ORLANDO (release) -- Tennessee Women’s Basketball Head Coach Emeritus Pat Summitt was named the recipient of the 2012 Pop Warner Female Achievement Award Saturday night at the 52nd annual Pop Warner All-American Scholastic Banquet at Disney’s Yacht & Beach Club Resort.
Each year, Pop Warner Little Scholars, Inc., the nation’s largest and oldest youth football, cheer and dance organization, honors more than 9,000 of its young athletes as All-American Scholars and recognizes notable professional athletes and industry leaders who serve as role models for Pop Warner’s participants. Pop Warner grants an average of $110,000 in annual scholarships, and in 2012 will award its one-millionth scholarship dollar.
The Pop Warner Female Achievement Award is presented to a woman who has demonstrated remarkable strength of character and leadership to attain achievements in her life that inspire others. Summitt has coached her teams to the most victories in NCAA basketball history over her 38-year career, with a record of 1,098-208, and will be awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom next week. She is courageously battling early onset dementia - Alzheimer’s Type.
Other honorees included Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive tackle Gerald McCoy, who received the Pop Warner Inspiration to Youth Award; former New England Patriots offensive tackle Matt Light, who received the Pop Warner Humanitarian Award; and Executive Director of the National Football League Players Association (NFLPA) DeMaurice Smith, who received the organization’s most prestigious award, the Warner Award, named after Glenn S. “Pop” Warner.
“We are honored to recognize such a distinguished group of awardees at this year’s All-American Scholastic Banquet,” said Jon Butler, Executive Director of Pop Warner Little Scholars. “We are proud to share their inspirational stories and hard-earned accomplishments with the Pop Warner community and commend the lasting impact each individual has made on the sports industry.”
Also honored at this year’s banquet were inspirational speaker John O’Leary; and Science Cheerleader founder Darlene Cavalier, recipient of the Pop Warner Cheer Award. NFL Network Broadcaster and Tennessee graduate Charles Davis emceed the event.
Founded in 1929 and headquartered in Langhorne, PA, Pop Warner Little Scholars is the world’s largest youth football, cheerleading and dance organization and the only youth sports organization that emphasizes academics as a prerequisite for participation. Currently there are over 400,000 children in Pop Warner organizations in 43 states, Scotland, Germany, Russia, Japan and Mexico. The NFLPA estimates that 70% of all current NFL Players got their start in Pop Warner programs. For more information on Pop Warner and its programs visit www.popwarner.com, on Facebook or follow Pop Warner on Twitter at @Pop_Warner.