ABOUT THE TROPHY
While researching for a series of articles on college football awards in 2000, retired San Francisco Examiner sportswriter Syd Russell interviewed former Nebraska center Dave Rimington about being the only two-time winner of the Outland Trophy.
During the discussion, Russell noted that there was a college football award for every position except center – and it was then that the idea for the Rimington Trophy was born.
Russell’s argument for naming the Trophy after Rimington was simple: look at his credentials. In addition to winning the prestigious Outland Trophy in consecutive years, he was named a first-team All-American center in 1981 and 1982. In his final year with Nebraska, he was named the Big Eight Conference “Offensive Player of the Year” and would later see his jersey retired among Cornhusker legends at Memorial Stadium.
Russell and Rimington presented the idea to Boomer Esiason, Rimington’s former Bengal teammate and longtime friend. They suggested that the Boomer Esiason Foundation sponsor the Trophy, which would be awarded to Division I-A college football’s most outstanding center.
The relationship between the Boomer Esiason Foundation and the Trophy was a perfect fit. Esiason and Rimington had remained close friends since they played together with the Bengals – with Rimington eventually becoming the President of BEF, the Foundation founded after Esiason’s son, Gunnar, was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis in 1993.
The Rimington Trophy, now well over 15 years old, has played a major role in raising money to support the CF community and is essential in honoring one of the most pivotal roles on the football field.
ABOUT DAVE RIMINGTON
Dave Rimington has served with the Boomer Esiason Foundation since 1993 and has been President since 1995. Dave and Boomer played football together for the Cincinnati Bengals.
Before joining the Boomer Esiason Foundation as President, Dave lived and worked in Hong Kong in the Import-Export business. He also was a graduate assistant football coach at the University of Wisconsin, helping them win the Big 10 Championship and their first Rose Bowl Championship ever. In 1992 he received a master's degree in international business. While at Wisconsin, Dave was a member of Beta Gamma Sigma National Honorary Business Fraternity.
Dave was a first round draft choice for the Bengals in 1983 and was their starting center from 1983 to 1988. He was the NFL All Rookie Team Center in 1983, and he received the NFL Edward Block Courage Award in 1986. He later played for the Philadelphia Eagles (1988 to 1990).
Dave received a bachelor of business administration degree in economics from the University of Nebraska. He was awarded many honors while in college, including: the Outland Trophy in 1981 and 1982 -- the only player in college football history to win this award twice; the Lombardi Trophy, 1982; All-American Center, 1981, 1982; N.C.A.A. Top Ten Student-Athletes, 1982; and N.C.A.A. Post Graduate Scholarship, 1982. In 1997, Dave was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame. In 2004, Dave was inducted into Co-SIDA's Academic All America Hall of Fame. Dave and his wife Lisa and their four children reside on Long Island. Dave Rimington is considered by many to be the best college lineman of all time.
His college career ended with an impressive list of achievements:
- Outland Trophy - 1981 & 1982, he is the only football player to win this award twice.
- The Lombardi Award - 1982
- Big Eight Offensive Player of the Year 1982
- Orange Bowl Offensive Player of the Game 1982
- Two-time All-American
- Three-time All-Conference
- Two-time Academic All-American
- Three-time Academic All-Conference
- NCAA Top Ten Student Athlete
- College Football Hall of Fame-1997.
- Academic All-American Hall of Fame 2004
THE TROPHY’S SCULPTOR
Over twenty years ago, in 1994, the quarterback of the NY Jets, Boomer Esiason, was honored with the March of Dimes Father and Child bronze award, an honor previously bestowed upon Arthur Ashe, Mickey Mantle, Tom Seaver, and Chris Evert. After speaking passionately about his son Gunnar’s diagnosis with cystic fibrosis and the work being done by the Boomer Esiason Foundation, Boomer was introduced to the creator and sculptor of the March of Dimes award, Marc Mellon.
Immediately after meeting Marc, Boomer presented his idea of having a new award made – and so, the BEF Most Valuable Player award began to take shape.
Marc Mellon is one of America’s premier figurative sculptors and no stranger to honoring achievements through his works. In the sports world, every NBA MVP since Larry Bird has been honored with the Maurice Podoloff Trophy, which Mellon sculpted 28 years ago. Mellon is also the sculptor of the WNBA MVP Trophy, The NCAA Centennial Sculpture, The NBA Twyman-Stokes Teammate of the Year Award, and several football awards including the Rimington Trophy, named for BEF President, Dave Rimington.
Mellon receives much of his inspiration from his wife, fellow sculptor Babette Bloch, and his two daughters, Julia and Rachel.