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American Athletic Conference Men’s Basketball Weekly Honors


Martins Igbanu Tulsa Hurricane

Caleb Mills Houston Cougars


PROVIDENCE, R.I.—The American Athletic Conference announced its weekly men’s basketball honors for Jan. 27.

Martins Igbanu, Sr., F, Tulsa
Igbanu averaged 19.5 points and 8.0 rebounds in a pair of wins for the first-place Golden Hurricane. The senior recorded a big double-double of 28 points and 10 boards in an overtime win over UConn.

Caleb Mills, G, Houston
Mills averaged 15.0 points and 2.5 rebounds in two wins for the Cougars last week. The freshman guard scored 20 points in a comeback win over UConn.


Jarron Cumberland, Sr., G, Cincinnati
Cumberland scored 22 points and dished out six assists in the Bearcats’ win at Temple.

Jayden Gardner, So., F, ECU
Gardner averaged 22.5 points and 11.0 rebounds in a 1-1 week for the Pirates.

DeJon Jarreau, Jr., G, Houston
Jarreau averaged 15.0 points, 7.5 rebounds and 7.0 assists in a pair of wins for the Cougars.

Kendric Davis, So., G, SMU
Davis averaged 17.5 points, 7.0 assists and 4.0 rebounds in two wins for the Mustangs.

Dexter Dennis, So., G, Wichita State
In a pair of wins for the Shockers, Dennis averaged 15.0 points and 8.0 rebounds.




Daily Almanac for Friday, January 31, 2020: Goodbye January, Hello February




















NFL returning to Mexico for Games in 2020 and 2021

Azteca Stadium , 2017 photo By Carlos Valenzuela - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https

Building on the tremendous success of NFL games in Mexico, the league will return to Mexico for one game in each of the 2020 and 2021 seasons at Estadio Azteca in Mexico City, NFL Commissioner ROGER GOODELL announced today at his press conference in Miami in advance of Super Bowl LIV.

The date and time of the 2020 Mexico City game, along with the details of the NFL’s 2020 London games, will be determined in conjunction with the release of the NFL schedule this spring.  The continued success and growth of the NFL’s Mexico initiative is further testament to the league’s commitment to growing the game beyond the borders of the United States.

A look at the previous regular-season games played in Mexico:​

Date Opponents & Score Attendance
November 18, 2019 Kansas City 24, Los Angeles Chargers 17 76,252
November 19, 2017 New England 33, Oakland 8 77,357
November 21, 2016 Houston 20, Oakland 27 76,473*
October 2, 2005 San Francisco 14, Arizona 31 103,467**

* first Monday Night Football game to be played outside the U.S.

** first regular season game to be played outside the U.S.




Chargers legend Donnie Edwards named NFL, USAA 2019 recipient of Salute to Service Award

Donnie Edwards at the Expeditionary Medical Force hospital in Kuwait, 2007 photo, By Kelly, Public Domain, https

Edwards’ commitment to supporting U.S. military members, veterans and their families to be recognized at NFL Honors in Miami

The NFL and USAA, an Official NFL Salute to Service Partner, named Los Angeles Chargers Legend DONNIE EDWARDS as the recipient of the 2019 Salute to Service Award presented by USAA. The award was created to acknowledge the exceptional efforts by members of the NFL community to honor and support members of the military community.

Edwards will be recognized at NFL Honors, a two-hour primetime awards special to air nationally on Feb. 1, the eve of Super Bowl LIV, at 8 PM (ET and PT) on FOX. NFL Honors will be taped earlier that evening at the Adrienne Arsht Center in Miami. USAA, a leading provider of insurance and other services to U.S. military members, veterans and their families, will contribute $25,000 in Edwards’ honor to the official aid societies representing all five military branches. The NFL will match USAA’s donation of $25,000, which will be donated to the Edwards’ military charity of choice.

