McMurry alumnus and former head football coach Grant Teaff, now executive director of the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA), was voted the recipient of this year’s Selig Mentoring Award by the McLendon Scholarship Steering Committee, composed of 18 minority athletics directors.
The award was established in 2007 and named in honor of Baseball Commissioner Allan H. (Bud) Selig and is presented biennially to a person in athletics administration who has been at the forefront in creating equal opportunities for minorities in the field of athletics. Selig has placed diversity and equal employment opportunity among his top priorities throughout the years to great effect in Major League Baseball. Today, 31 percent of all on-field coaching positions in baseball are held by minority group members and female front office representation throughout the league is 30 percent. During Selig’s tenure as Commissioner, minority representation among front office positions has grown from two to 24 percent.
“Grant Teaff’s name is synonymous with not only college football, but intercollegiate athletics as a whole,” said Warde Manuel, Chair of the McLendon Scholarship Steering Committee and Director of Athletics at the University of Connecticut. “His dedication and service to our industry are unparalleled and right in line with the core values of the McLendon Foundation. We look forward to honoring him in June.”
Coach Teaff, a native West Texan reared in Snyder, attended San Angelo Junior College (now Angelo State University) and earned his undergraduate degree in physical education at McMurry College in 1956. One year later, he earned an M.S. in Administrative Education. He received a Doctor of Humanities degree from McMurry in 1975.
Teaff played center and was a captain for the McMurry football team. In 1960, he was named the head football coach at McMurry, one of the youngest head football coaches in the country at the time. Teaff had an outstanding coaching career with head coaching stints at McMurry, Angelo State and Baylor, placing him in eight halls of fame.
During his time as Executive Director of the AFCA, Teaff has become one of the most effective administrators in intercollegiate athletics. Teaff has been at the forefront of mentoring minority coaches and administrators looking to get into the profession.
Some of his efforts including hiring the first full-time minority employee of the AFCA in 1995, Walter Abercrombie; helping establish the AFCA Minority Issues Committee; initiating the Trailblazer Award, honoring coaches who previously coached at HBCU’s; fostering AFCA minority education programs; helping create the NCAA Future Football Coaches Academy; and has consulted with various coaches as they look to advance in the football coaching profession. In addition, Teaff signed Kenneth Decker, from Kermit, Texas, to a scholarship at McMurry College (now University) in 1960, which was five years prior to Jerry Levias breaking the color barrier in the Southwest Conference when he signed a scholarship with SMU. Decker was the first African-American football player at McMurry.
In 2002, Sporting News ranked Teaff as one of the most powerful administrators in college football. In December 2004, Teaff was named one of the most influential people in college sports by Street & Smith’s Sports Business Journal. In 2006, Teaff earned the highest honor a football coach can receive when he was awarded the Amos Alonzo Stagg Award at the AFCA Convention in Dallas. In 2001, Teaff also was awarded for his on-field success as a coach as he was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame.