Tucson High School Sports

Dick Tomey, Cleo Robinson to be Honored at NFF Southern Arizona Chapter Scholar-Athlete Awards Ceremony

Information from a press release provided by the Southern Arizona Chapter of the National Football Foundation.

The Southern Arizona Chapter of the National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame will recognize the life time achievements of former Arizona coach Dick Tomey and legendary sports referee Cleo Robinson at their 22nd Annual Scholar-Athlete Awards Luncheon next Saturday at the Doubletree Hotel at Reid Park.

Also to be honored at the luncheon are CORE Construction and Awards to Go, each of whom will receive the Outstanding Contribution to Amateur Football Award in recognition of the community effort they have made in supporting the mission statement of the Southern Arizona Chapter – building leaders through football.

Two College Football Hall of Famers — Tedy Bruschi on the left and Rob Waldrop — with former UA coach Dick Tomey. (Photo by Anthony Gimino, AllSportsTucson.com)

Tomey will receive the Southern Arizona Chapter’s prestigious Joe Kearney Leadership Award in recognition of his exceptional coaching career and life-long work mentoring young men and building leaders through his storied football programs.

Tomey began his football coaching career, in 1962, at Miami (Ohio) under the legendary Bo Schembechler and Johnny Pont. He also served under Howard Fletcher at Northern Illinois, Homer Smith at Davidson, Pepper Rodgers at Kansas and UCLA and Terry Donahue at UCLA. His head coaching career began at Hawaii in 1977. Ten years later, he became head coach at Arizona, where he would coach five future NFL first-round players, 20 All-Americans and 43 Pac -10 Conference first-team players. After stepping down at Arizona in 2000, he went on to coach and revive the football program at San Jose State.

Tomey, who is battling lung cancer, is only the fifth recipient of the Joe Kearney Leadership Award and joins prior recipients Vern Freidli, Howard Breinig, Larry Smith and Richard Sanchez.

Longtime Tucson-area referee Cleo Robinson is presently an instant replay official with the Pac-12 (Andy Morales/AllSportsTucson.com)

Robinson, the legendary collegiate and high school referee, will receive the Mike Lude President’s Award in recognition of his lifetime of service to the Southern Arizona amateur football community.

His officiating career began in 1978 with high school football and basketball. By 1985-86, h was officiating state championship football games and boys & girls basketball. That same year, he was appointed to officiate Pac-10 football games and Big Sky basketball, making him the only Arizona official working NCAA Division I games in two sports.

During his distinguished officiating career, he was assigned to 19 postseason bowl games, including three BCS bowls. He was named Arizona Official of the Year in 1998 and was inducted into the Pima County Sports Hall of Fame in 2016.

Former Arizona football standout Randy Robbins, now the athletic director at Casa Grande High School, will be the keynote speaker at next week’s NFF Scholar-Athlete Awards Ceremony.

Former Arizona and Denver Broncos star defensive back and current athletic director at Casa Grande High School, Randy Robbins, will be the keynote speaker at the luncheon. Robbins will address the 2019 National Football Foundation High School Scholar-Athlete Honorees who were recently announced:

  • Caden Wechsler, Sabino
  • Curtis Franks, Salpointe
  • Charles Mustain, Ironwood Ridge
  • Casey Way, Pusch Ridge
  • Ismael Ballesteros, Tucson
  • Thomas Lares, Salpointe
  • Thomas Webb Jr., Cienega
  • Jimmy Hamilton, Sabino
  • Trenton Bourguet, Marana
  • Wyatt Jeffries, Empire
  • Dominick Rodriguez, CDO
  • Diego Miranda, Marana
  • Malcolm Holland, University of Arizona

The selection of these 13 outstanding young men is based on stringent criteria focusing on academic scholarship, citizenship and athletic achievement. One of the 12 senior high school honorees will be nominated for the National Football Foundation National High School Scholar-Athlete Award to be presented in December 2019 in conjunction with the 62nd Annual National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame Induction Dinner in New York City.

For more information you may contact Rick Gonzales at rick72@aol.com or go to the Southern Arizona Chapter web site at www.facebook.com/NFFSoAZ The Southern Arizona Chapter of the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization.

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