The National Football Foundation (NFF) announced today that Florida State University broadcaster Gene Deckerhoff will be the recipient of the 2013 NFF Chris Schenkel Award. Presented annually since 1996, the award recognizes individuals who have had long, distinguished careers broadcasting college football with direct ties to a specific university.
"Gene Deckerhoff's broadcasting career with the Seminoles has spanned more than thirty years, and during this time, his voice has become synonymous with one of the greatest college football traditions in the country," said NFF President & CEO Steve Hatchell. "We are pleased to honor Gene with the Chris Schenkel Award as a tribute to all of his accomplishments."
Born in Jacksonville, Fla., Deckerhoff began his broadcasting career in 1964 as a weekend announcer at WWPF-AM in Palatka, Fla. His first sports assignment came the following summer when he served as an announcer for Palatka's 1965 Little League All-Star game. In 1966, Deckerhoff became an evening announcer at WGGG-AM in Gainesville, Fla., where he broadcasted local high school basketball games.
Deckerhoff's first football broadcast came six years later while working at WTRL-AM in Bradenton, Fla. He made his next stop in Tallahassee, joining WTNT-AM and becoming the basketball voice of Florida State in 1974. He added television to his broadcasting career in 1978, and a year later, he landed the FSU football play-by-play position as the "Voice of the Seminoles," a job that he holds to this day. In addition to serving as on-air talent for football, Deckerhoff continues his duties with FSU basketball. By 1989, his talents had earned him wide acclaim, and he began his current stint as the radio play-by-play announcer for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
During his three-decade career in Tallahassee, Deckerhoff has worked with some of Florida State's greatest coaches and athletes, including College Football Hall of Fame coach Bobby Bowden and Hall of Fame players Deion Sanders, Ron Simmons, and Charlie Ward. His time at Florida State has included two national championships ('93, '99), 13 Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) championships, two Heisman Trophy winners and countless legendary calls.
Deckerhoff has accepted the Florida Sportscaster of the Year Award an astounding 14 times from the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association. In addition to being inducted into the Florida Sports Hall of Fame in 2000 and the Florida State University Athletics Hall of Fame in 2002, Deckerhoff's many accolades include winning the '86 and '91 Silver Medal Award from the American Advertising Association for Florida State's weekly broadcast of "The Bobby Bowden Show."
Deckerhoff will accept the Schenkel Award December 10 alongside the recipients of the other NFF Major Awards, including Oklahoma Athletics Director Joe Castiglione (The NFF John L. Toner Award for excellence in athletics administration), NCAA Vice President Dennie Poppe (The NFF Outstanding Contribution to Amateur Football Award) and the yet-to-be announced winners of the NFF Distinguished American Award and the NFF Gold Medal.
In addition to the presentation of the NFF Major Awards, the 56th NFF Annual Awards Dinner will provide the stage for the induction of the 2013 College Football Hall of Fame Class from the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS); the presentation of the 2013 NFF National Scholar-Athlete Awards; and the bestowing of the 24th NFF William V. Campbell Trophy to the nation's top scholar-athlete.
This year's College Football Hall of Fame FBS Class includes: Ted Brown (North Carolina State), Teddy Bruschi (Arizona), Ron Dayne (Wisconsin), Tommie Frazier (Nebraska), Jerry Gray (Texas), Steve Meilinger (Kentucky), Orlando Pace (Ohio State), the late Rod Shoate (Oklahoma), Percy Snow (Michigan State), Vinny Testaverde (Miami, Fla.), Don Trull (Baylor), Danny Wuerffel (Florida) and coaches Wayne Hardin (Navy, Temple) and Bill McCartney (Colorado). The 2013 NFF National Scholar-Athlete Class will be announced on Oct. 31, and the winner of the Campbell Trophy will be announced live at the event on Dec. 10.