WACO, TEX. — National Football Foundation (NFF) Chairman and Hall of Fame quarterback Archie Manning has been selected as the 2024 recipient of the AFCA’s highest honor, the Tuss McLaughry Award. Manning will receive the award during the 2024 AFCA Convention in Nashville, Tennessee.
Manning joined the NFF Board of Directors in 1993 and became chairman in 2007. He leads a nationwide network of 120 NFF chapters in 47 states with more than 12,000 members. During his time as chairman, the NFF opened a new state-of-the-art College Football Hall of Fame in Atlanta and he oversaw the launch of the NFF Leadership Hall of Fame, which has helped raise and distribute millions of dollars for NFF scholarships, programs, and initiatives. Manning received the NFF Gold Medal in 2016 in recognition of his exceptional leadership and unblemished reputation.
Manning became synonymous with football because of his exploits in college and the NFL. Originally from Drew, Mississippi, Manning accepted a scholarship to the University of Mississippi to play for Hall of Fame coach Johnny Vaught. He earned the starting quarterback spot as a sophomore, guiding the Rebels to 22 victories and three bowl games, winning the Liberty and Sugar Bowls after his sophomore and junior seasons. Manning earned offensive MVP honors during the 1970 Sugar Bowl after he passed for 273 yards and one touchdown, while rushing for another score.
Manning ended his three-year career at Ole Miss with 5,576 yards of total offense and a then-school-record 56 touchdowns. He still owns several school records more than 50 years after his playing days were over. Manning earned All-SEC and All-America honors in 1969 and 1970, and he finished fourth in Heisman Trophy balloting in 1969 and third in 1970. The No. 2 overall pick in the 1971 NFL Draft by the New Orleans Saints, Manning spent 12 seasons with the Saints, earning Pro Bowl selections in 1978 and 1979. He played one season for the Houston Oilers, then another with the Minnesota Vikings before retiring from the NFL in 1984. Manning is a member of the Saints Ring of Honor and their Hall of Fame.
Since his playing days, Manning has held many roles such as an investment broker, broadcaster, restaurateur, endorser, philanthropist, and founder of the Manning Passing Academy. He has served in public relations and consulting capacities for several local, regional, and national companies such as Gatorade, Direct TV, Reebok, Nationwide, Entergy and CBS Sports.
Manning’s accolades on the gridiron and off it are numerous. In 1989, he was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame and his No. 18 is one of only two numbers retired at Ole Miss. He is a member of the Mississippi Sports, Ole Miss Sports, Gator Bowl, Greater New Orleans, Louisiana Sports, and National Quarterback Club Halls of Fame. Manning was voted Mississippi’s Greatest All-Time Athlete in 1992 and he is a member of the Ole Miss Team of the Century and SEC All-Century Team.
Manning has also been recognized for his community service work with the Boy Scouts, Special Olympics, American Heart Association, American Cancer Society, United Negro College Fund, United Way, the Salvation Army, and many others. For more than 25 years, he hosted numerous golf tournaments to raise funds to battle Cystic Fibrosis.
Some of Manning’s off-the-field accolades include the 2005 Legends Award from the Davey O’Brien Foundation; the Aspire Award, a tribute to life’s coaches, from the Cal Ripken Foundation; the “Father of the Year” award from the National Father’s Day Council; the 2016 AutoZone Liberty Bowl Distinguished Citizen Award; and the National Pathfinder Award alongside his wife Olivia from the Indiana Sports Corporation for their contributions and dedication to youth.
Archie and Olivia reside in New Orleans and have three sons and eight grandchildren.
The Tuss McLaughry Award is given to a distinguished American (or Americans) for the highest distinction in service to others. It is named in honor of DeOrmond “Tuss” McLaughry, the first full-time secretary-treasurer of the AFCA and one of the most dedicated and influential members in the history of the Association. The award was established in 1964.
Tuss McLaughry began his coaching career at his alma mater, Westminster (Pa.) College in 1916. During his early days in coaching, McLaughry spent his spare time playing pro football with the Massillon (Ohio) Tigers. Knute Rockne was a teammate. He went on to become head coach at Amherst (1922-25), Brown (1926-40), and Dartmouth (1941-55). His most successful years were at Brown, where he had a 15-year record of 76-58-5. In 1926, McLaughry produced Brown’s only undefeated team. Two of his other teams at Brown had only one loss.
McLaughry retired from coaching in 1954 but continued in his capacity as chairman of the Physical Education Department at Dartmouth until 1960, when he accepted the appointment with the AFCA. He retired from that position in 1965.
McLaughry played a leading role in the development of the AFCA while at the same time establishing a reputation as a successful head coach at some of the most prestigious schools in the East. He worked diligently throughout his lifetime to advance the best interests of the football coaching profession.
Past Tuss McLaughry Award Winners
1964 Gen. Douglas MacArthur, armed forces
1965 Bob Hope, entertainer
1966 Lyndon B. Johnson, U.S. President
1967 Dwight D. Eisenhower, U.S. President
1968 J. Edgar Hoover, director, FBI
1969 The Reverend Billy Graham, evangelist
1970 Richard M. Nixon, U.S. President
1971 Edwin Aldrin, Neil Armstrong, Michael Collins, Apollo 11 astronauts
1974 John Wayne, actor
1975 Gerald R. Ford, U.S. President
1977 Gen. James A. Van Fleet, armed forces
1979 Jimmy Stewart, actor
1980 Lt. Gen. Jimmy Doolittle, armed forces
1981 Dr. Jerome Holland, educator, business executive
1982 Robert Crippen & John Young, astronauts
1983 Ronald Reagan, U.S. President
1985 Pete Rozelle, NFL Commissioner
1986 Gen. Pete Dawkins, armed forces
1987 Gen. Chuck Yeager, armed forces
1988 Lindsey Nelson, sportscaster
1989 George Shultz, U.S. Secretary of State
1990 Burt Reynolds, actor
1993 Tom Landry, Head Coach, Dallas Cowboys
1994 Charley Boswell, armed forces
1996 Eddie Robinson, Head Coach, Grambling St.
1998 George Bush, U.S. President
2001 Andrew Young, United Nations Ambassador
2002 Roger Staubach, businessman, NFL Hall of Famer
2003 Stephen Ambrose, Author, historian
2004 Gen. Tommy Franks, armed forces
2005 Dr. Christopher Kraft, NASA
2007 Paul Tagliabue, NFL Commissioner
2008 Tom Osborne, Head Coach, Nebraska
2009 Rudy Giuliani, former mayor, New York City
2010 Tony Dungy, Head Coach, Indianapolis Colts
2013 Robert Mueller, Director, FBI
2014 Jeffrey Immelt, CEO, General Electric
2016 William McRaven, Chancellor, University of Texas System
2017 Grant Teaff, AFCA Executive Director, Head Coach
2018 Jack Lengyel, Head Coach and Athletic Administrator
2019 Verne Lundquist, sportscaster
2020 Chuck Neinas, Athletic Administrator
2022 Brian Hainline, M.D., NCAA Chief Medical Officer
2023 Bob Bowlsby, Big 12 Commissioner
For more information on the AFCA and its programs, visit www.afca.com, or follow us on Twitter @WeAreAFCA