“Inspired by his grandfather’s service in WWII, Donnie has exhibited true appreciation for the sacrifices of WWII veterans and those currently serving overseas,” said Vice Admiral (Ret.) JOHN BIRD, USAA Senior Vice President of Military Affairs. “In honor of his very admirable work with those in the greatest generation, USAA is proud to honor Donnie Edwards as the recipient of this year’s ‘Salute to Service Award presented by USAA.’”

In five seasons with the Chargers, Edwards was twice voted All-Pro at linebacker and, at the time of his retirement, was one of only eight players in NFL history to record at least 20 career interceptions and 20 career sacks. As passionate off the field as he was on the gridiron, community involvement quickly became a staple of Edwards’ career. In 2002, he founded the Best Defense Foundation to help support two of his passions: youth outreach and military programs.

“I’m honored to be the recipient of the Salute of Service Award for my work with the military,” Edwards said. “It means so much to me to continue the legacy of my grandfather, Maximino, by honoring the ones who defended – and continue to defend – freedom.”

On the youth front, Edwards’ foundation supported and funded numerous programs through organizations such as Boy Scouts of America, Boys & Girls Clubs of America and Read Across America that educated youth on nutrition and fitness. In addition, Best Defense Foundation also made a $40,000 donation to construct a new weight room at his alma mater, Chula Vista High School.

Edwards’ commitment to providing a positive influence in a child’s life is only matched by his admiration for, and advocacy on behalf of, active military members and veterans. Deeply personal, his passionate support for the military was born out of family ties – Edwards’ grandfather served in World War II and survived the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.  Growing up being a part of a military family fueled his interest in military history, taught him first-hand what sacrifices veterans, servicemembers and their families endure, and motivated him to educate others on paying respect to servicemembers as well as how to honor those who gave up their lives to fight for our freedom.

“My grandfather was the inspiration to start the Best Defense Foundation,” Edwards said. “His service and sacrifice to our country has always pushed me to pay tribute and give gratitude to those who protect our way of life. He always used to tell me that I have a tremendous amount of opportunity and freedom by being born in this great nation. I now want to use my platform to serve and give back to our active military personnel and veterans.”

Edwards’ gratitude for servicemen and women spurred him to participate in nine USO tours and one Armed Forces Entertainment Tour to help boost morale for troops overseas. He joined the 101st Airborne 506 E-Company Paratroopers – a group of military historians who participate in combat reenactments both in the United Stated and abroad – and has traveled extensively to Europe and Asia to tour numerous WWII sites. Ultimately, his experience in the reenactments and travel abroad pushed him to concentrate on the military component to his Foundation. Nearly 20 years later, the Best Defense Foundation now solely focuses on raising funds to take World War II and Vietnam Veterans back to their battlefields and memorials in an effort to help them make peace and pay respect to fallen soldiers who never received the opportunity to live a full life.

“It’s been really rewarding for me. I’ve been taking back veterans for about 14 years and I’ve done over 33 programs around the world – from Berchtesgaden, Germany to the beaches of Iwo Jima, and everything in between,” said Edwards.

In February 2019, Edwards went to Japan on an NFL-USO Tour to watch the Super Bowl with the troops in Okinawa. Like Normandy, he took seven Iwo Jima survivors back to the islands earlier this year. Later that year, to commemorate the 75th anniversary of D-Day, Edwards took 16 veterans and a nurse who served in World War II on a 10-day trip to the shores of Normandy in Northern France.

Back home, Edwards has worked with the Chargers organization – whose late owner Alex G. Spanos was a WWII veteran himself and made military support a cornerstone of the team’s philanthropic efforts – to honor WWII veterans during special ceremonies at LA’s annual Salute to Service game each November.

At the end of the day, Edwards credits the game of football for giving him the platform to do so much for those who served.

“There’s nothing more rewarding than taking veterans back to where they left their blood, sweat and tears to preserve the freedoms we enjoy,” Edwards said. “I do this to honor my grandfather and his legacy. Growing up, he took care of me, and now I’m taking care of the men like him who sacrificed so much for our country. There’s a reason our motto is, ‘Taking care of the ones who took care of us.’”

