Speakers for 2017

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September 18, 2017

Steve Spurrier

Heisman Winner, Gator Head Coach, Washington Redskins Head Coach and South Carolina Head Coach.

Spurrier was born in Miami Beach, Florida and grew up in Tennessee,  where he was a multi-sport, all-state athlete in high school. He is a  graduate of the University of Florida, where he was the Florida Gators’  starting quarterback for three seasons. Spurrier won the Heisman Trophy  in his senior season of 1966, was a consensus All-American in both 1965  and 1966; and he was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame as a  player in 1986.

Spurrier was drafted in the first round (third overall)  of the 1967 NFL draft by the San Francisco 49ers, and played mainly as a  backup quarterback and punter from 1967 to 1975. In 1976, the expansion  Tampa Bay Buccaneers traded for Spurrier, and he was the team’s  starting quarterback for most of their inaugural season.


September 25, 2017

Justin Forsett

Baltimore Ravens Running Back

Justin Forsett is was College and Pro running back. He played college football at California and was drafted by the Seattle Seahawks in the seventh round of the 2008 NFL Draft. Forsett also played for the Indianapolis Colts, Houston Texans, Jacksonville Jaguars, Baltimore Ravens, Detroit Lions, and Denver Broncos.

Forsett’s best season came in 2014 as a member of the Ravens, when he was selected as a Pro Bowl alternate after finishing the season with 235 carries for 1,266 yards and 8 touchdowns.


October 2, 2017

Marty Smith

Host of Sport Center Presents Marty Smith’s America

Marty Smith is a bureau reporter based in Charlotte, N.C., reporting on a variety of sports including college and pro football and basketball, NASCAR and more for ESPN’s news and information platforms including SportsCenter.  He also is a writer for ESPN.com. Smith joined ESPN in late 2006.

In addition to his reporting and writing, Smith also is co-host of the popular Marty and McGee program on ESPN Radio. Smith and co-host Ryan McGee of ESPN the Magazine  discuss NASCAR and other topics with a wide variety of guests ranging  from NASCAR drivers to country music artists to stars from other sports.

From 2007-2014, Smith was ESPN’s lead NASCAR reporter for both SportsCenter and the former NASCAR Now program. In addition to reporting for SportsCenter  and writing news and features for ESPN.com, Smith also contributed to  ESPN’s NASCAR event television coverage, which ended at the conclusion  of the 2014 season, with numerous unique features an extensive, in-depth and revealing interviews with nearly every top driver in the  sport.

Prior to joining ESPN, Smith was a senior writer for NASCAR.com, an analyst, and host on the former SPEED Channel and a NASCAR analyst on Fox  Sports Net. A Radford University graduate, Smith covered sports for  daily newspapers in Roanoke and Lynchburg, Va., before joining  NASCAR.com.


October 9, 2017

Steve Ridder

Embry-Riddle Director of Athletics at Middlebury College

Steve Ridder took over as the Embry-Riddle Director of Athletics in the 1993-94 season, overseeing major changes in the department. In January 2014, ERAU President Dr. John Johnson announced RIdder’s transition from Athletics DIrector to Special Assistant to the President. Ridder will continue his involvement with the University, assisting Dr. Johnson with numerous special projects and public speaking opportunities. In addition, he will play a major role in enhancing the University’s fundraising activities, which will include a capital campaign for Athletics in the near future.

During his tenure, Ridder  positioned Embry-Riddle among the elite athletic programs in the nation. The University  increased its number of varsity sports offered from five in 1994, to its current level of 17, and the athletic department staff grew from five full-time staff members in 1993 to more than 40 today.


October 16, 2017

Shane Matthews

Former Gator and Pro Quarterback

Shane Matthews was the starting quarterback for the Gators under coach Steve Spurrier from 1990 to 1992. In Matthews’ first season as a starter in 1990, the Gators finished 9–2 overall and a league-best record of 6–1 in the Southeastern Conference (SEC); in his second season in 1991, the Gators finished 10–2 overall and 7–0 in the SEC, winning their first official SEC football championship.

Matthews set a new Gators team record for career passing yards (later surpassed), finished fifth in the 1991 Heisman Trophy voting as a junior, and was a first-team All-SEC selection in 1990, 1991 and 1992. He finished his college career having completed 722 of 1,202 attempts for 9,287 yards and seventy-four touchdowns, and was a team captain and the Gators’ most valuable player during his final season. He led the SEC in passing for three consecutive years (1990–1992) and finished with a career efficiency rating of 137.6.

Matthews had his best season in the NFL in 1999, starting seven games, throwing for 1,645 yards and ten touchdowns. Matthews played the next two seasons with the Bears, starting a total of eight games in that span. He also relieved starter Jim Miller in the 2002 (2001 NFL season) playoff game against the Philadelphia Eagles, after Miller separated his shoulder and could not continue.

Over his fourteen NFL seasons, Matthews played in thirty-two regular season games, started twenty-two of them, and completed 492 of 839 passing attempts for 4,756 yards and thirty-one touchdowns.


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October 23, 2017

Matt Stinchcomb

UGA All-American Offensive Lineman, Oakland Raider & Tampa Bay Buccaneer

Stinchcomb attended the University of Georgia, where he played for the Georgia Bulldogs football team from 1995 to 1998. He was a first-team All-American selection at tackle in 1997 and was recognized as a consensus first-team All-American following the 1998 season.

Stinchcomb was selected as the 18th pick of the first round in the 1999 NFL Draft to the Oakland Raiders. He missed his entire rookie season due to a shoulder injury and surgery. He would start the first 8 games at left tackle the following season before suffering a knee and shoulder injury. This led to his move inside the offensive line to guard and center. He started every game during his only healthy season in 2004 with Tampa Bay. The following season with the Bucs Stinchcomb injured his back in practice requiring surgery. Complications from the surgery led to blood clots and a heart condition forcing his retirement in 2006.

In 2009, Matt was named to the University of Georgia’s Circle of Honor, the highest level of distinction for any UGA student-athlete. He also represented Georgia in being named to the 2009 class of “SEC Legends” which was recognized during pregame of the SEC Championship Game.


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October 30, 2017

Bobby Bowden

Florida State Head Footbal Coach – 1976-2009.

Bobby Bowden coached the Florida State Seminoles football team from  the 1976 to 2009 seasons. During his time at Florida State, Bowden led  FSU to an Associated Press and Coaches Poll National Title in 1993 and a  BCS National Championship in 1999, as well as twelve Atlantic Coast  Conference championships since FSU joined the conference in 1991.

From 1987 to 2000 the Seminoles finished every season with at least 10 wins and in the top 5 of the Associated Press College Football Poll, and won the national championship in 1993 and 1999.

His final coaching appearance in the 2010 Gator Bowl game on  January 1, 2010, with a 33–21 victory over his former program, West Virginia.


November 6, 2017

Danny McManus

Former Seminole Quarterback

McManus spent four seasons at Florida State University, from 1984 to 1987, coached by Bobby Bowden (McManus also went to Florida State in 1983, but was redshirted). McManus was named the starter as a quarterback in 1985 and led the Seminoles to defeat Nebraska. After four victories, he suffered a pair of concussions and he had spent the rest of 1985 on the bench. But in 1986, McManus was named the Seminole’s offensive most valuable player, after a season that saw him come out of the backup position to end the year as the starter, throwing for 872 yards and seven touchdowns.

In 1987, McManus started every game for Florida State, leading them to an 11-1 record and a spot in the Fiesta Bowl, which they won 31-28 over the University of Nebraska. McManus, who threw for 375 yards and three touchdowns in the bowl game, was named the most valuable player and wound up with 1,984 yards and fourteen touchdowns for the season. After this season, McManus was selected in the eleventh round of the 1988 NFL Draft by the Kansas City Chiefs.


November 13, 2017

Chris Doering

Former Gator Wide Receiver

Doering was a walk-on player for coach Steve Spurrier in 1991. The Gators coaching staff decided to redshirt him in 1991, and subsequently, Doering received an athletic scholarship and played for the Gators from 1992 to 1995. Doering not only earned a scholarship, the former walk-on set records: Doering caught 149 receptions (sixth best in Gators history) for 2,107 yards (tenth best in Gators history) and thirty-one touchdowns (best in Gators and SEC history) during his career at Florida.

His best-remembered play as a Gator was the game-winning touchdown pass he caught from Gators quarterback Danny Wuerffel to defeat the Kentucky Wildcats, 24–20, in 1993. Sometimes called “The Catch,” it is also remembered as “Doering’s Got a Touchdown” after the repeated exclamation made by Gator radio host Mick Hubert during his broadcast of the game. During his four seasons as a Gator, the team won three straight Southeastern Conference (SEC) championships (1993, 1994, 1995); as senior team captain in 1995, he received first-team All-SEC and second-team All-American honors.

Doering graduated from Florida with a bachelor’s degree in telecommunications in 1995, and he was inducted into the University of Florida Athletic Hall of Fame as a “Gator Great” in 2006. He was picked as the No. 19 greatest Gator from the first 100 years of Florida football in a 2006 article series published by The Gainesville Sun.


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November 20, 2017

Lee Corso

A sports broadcaster and football analyst for ESPN and former long-time college football coach.

Corso became the quarterbacks coach at Maryland under his former FSU coach Tommy Nugent. In 1962, Corso followed Nugent’s guidance to recruit an academically and athletically qualified black player and convinced Darryl Hill to transfer from the Naval Academy, making him the first African-American football player in the Atlantic Coast Conference.

Corso became the defensive backs coach at Navy. In 1969, he was named head coach at Louisville where he coached his ESPN colleague Tom Jackson. After taking Louisville to only its second-ever bowl game in 1970, he was hired by Indiana in 1972.

  • Sept. 4: Labor Day
  • Sept. 11: N/A
  • Sept. 18: Steve Spurrier
  • Sept. 25: Justin Forsett
  • Oct. 2: Marty Smith
  • Oct. 9: Steve Ridder
  • Oct. 16: Shane Matthews
  • Oct. 23: Matt Stinchcomb
  • Oct. 30: Bobby Bowden
  • Nov. 6: Danny McManus
  • Nov. 13: Chris Doering
  • Nov. 20: Lee Corso

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