TALLAHASSEE, Florida – FSU legend Warrick Dunn has been named one of six NCAA Silver Anniversary Award recipients, it was announced on Tuesday. He is the first recipient of the Silver Anniversary Award from the State of Florida.
The Silver Anniversary Award, which was first presented in 1973, annually recognizes distinguished personalities on the 25th anniversary of the end of their university sports career. Representatives from NCAA member schools and conferences, as well as a panel of former student-athletes, select each year’s recipients.
Dunn was a star of two sports at Florida State, winning All-America honors on the football field and in the Seminoles 4×100-meter relay on the track. He appeared in 41 games and ran 575 times for 3,959 yards and 37 touchdowns while adding 132 receptions for 1,314 yards and 12 touchdowns. Playing at a time before bowl game stats counted toward career totals, Dunn became the first player in program history to run for 1,000 yards in three different seasons and left FSU as as the program’s career rushing yardage record holder.
He still holds program records with 22 career 100-yard rushing games, including a six-game 100-yard streak in 1995, averaging 7.5 yards per carry in a single season from 1995 and a career average of 6.9 yards per rush. He is the FSU’s all-time second in career rushing yards while his career rushing touchdowns are third in program history. He broke the program’s single-season running record with 1,242 yards in 1995 and followed with 1,180 yards, the third-highest total in program history at the time and still the record for school for rushing yards by a senior, in 1996. He earned Freshman All-America Recognition in 1993 while helping Florida State win its first National Championship and was a first All-American team in 1996 while FSU played for another national title. He was selected three times to the All-ACC First Team and was named Sugar Bowl MVP after the 1994 season after registering 182 total attacking yards, showing his versatility in rushing 58 yards, completing a pass touchdown from 73 yards and grabbing nine receptions for 51 yards.
Dunn was selected 12th overall in the first round of the 1997 NFL Draft by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and spent 12 seasons in the NFL for the Bucs and Atlanta Falcons. He’s appeared in 181 games, including 15 or more in 10 of those seasons, and has run 2,669 times for 10,967 yards and 49 touchdowns and also has 510 receptions for 4,339 yards and 15 touchdowns. He retired with 15,306 versatile yards, 14th in NFL history at the time, and his 10,967 career rushing yards were 19th on the NFL all-time list. His 4,986 rushing yards and 4.0 yards per carry average with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers still rank third in franchise history, while his 19 rushing touchdowns for the Bucs still rank in the top spot. Ranked seventh in franchise history 13 seasons after the end of his career. He still sits third in Atlanta Falcons history with an average of 4.2 yards per carry, fourth in franchise history with 5,981 rushing yards and tied for sixth with 30 touchdowns. on the ground for the franchise. He has been a three-time Pro Bowl shortlist, 2004 Walter Payton of the Year Award winner, 2009 Bart Starr Award winner, 2010 Heisman Humanitarian Award winner and 2011 Jefferson Humanitarian Award for Public Service winner. named NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year in 1997 and was selected for the Pro Bowl during his rookie campaign. Dunn became the minority owner of the Atlanta Falcons in March 2010 and was inducted into the Falcons Ring of Honor in 2017. He was nominated to the Professional Football Hall of Fame in 2021.
Off the pitch, Dunn’s impact has been immeasurable. He created his Homes for the Holidays program in 1997, which is Warrick Dunn Charities’ flagship program. This initiative provided single-parent families with furnishing and down payment assistance for new homes. The program has helped 199 families realize their dream of home ownership. Warrick Dunn Charities also created the Count on Your Future program in 2014 to teach families how to achieve economic empowerment, the Hearts for Community scholarship program which offers needs-based financial rewards to support students who are active volunteers. in their community, and sculpture workshops that teach families the importance of healthy food choices and how to eat healthy on a budget. In 2007, he joined Andre Agassi, Muhammad Ali, Jeff Gordon, Mia Hamm, Tony Hawk, Andrea Jaeger, Jackie Joyner-Kersee, Mario Lemieux, Alonzo Mourning and Cal Ripken, Jr., to found Athletes for Hope. He received the Giant Steps Award from former President Bill Clinton.
In addition to Dunn, other Silver Anniversary Award recipients are Maiya Anderson, Air Force swimmer, Tim Duncan, Cmdr. Matthew Humphreys, a swimmer from UC Santa Cruz, Katie King Crowley, an ice hockey and softball player in Brown, and Tina Thompson of USC women’s basketball.
The NCAA will honor this year’s winners on Jan. 19 during the Honors Celebration at the 2022 NCAA Convention in Indianapolis. The awards ceremony will be broadcast on the NCAA’s Twitter account.
* Press release courtesy of Florida State Athletics
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