Nov. 8, 2011
INDIANAPOLIS - Former University of Notre Dame football standout and 1987 Heisman Trophy winner Tim Brown today has been named by the NCAA as one of six former student-athletes to be recipients of its Silver Anniversary Award that annually recognizes distinguished individuals on the 25th anniversary of the conclusion of their college athletics careers.
The 2012 recipients are Brown, Doris Burke (former Providence basketball player, now with ESPN), Kevin Johnson (former Cal and NBA Phoenix Suns basketball player, now mayor of Sacramento), Sean Payton (former Eastern Illinois football player, now NFL New Orleans Saints head coach), Amy Perko (former Wake Forest basketball player, now executive director of the Knight Commission) and David Robinson (former Navy basketball standout and NBA San Antonio Spurs star, now founder of Carver Academy in San Antonio). The awardees will be recognized at the Honors Celebration Jan. 13 during the NCAA Convention in Indianapolis.
The first wide receiver to be awarded the Heisman Trophy, Brown became the seventh Notre Dame player to be heralded as the most outstanding player in the nation in 1987. He set 19 school records during his Irish career. Brown's head coach, Lou Holtz, called Brown the most intelligent football player he had ever been around and was later quoted as saying, "I can't imagine that there's anyone else who can have such a major effect on a football game in as many ways as Tim Brown can."
For his career, Brown averaged 116.8 all-purpose yards per game and totaled 22 touchdowns. He totaled a then-school record 2,493 receiving yards with 12 receiving TDs and averaged 18.2 yards per catch. Brown averaged 23.4 yards on 69 career kickoff returns with three returned for TDs and averaged 13.2 yards on 36 punt returns and three TDs.
The two-time All-American (1986, then unanimous in 1987) set a single-season record with 1,937 all-purpose yards as a junior in 1986. As a senior, Brown ranked sixth nationally with 167.9 all-purpose yards per game and also was awarded the Walter Camp Award. Brown led all Irish receivers as a sophomore in 1985 with 25 catches for 397 yards and three TDs and started 10 games. As a freshman, he set the freshman record with 28 receptions (since broken by Duval Kamara in 2007 and Michael Floyd in 2008).
Selected in the first round (sixth overall) in the 1988 NFL Draft by the Los Angeles Raiders, Brown played 16 seasons with the franchise, earning him the title "Mr. Raider." He holds the NFL rookie record for most combined yards gained (2,317) and became the oldest player to return a punt for a touchdown in 2001. A member of the NFL 1990s All-Decade team, he was named to nine Pro Bowls and hauled in an NFL record 75 receptions in 10 straight seasons.
Born Timothy Donell Brown on July 22, 1966, Brown grew up in Dallas, Texas, and attended Woodrow Wilson High School where he played football, basketball and track - and also served as vice president of his senior class and sports editor of the school newspaper. Brown graduated from Notre Dame with a Bachelor of Arts degree in sociology in 1988.
Brown serves as the national chairman and spokesperson for Athletes and Entertainers for Kids and 9-1-1 For Kids. Each year, Brown hosts the Tim Brown Charity Golf Classic to benefit 9-1-1 For Kids, and the Mentor Mini Camp at the Raiders' headquarters for 100 fatherless boys.
Previous NCAA Silver Anniversary award winners from Notre Dame are Dick Rosenthal (1979), Aubrey Lewis (1983), Jim Lynch (1992), Alan Page (1992), Bill Hurd (1994), Joe Theismann (1996), Dave Casper (1999), Bob Thomas (1999), Ken MacAfee (2003) and Greg Meredith (2005). Current Notre Dame volleyball coach Debbie Brown also was the recipient of the award in 2003.