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Chris Howard Named to College Football's 150th Birthday Planning Group

Tuesday, June 27, 2017
Dr. Howard

College football, one of America’s most beloved and popular institutions, is getting ready to celebrate a big birthday. And it plans to do so in style.

A group of college football leaders including Robert Morris University President Chris Howard announced plans today to launch a nationwide celebration to commemorate the game’s 150th birthday.

“As a player I got to experience the thrill of college football. It also shaped me as a leader by instilling values of teamwork, focus, and discipline," said Howard, a member of the organizing committee. “It's a historic anniversary, not only for sports but for American culture, and we intend to observe it with all the fanfare it deserves."

Longtime college athletics administrator and former Big 12 Conference commissioner Kevin Weiberg has been selected to run the effort, beginning August 1st, 2017.  He will work out of the National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame’s headquarters in Irving, Texas.  

“This is a very exciting moment for fans of college football,” Weiberg said.  “Across the country, college football is a deeply ingrained part of life for millions and millions of people.  While it’s too soon to know our exact plans, we want to put something together that is big and special, something fans can be proud of.  We will work closely with leaders from all divisions of college football to build a national celebration for fans to enjoy.”

The commemoration will be celebrated at all divisions of intercollegiate football during the 2019 season, with a focus on November 6, and culminating with the College Football Playoff National Championship in January 2020.

Weiberg will report to a committee made up of representatives from the American Football Coaches Association, the Division I conferences, National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics, National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame, the NCAA, Princeton University, Rutgers University, and others.

The group includes: 

  • Todd Berry, executive director, American Football Coaches Association
  • Ari Fleischer, president, Ari Fleischer Communications
  • Bill Hancock, executive director, College Football Playoff
  • Steve Hatchell, president and chief executive officer, National Football  Foundation & College Hall of Fame
  • Pat Hobbs, director of athletics, Rutgers University
  • Chris Howard, president, Robert Morris University
  • Mike Kern, associate commissioner, Missouri Valley Football Conference/FCS Managing Director
  • Oliver Luck, executive vice-president of regulatory affairs and strategic partnerships, NCAA
  • Mollie Marcoux Samaan, athletics director, Princeton University
  • Larry Scott, commissioner, Pac-12 Conference
  • Jon Steinbrecher, commissioner, Mid-American Conference
  • Bob Vecchione, executive director, National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics
  • Wright Waters, executive director, Football Bowl Association

Besides being president of RMU, Howard is a member of the National Football Foundation awards committee and the Knight Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics, and one of 13 members of the College Football Playoff Selection Committee. As a running back at Air Force, Howard won the National Football Foundation's Campbell Trophy, the nation’s highest academic award for a senior college football player. He is a member of the Verizon Academic All-American Hall of Fame and a winner of the NCAA Silver Anniversary Award.