams, 120 NCAA D1 football teams, all NAIA (National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics) teams, and nearly 14,000 high school teams will be invited to flip a Ronald Reagan Centennial Commemorative Coin at the start of each game played the weekend of September 23-26, 2011.

Already, over 60 major universities such as the University of Alabama, University of Southern California and the University of Texas have signed up to participate that weekend. Schools from coast to coast and nearly every state will toss the Reagan Centennial Coin that weekend.

President Reagan played high school football in Illinois, started his career as a radio college football 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).

"The National Football Coin Toss celebrates the values that football teaches such as leadership, teamwork, and drive, which Ronald Reagan embraced and exemplified throughout his life," said Stewart McLaurin, Executive Director of the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation's Centennial Celebration. "We are so honored that Coach Lou Holtz, Doug Flutie, and Lynn Swann will join with us to spearhead this historic commemoration."

"If all my players had the heart and the drive on the field that the Gipper showed in the Oval Office, we would have won every game," said College Football Hall of Famer Lou Holtz. "I want to encourage every football organization in the United States to stand together and honor the legacy of this great American, Ronald Reagan. We all could learn a thing or two from his example."

"Ronald Reagan was the quintessential underdog," said Boston College and NFL Quarterback Doug Flutie. "Those that underestimated him did so at their own peril. I am honored to be a part of this historic occasion."

"I admire Ronald Reagan for his dedication and commitment to his country," said four-time Super Bowl Champion and MVP Lynn Swann. "As a successful actor, Ronald Reagan could have coasted through life with wealth and fame. Instead he chose to lead, help, volunteer and sacrifice his time as Governor of California and President of the United States of America. We can do more if we all give our time to what we believe in."

As part of the Coin Toss ceremony there will be a:

  • Loudspeaker announcement honoring the Centennial birth of Ronald Reagan;
  • Reagan Football Tribute Video shown on stadium jumbo screens; and an
  • Opportunity for teams to select an Honorary Captain to flip the Ronald Reagan Centennial Coin at the start of the game.

Honorary Captains exemplify the values held by the organization. This role would be ideal for a member of the US Armed Forces, government official, former athlete or other respected friend of the team. This, combined with the video and broadcast-box tribute from the football announcers, will enhance pre-game excitement for the athletes and fans.

For more information on how your program can participate in the Ronald Reagan Centennial Commemorative Coin Flip, please visit

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 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�XyZnpAagzA.

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, 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:
    Melissa Giller

    Robert Bauer

    Jon Show