The Salute to Service Award is part of the NFL and USAA’s year-round commitment to recognize and honor the military community. In October 2019, 32 NFL clubs nominated coaches, active and retired players, and team executives and personnel, who best demonstrated support for the military community. These nominees were publicly announced in November and the submissions were evaluated by a panel of judges, including last year’s award recipient, former Atlanta Falcons and current San Francisco 49ers guard BEN GARLAND. Nominees’ credentials are evaluated based on the positive effect of the individual’s efforts on the military community, the type of service conducted, the thoroughness of the program and level of commitment.

The panel of judges, consisting of representatives from the U.S. military, the NFL and USAA, includes:

  • VICE ADMIRAL JOHN BIRD (Ret.), U.S. Navy veteran, USAA Senior Vice President of Military Affairs
  • CHAD HENNINGS, Air Force Academy graduate, three-time Super Bowl champion
  • BEN GARLAND, San Francisco 49ers guard and 2018 Salute to Service Award recipient
  • JIM MORA, SR., Marine Corps veteran, former NFL head coach
  • VINCENT JACKSON, Former NFL player & 2015 Salute to Service Award recipient
  • LENNY BANDY, U.S. Marine Corps Veteran and NFL Vice President of Security

Below is the list of previous Salute to Service Award recipients:

2018 Ben Garland Atlanta Falcons
2017 Andre Roberts Atlanta Falcons
2016 Dan Quinn (Head Coach) Atlanta Falcons
2015 Vincent Jackson Tampa Bay Buccaneers
2014 Jared Allen Chicago Bears
2013 John Harbaugh (Head Coach) Baltimore Ravens
2012 Charles Tillman Chicago Bears
2011 K.S. “Bud” Adams Jr. (Late Owner) Tennessee Titans


The Salute to Service Award presented by USAA is part of the NFL and USAA’s year-round commitment to recognize and honor the military community. To read about all 32 nominees, visit

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About USAA

The USAA family of companies provides insurance, banking, investments, retirement products and advice to more than 13 million current and former members of the U.S. military and their families. Known for its legendary commitment to its members, USAA is consistently recognized for outstanding service, employee well-being and financial strength. USAA membership is open to all who are serving our nation in the U.S. military or have received a discharge type of Honorable – and their eligible family members. Founded in 1922, USAA is headquartered in San Antonio. For more information about USAA, follow us on Facebook or Twitter (@USAA), or visit


PRESS RELEASE WRITTEN BY Jordyn White, NFL; Michael Pernal, 160over90 (for USAA); COURTESY


2019 Don Shula NFL High School Coach of the Year is Matt Land of Dalton, Georgia High School

Matt Land ((courtesy Dalton Public Schools)

The NFL announced head football coach MATT LAND of Dalton High School in Dalton, GA, as the 2019 Don Shula NFL High School Coach of the Year.

The award, named for the winningest coach in NFL history, was created to honor exemplary high school football coaches for their character and integrity, leadership and dedication to the community, commitment to player health and safety and on-field success.

“We are incredibly proud of Coach Land for how he has represented his family, school, and the great state of Georgia – he truly is deserving of being named the Don Shula Coach of the Year,” said Atlanta Falcons owner and chairman ARTHUR M. BLANK. “Coach Land’s commitment to his players and community over the last 10 years is a genuine reflection of his character and further demonstrates the life skills taught in and through football by coaches like him make an impact far beyond gameday.”

Nominees for the Don Shula Award from all 32 clubs were invited and recognized in special ways during the NFL’s week-long celebration of football at the Pro Bowl in Orlando. Throughout the week, coaches received VIP access at various events such as Pro Bowl practices, the Play Football High School Skills Showdown and Pro Bowl, where they were able to engage with fellow nominees and members of the football community.

