Tucson Historic Sports Venues and Artifacts: The Thom McAn Trophy was unique

The Thom McAn Bronzed cleat awarded to Tucson High center Jay Caldwell in 1961. (Andy Morales/AllSportsTucson)


The Thom McAn award for the top student-athlete in football was put together by the Arizona Daily Star from 1955 to 1985. Three national winners won $1,000 scholarships for their respective schools: Jerry Marshall of Salpointe in 1955, Larry Toledo of Pueblo quarterback in 1958, Al Lopez of Tucson and Chris Herbst of Sabino in 1981.

Each trophy was unique because the player’s actual cleat was bronzed.

1955: Jerry Marshall, Salpointe Halfback (National Winner)
1956: DL Secrist, Tucson Halfback
1957: John Dotson, Sunnyside Fullback
1958: Larry Toledo, Pueblo Quarterback (National Winner)
1959: Terry DeJonghe, Salpointe Halfback
1960: Duane Wrobel, Salpointe Guard
1961: Jay Caldwell, Tucson Center
1962: Dan Gabriel, Catalina Halfback
1963: Robin Ross, Tucson End
1964: Bob Bishop, Pueblo Quarterback
1965: David Coatsworth, Pueblo End (National Runner-up)
1966: Ramon Yslas, Pueblo Linebacker
1967: Jeff Lovin, Palo Verde Quarterback
1968: Bruce Pawlowski, Salpointe Halfback
1969: Pat Jaynes, Sunnyside End
1970: Tom Hagen, Salpointe End
1971: Al Lopez, Tucson Tackle (National Winner)
1972: Mark Jacobs, Flowing Wells Linebacker
1973: Mike Jacobs, Flowing Wells Defensive Back
1974: Guillermo Robles, Sunnyside Center (National Runner-up)
1975: Jay John, Salpointe Guard
1976: Steve Orth, Santa Rita Running Back
1977: Greg Lewis, Santa Rita Quarterback
1978: Ralph Gay, Sunnyside Tackle
1979: Mark Mistler, Sahuaro Quarterback
1980: Ronald Lopez, Sunnyside Defensive Back
1981: Chris Herbst, Sabino Linebacker (National Winner)
1982: Randy Fink, Sunnyside Tight End
1983: Miguel Molina, Pueblo Linebacker
1984: Timothy Roggeman, Salpointe Tackle
1985: Bruce Miller, Tucson/UHS Tight End

The very first bronzed cleat awarded in Southern Arizona. (Salpointe Photo)


Named one of “Arizona’s Heart & Sol” by KOLD and Casino del Sol, Andy Morales was recognized by the AIA as the top high school reporter in 2014, he was awarded the Ray McNally Award in 2017 and a 2019 AZ Education News recognition. He was a youth, high school and college coach for over 30 years. He was the first in Arizona to write about high school beach volleyball and high school girls wrestling and his unique perspective can only be found here and on AZPreps365.com. Andy is a Southern Arizona voting member of the Ed Doherty Award, recognizing the top football player in Arizona, and he was named a Local Hero by the Tucson Weekly for 2016. Andy was named an Honorary Flowing Wells Caballero in 2019, became a member of the Sunnyside Los Mezquites Cross Country Hall of Fame in 2021 and he was a member of the Amphi COVID-19 Blue Ribbon Committee. He earned a Distinguished Service Award from Amphitheater and he was recognized by City Councilman Richard Fimbres. Contact Andy Morales at amoralesmytucson@yahoo.com

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