The AFCA Names Brown Honorary Coach of the 2020 Allstate AFCA Good Works Team
In a release distributed by the West Virginia Athletics Communications Department the American Football Coaches Association announced today that West Virginia University head coach Neal Brown has been named honorary head coach of the 2020 Allstate AFCA Good Works Team for his leadership in the Morgantown community and his commitment to education, developing future leaders and giving back.
Brown is the first member of the WVU program to earn AFCA Good Works Team distinction since former wide receiver Tito Gonzales was named in 2008. The fifth overall Mountaineer named to the team, he, along with Gonzales, are joined by former center Eric de Groh (1995), defensive back David Mayfield (1994) and defensive end Mike Booth (1993).
Brown is frequently seen visiting WVU Medicine Children’s throughout the year, trying to brighten the day of many of the children and their families and is involved in numerous fundraising events for WVU Medicine. Being from a family of educators, he also has championed efforts around the state on behalf of education and the importance of reading.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, Brown worked with WVU Medicine and University officials and received help from his coaches, staff and players, in spreading the word on the importance of wearing a mask and staying socially distant and joining together as a community in an attempt to lessen the effects of the disease.
Since Brown’s arrival in 2019, the importance of community service and responsibility of being loyal to the state and Mountaineer Nation has been a constant with the WVU football program. He has implemented several student-athlete initiatives this year, to not only educate the players, but provide platforms and avenues for them to further their individual brand and their abilities outside of football.
One of his main initiatives was when he officially introduced a development plan for the student-athletes called the “Fifth Quarter” program to serve and develop total Mountaineers. It is an integral part of the student-athlete experience to position the players for success on the playing field and for life beyond graduation.
Additional information on the 2020 Allstate AFCA Good Works Team is included below.
As a time-honored tradition for the past 29 years, Allstate and the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) are recognizing 22 student-athletes and an honorary coach named to the 2020 Allstate AFCA Good Works Team® for stepping up to help those in need. Annually, Allstate partners with the AFCA to spotlight student-athletes whose remarkable stories often go unnoticed.
“With so many unexpected challenges this year, it’s inspiring to see this group of talented athletes use their voices and actions to make a difference in their communities,” said Pam Hollander, vice president of consumer marketing for Allstate. “Allstate believes that celebrating positive change creates vibrant and resilient communities and recognizing acts of kindness these players demonstrate is a vital part of our protection of college football and its traditions.”
Whether founding a nonprofit to combat poverty, providing food to families hit hardest by COVID-19, working with youth on important social issues like bullying or organizing their teammates to take a stand against racial injustice, the class of 2020 is led by a new wave of college football stars helping their communities.
“I’m excited to team up with Allstate and AFCA to recognize the powerful stories of these players and the incredible work they are doing," said Tim Tebow, two-time national champion and former Allstate AFCA Good Works Team member. “It’s truly an honor to call myself an alumnus of the Allstate AFCA Good Works Team and continue to highlight the amazing work these student-athletes do off-the-field.”
The final roster was chosen from 149 nominees. Eleven of the 22 players are from the NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision; 11 are from the NCAA Football Championship Subdivision, Divisions II, III, and the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics; and one honorary head coach.
The following players and honorary head coach have been selected to the 2020 Allstate AFCA Good Works Team:
Football Bowl Subdivision
Trevor Lawrence - Clemson
Rakavius Chambers - Duke
Trenton Gill - NC State
Chuba Hubbard - Oklahoma State
Tryejhorn Butler - Stanford
Elijah Hicks - California
Luke Fortner - Kentucky
Adam Shibley - Michigan
Teton Saltes - New Mexico
Chanse Sylvie - Oklahoma
Sam Ehlinger - Texas
Combined DIvisions (FCS, II, III, NAIA)
Mike Delich - Bethel University (MN)
Alexander Findura - Bloomburg Uiversity
Jacob Norris - Chadron State College
Tyler Bradfield - Grand Valley State University
DaShawn Simon - Howard University
Stephen Stokes - North Carolina Central University
Chris Backes - St Johns University (MN)
Jackson Ross - University of Chicago
Steven Spirakas - University of Rochester
Andrew Whitaker - Washington University in St Louis
Jace Neugebauer - William Penn University
Neal Brown - West Virginia University
The Allstate AFCA Good Works Team was selected by a voting panel that includes Tebow and an Allstate representative, along with: Matt Stinchcomb (Georgia, 1997, 1998 teams); Brian Brenberg (St. Thomas, 2001 team); Mike Proman (Amherst, 2002 team); Wes Counts (Middle Tennessee State, 1999 team); media members Blair Kerkhoff (Kansas City Star) and Paul Myerberg (USA Today); Gary Patterson (2020 AFCA president and Texas Christian University head coach); and Joe Taylor (2001 AFCA president and athletic director at Virginia Union University).
“This year has brought new meaning and purpose to the Allstate AFCA Good Works Team, and this group of 22 players has risen to these challenges to give back to their communities in tremendous ways," AFCA Executive Director Todd Berry said. “I am very proud of everything this honor represents for student-athletes and coaches and look forward to showcasing their incredible stories throughout the season.”
Throughout the season, fans can join the conversation using #GoodWorksTeam on their social media channels to learn more about these players and their stories.
About the Allstate AFCA Good Works Team
The Allstate AFCA Good Works Team was established in 1992 by the College Football Association to recognize extra efforts by players and student support staff off the field. AFCA became the governing body of the award in 1997 and continues to honor players who go the extra mile for those in need. Allstate became the presenting sponsor starting with the 2008 season.
Since the recognition program began, the SEC leads all conferences with 76 athletes, followed by the Atlantic Coast Conference with 46, and the Big 12 Conference with 38. Georgia is in first place with 20 honorees, followed by Kentucky with 16. Super Bowl XLII, XLVI and XLI champion quarterbacks Eli and Peyton Manning were members of the 2002 and 1997 Allstate AFCA Good Works Teams, respectively.
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