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Rimington Trophy History

Syd Russell - Rimington Trophy Founder
A suggestion by a retired “San Francisco Examiner” sportswriter, Syd Russell, to a former Cincinnati Bengals quarterback, Boomer Esiason, led to the creation of the Rimington Trophy.

That happened in 2000, when Russell, who was writing a series of articles about national college football awards, learned that there were awards for players at every position except center.

Because he knew the Boomer Esiason Foundation promoted several sports-related programs to raise funds for the treatment and research of cystic fibrosis (a disease Boomer’s teenage son has had since infancy), Russell called that omission to Esiason’s attention and suggested that BEF sponsor an annual trophy for the outstanding NCAA Division 1-A center.

Russell expanded on his proposal by saying, “The award’s namesake should be Rimington,” whom he regards as the premier college center of all time, an opinion based on Rimington’s achievements as a junior and senior at Nebraska in 1981 and ’82 – years when the 6-foot-3, 285-pound hiker and blocker was the unanimous All-American and the only double winner of the prestigious John Outland trophy as Division 1-A’s best interior lineman.

Rimington, a 1997 College Football Hall of Fame inductee, and Esiason, the NFL’s top quarterback in 1988 with a 97.4 rating, were Cincinnati teammates from 1984 through ’87.

Russell’s writing career has taken him to 12 countries, including Japan, where he was the sports editor of the “Asahi Evening News,” an English-language newspaper in Tokyo.


Rimington Trophy Past Winners
Division FBS
2010 Jake Kirkpatrick TCU
2009 Maurkice Pouncey Florida
2008 A.Q. Shipley Penn State
2007 Jonathan Luigs Arkansas
2006 Dan Mozes West Virginia
2005 Greg Eslinger Minnesota
2004 David Baas Michigan
2004 Ben Wilkerson LSU
2003 Jake Grove Virginia Tech
2002 Brett Romberg University of Miami
2001 LeCharles Bentley Ohio State
2000 Dominic Raiola Nebraska


Rimington Award Past Winners

Division FCS
2010 Sean Middleton Southeast Missouri State
2009 Austin Steichen Northern Iowa
2008 Scott Lemn James Madison University
2007 Brennen Carvalho Portland State
2006 Jackie Skipper Arkansas - Pine Bluff
2005 Jeff Bolton Montana State/Bozeman
2004 Rob Hunt North Dakota State
2003 Eugene Amano Southeast Missouri State
Division II
2010 Brandon Fusco Slippery Rock University
2009 Jack Hiett University of Nebraska-Kearney
2008 Sam Collins Abilene Christian
2007 Ryan Pope Shepherd University
2006 Christian Morton South Dakota
2005 Lance Ancar North Alabama-Florence,  AL
2004 Kevin Burton Southeastern Oklahoma State University
2003 Kevin Palmer Texas A&M-Kingsville
Division III
2010 Josh Ostrue University of St. Thomas
2009 Dillon Hollin Wittenburg University
2008 Josh Ostrue University of St. Thomas
2007 Brent Allen University of Wisconsin-Whitewater
2006 Josh Knox Hardin-Simmons
2005 Damien Ciecwisz Delaware Valley College-Doylestown,  Pa.
2004 Matthew Bush University of Mary Hardin-Baylor (TX)
2003 Tom Doyle Capital-Columbus, Ohio
2010 Andy Fjeseth Carroll College
2009 Jeff Hynes Lindenwood University
2008 Jeff Hynes Lindenwood University
2007 Truman Ashby Benedictine College
2006 Jeremiah Hays Evangel
2005 Kyle Baker Carroll College-Helena, MT
2004 Adam Sherman University of St. Francis
2003 Dominic Miraglia Northwestern Oklahoma State

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