“Just to be mentioned in the phrase Don Shula is an honor in itself,” said 2019 Don Shula NFL High School Coach of the Year MATT LAND. “I think just the recognition of what the award stands for–it stands for integrity, achievement and making a difference in your community. That’s why I coach. I love wins. I love championships, but at the end of the day, I want to see kids’ lives changed. I thank God that this is the way that he lets me do it.”

Coach Land became a member of the Dalton High School family more than 25 years ago. A graduate of the 1988 class, he was a part of three football sub region championships, a 34-4-1 record, and was voted captain his senior year. Coach Land walked on at Auburn University as a defensive back, spending four years as a player, and one year as a student assistant coach to the defense. Not only a letter winner, he won the Eddie Welch Attitude and Effort Award in 1991. Upon college graduation, he returned to Dalton to work in a family business and become a community coach, being one of the first five in the state. He has coached at Dalton High School since then and has had more than 20 players who have gone on to play at the collegiate level.

Coach Land will receive $15,000 from the NFL Foundation, $10,000 of which will go to his high school’s football program. He will additionally attend Super Bowl LIV in Miami and walk the red carpet at NFL Honors, a two-hour primetime awards special to air nationally on February 1 on FOX, the night before Super Bowl LIV.

This year’s runner-up was Minnesota Vikings nominee LAMBERT BROWN of Wayzata High School in Plymouth, Minnesota. Brown will also receive $15,000 from the NFL Foundation, $10,000 of which will go to his high school’s football program. He will additionally attend Super Bowl LIV in Miami a special guest of the NFL.

The Don Shula NFL High School Coach of the Year winner was selected by a panel of distinguished individuals:


  • ​Pro Football Hall of Fame President DAVID BAKER
  • Former Dallas Cowboys Personnel Director and contributor GIL BRANDT
  • Super Bowl XLIV winner and NFL Legends Youth Advisory Committee Member MARK BRUNELL
  • Pro Football Hall of Fame coach and current NBC analyst TONY DUNGY
  • Executive Director of USA Football SCOTT HALLENBECK
  • 3-time Super Bowl Champion (XXXVI, XXXVIII, XXXIX) and NFL Legends Youth Advisory Committee Member WILLIE MCGINEST
  • 2x AP NFL Comeback Player of the Year, current head coach at the Sayre School (Lexington, Kentucky) and NFL Legends Youth Advisory Committee Member CHAD PENNINGTON
  • Pro Football Hall of Famer, Coach DON SHULA – the winningest coach in NFL history
  • Aplington-Parkersburg High School Principal AARON THOMAS, son of the school’s late football coach, Ed Thomas​



Year Winner School Nominated by Ref
2010 Ray Seals Madison (TX) Houston Texans [5]
2011 John McKissick Summerville (SC) Carolina Panthers [6]
2012 Steve Specht St. Xavier (OH) Seattle Seahawks [7]
2013 Mike Grant Eden Prairie (MN) Minnesota Vikings [8]
2014 Bruce Larson Somerset (WI) Green Bay Packers [9]
2015 Michael Burnett Tuscarora (VA) Washington Redskins [10]
2016 Randy Allen Highland Park (TX) Dallas Cowboys [11]
2017 Robert Garrett Crenshaw (CA) Los Angeles Chargers [12]
2018 Gabe Infante St. Joseph’s (PA) Philadelphia Eagles [13]

Distinguished alumni from Dalton, Georgia High School includes:

Notable alumni (from Wikipedia commons)


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About The NFL Foundation: The National Football League Foundation is a non-profit organization dedicated to improving the lives of those touched by the game of football – from players at all levels to communities across the country. The NFL Foundation represents the 32 NFL clubs and supports the health, safety and wellness of athletes, youth football, and the communities that support our game. For more information on The NFL Foundation, visit:

About Play Football: Play Football is a year-round initiative celebrating youth and high school football. Play Football works to shape the football experience, promote football values and connect football communities. For more information, featured football stories, best practices and resources aimed to create a positive playing experience, please visit Join the conversation on social media using #PlayFootball.




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