Leader Blues

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

SPORTS>>Touchdown Club announces 2008 slate of speakers

The Little Rock Touchdown Club has announced its 2008 list of guest speakers. Former Dallas Cowboy player and coach Dan Reeves leads things off on Monday.

Reeves is a certain future Hall of Fame inductee with a record-setting nine Super Bowl appearances as a player, assistant, and head coach. Reeves played in two Super Bowls with the Dallas Cowboys under Tom Landry, winning in 1971.

He coached in three Super Bowls as an assistant under Landry, winning in 1977. As head coach of the Denver Broncos, he coached Hall of Fame QB John Elway to three Super Bowls. He then led the Atlanta Falcons to their first Super Bowl appearance in franchise history in 1999.

No player or coach has appeared in more combined Super Bowls than Dan Reeves. He is currently the color analyst for Westwood One which broadcasts an NFL game of the week.

Sept 2 – Chris Mortenson

Mortenson is ESPN’s award-winning journalist and one of the most respected and accomplished reporters covering the NFL.

Mortenson provides television reports for ESPN’s Sunday NFL Countdown, Monday Night Countdown, SportsCenter, ESPN Radio, and ESPN.com. Previously he served as an NFL columnist for The Sporting News and as a contributing writer for Sport magazine. His son Alex currently plays QB for Arkansas.

Sept. 8 - Gino Torretta

Torretta won the Heisman Trophy in 1992 as quarterback for the Miami Hurricane. He also played on the 1989 & 1991 National Champion Hurricane teams. During his senior season, the 6’3 205 lb. Torretta passed for 3,000 yards and captured the Johnny Unitas Award, the Davey O’Brien Award, the Maxwell Award, and the Heisman.

His record as a starting QB was 26-1. He is the CEO of Touchdown Radio broadcasting and will be providing color analysis of the Arkansas vs. Texas game in Austin, Tex. He is the first Heisman trophy winner to appear at the Little Rock Touchdown Club.

Sept. 15 – Major Ogilvie

Ogilvie is an Alabama Crimson Tide football hero who led the team to two National Championships as running back under the legendary Bear Bryant, including an MVP performance against Arkansas in the 1979 Sugar Bowl and a 1981 Cotton Bowl MVP game against Baylor.

His four-year record at Alabama was 44-4 with national championships in 1978 and 1979. A winner even in high school, his last two years at Mountain Brook High in Alabama, he was 27-0 with two state championships and a No. 1 national high school ranking. Over his final six years of playing football, his teams had a combined record of 71-4, with a combined four national and state championships. He currently works for Block USA in Alabama, which also operates a manufacturing facility in Little Rock.

Oct. 6 – Pat Dye

Dye, a Little Rock Touchdown Club favorite from his 2006 visit, is the former Auburn Tiger head coach and SEC veteran. He was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2005.

His career record as a head coach was 153-62-5 (70.7 percent) including 99-34-4 at Auburn. He won four SEC titles and became only the fourth coach in SEC history to win three straight SEC titles (1987-89).

He coached Heisman winner Bo Jackson from 1982-85, was named SEC coach of the year in 1983, 1987, and 1988, and served as Auburn’s athletic director from 1981-1992. In 2005 he had the playing surface at Jordan-Hare Stadium named in his honor.

Oct. 13 – Grant Teaff

Teaff, a College Football Hall of Fame inductee in 2001, is considered by many to be the greatest coach in the history of Baylor University. Since 1993 he has served as the executive director of the American Football Coaches Association, an organization representing the thousands of college football coaches across the country and is often consulted by the NCAA and media regarding rule changes and developments that take place in college football.

Baylor had been 7-43-1 the five years before Teaff arrived in 1972. By 1974, he was named coach of the year, with the Bears winning eight games and the SWC Championship for the first time since 1924, and defeating Texas for the first time in 17 years.

Oct. 20 – Pete Cordelli

Cordelli is a color analyst for the Ole Miss Rebel football and basketball network. He a former assistant coach under Lou Holtz.

His coaching stops included Arkansas, Minnesota, Notre Dame, TCU, Memphis St., Kent St., and Western Michigan. He also served as a scout for the Dallas Cowboys.

Oct. 27 – Ivan Maisel

Maisel is an award-winning and nationally recognized senior writer for ESPN.com. In addition to covering college football for the ESPN Website, he also contributes to ESPN’s SportsCenter, ESPNEWS, ESPN Radio, and ESPN The Magazine.

Maisel served as a senior sportswriter for Sports Illus-trated and CNNSI.com for five years. He has also covered college sports for Newsday, Dallas Morning News, and the Sporting News. His 22 years on the national college football beat is the longest uninterrupted tenure of any writer in the country.

He has written several books including “The Maisel Report: The Most Overrated and Underrated Players, Coaches, Games, Stadiums, and Traditions in College Football” which will be released this fall. During the past two years he has done extensive stories on the University of Arkansas football program.

Nov. 3 – Gus Malzahn

Malzahn is a native Arkansan who currently serves as the offensive coordinator at the University of Tulsa. During Malzahn’s first year at Tulsa last season, the Golden Hurricanes had the No. 1 ranked offense in the country in total yards per game.

Tulsa also became the first team in NCAA history to have a 5,000-yard passer, 1,000-yard rusher and three 1,000-yard receivers.

In 2006, as offensive coordinator of the University of Arkansas, Malzahn helped lead the Razorbacks to the SEC Western Division championship. As a high school coach he won three state titles including an undefeated 14-0 season and a top ten national ranking at Springdale High School.

Nov. 10 – Razorback assistant coach to be announced.