SOURCE: Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation

Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation

September 14, 2011 10:12 ET

University of Southern California to Be the First Football Team in America to Participate in the Ronald Reagan Centennial National Football Coin Toss

USC Football Legend Lynn Swann and Chairman of the Reagan Foundation Board of Trustees, USC Alumni Fred Ryan, to Toss the Reagan Centennial Coin

SIMI VALLEY, CA--(Marketwire - Sep 14, 2011) - This Saturday, September 17, the University of Southern California (USC) becomes first NFL, College, or High School Football Team in America to participate in the Reagan Centennial National Football Coin Toss. Four-time Super Bowl Champion and MVP Lynn Swann and the Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation Fred Ryan, both USC alumni, will toss the coin bearing President Reagan's image at a 5 PM Pacific Time game at the Coliseum. An image of the coin is included.

"I love football," said President Reagan at a November 23, 1990 speech at a USC luncheon hours before the Trojans played the Notre Dame Fighting Irish. "I play[ed] for eight years -- four in High School and four in College -- and I enjoyed every minute of it."

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, all NFL teams, NCAA D1 football teams, NAIA (National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics) teams, and nearly 14,000 high school teams have been invited to flip a Ronald Reagan Centennial Commemorative Coin at the start of each game played the weekend of September 23-26, 2011.

Over 80 other major universities such as the University of Alabama, University of Notre Dame, University of Michigan, and University of Texas have signed up to participate. Schools from coast to coast and nearly every state will toss the Reagan Centennial Coin. This Saturday, USC becomes the first.

"I am honored to be back at my alma mater, the site President Reagan chose to give his first Post-Presidential address, for this historic tribute to the 100th birthday of America's 40th President," said the Chairman of the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation Board of Trustees, Fred Ryan. "Just as USC was the first to welcome President Reagan back to California after his service to our country in the White House ended, today USC is the first of many professional, college, and high school football teams that will participate in the Reagan Centennial National Football Coin Toss. Fight On!"

President Reagan had a number of other ties to USC:

  • July 28, 1984 - President Reagan addressed the US Olympic Team at USC's Heritage Hall.
  • February 6, 1989 - Ronald Reagan gave his first post-Presidential address at USC.
  • November 23, 1990 - Ronald Reagan attended a USC scholarship luncheon in Los Angeles hours before the USC Trojans played the Notre Dame Fighting Irish and spoke about how much he "loved" College Football.
  • November 24, 1990 - The following day, President Reagan tossed a coin to begin the USC v. Notre Dame Football Game.
  • February 1 and 2, 2011 - USC held the first in a series of six Ronald Reagan Centennial Academic Symposia, hosted by Tom Brokaw.

"I admire Ronald Reagan for his dedication and commitment to his country, and am pleased to return to my alma mater," said USC alum and 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."

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.

For more information on how your program can participate in the Ronald Reagan Centennial Commemorative Coin Flip, please visit http://www.reagancentennial.com/#/Coin. For more on President Reagan and USC, click here: http://www.usc.edu/schools/sppd/events/reagan/reagan_and_usc.html

www.reagancentennial.com

Contact Information

  • Media Contact:
    Robert Bauer
    310-994-5280

    For USC Game Credentials:
    Tim Tessalone
    213-740-8480