2022 Banquet Adult Award Honorees
Butch Spyridon (third from left) was presented the Fred Russell Distinguished American Award, this chapter's most prestigious adult award. Spyridon has served as the CEO of the Nashville Convention & Visitors Bureau since 1991. He has championed many sports-related efforts benefiting our city, including the Tennessee Titans, Nashville Predators, Nashville SC and World Cup games in addition to his leadership bringing major conventions to our city.
Presenting him this award were (from left) NFF board members Wally Conyers, Curt Baker and Bob Hyde.
The Fred Russell Distinguished American Award recognizes supporters of American values and the Midstate community. First presented in 1969, it is named in honor of Mr. Russell, the former sports editor for Nashville’s afternoon newspaper, the Nashville Banner, from 1930-98. Russel was a founding member of this NFF chapter and won the Distinguished American Award from the National Football Foundation. Russell is a member of the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Hall of Fame and the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame.
Ronnie Carter was selected as this year’s Roy Kramer Contribution to Football Award. Carter served as the Executive Director of the Tennessee Secondary Schools Athletic Association (TSSAA) from 1986-2009 and began his career there as an Assistant Executive Director in 1978. Prior to joining the TSSAA, Carter was a teacher and coach of football, basketball, wrestling and track for 11 years at Nashville schools.
Presenting Carter with this award were NFF board members Mike Tribue (left) and Mike Organ.
The Roy Kramer Contribution to Football Award is presented to a local individual who has been instrumental in promoting the game of football with the highest level of leadership, integrity and participation The award is named in honor of the former SEC Commissioner and Vanderbilt Athletic Director Roy Kramer.
Randall Boldin was this year's recipient of the Bonnie Sloan Courage Award. Boldin is the Head Football Coach at Waverly (TN) High School. On August 21, 2021, the Waverly community was ravaged by massive flooding that saw 20 people lose their lives and thousands would lose their homes. His high school was devasted and it lost all of its athletic facilities. Despite these loses, Boldin’s team continued to play all of their remaining games on the road, finishing with a 9-1 record and finished second in Region 6-3A to earn a state playoff berth.
Presenting Boldin his award were NFF board members Wally Conyers (left) and Wayne Parker.
This award is named for Bonnie Sloan who attended Nashville's Litton High School before twice earning All-Ohio Valley Conference honors as a lineman at Austin Peay. He was drafted by the St. Louis Cardinals in 1973 but a knee injury cut short his NFL career after only one season. Sloan accomplished these feats despite being deaf and is one of only three deaf players to ever play in the NFL. Poplar communicated with Sloan at the banquet using sign language as both of Poplar's parents are deaf. This award is presented to a Midstate player, coach or staff member who faced obstacles and fought back to succeed in the spirit of Sloan!
Derek Brookshire was this year’s recipient of the Art Demmas Outstanding Official Award. Brookshire first became an official in 1995 while in the Army and then joined the TSSAA officiating ranks in 2000 calling football, basketball and baseball games. The retired instructor at the Army’s Drill Instructor school remains an active official for those sports.
Presenting the award were NFF board members Jeff Porter, Walter Overton and Junior Ward.
This award named for this NFF chapter co-founder Art Demmas, who played football at Vanderbilt and was an NFL official from 1970-96. Demmas worked four Super Bowls during his career and after retiring from the field he assisted the NFL officiating department by reviewing games and grading their officials.
This NFF chapter proudly created a new award this year honoring local volunteers and named it the Rick Regen Community Volunteer of the Year Award. The late Regen spent more than 30 years volunteering his services at most every sporting event and major sporting initiative in Middle Tennessee. He was a prime contributor to the efforts to successfully pass the stadium referendum required for the Titans franchise to move to Nashville in 1997 as well as the “Save Our Predators” in 2007. He also was a permanent fixture at the Music City Marathon and Jeff Fisher’s charity softball games and high school coaches clinic and any event involving his beloved Tennessee Volunteers.
Accepting the inaugural award on behalf of her late husband is Suzanne Regen (second from right). Also shown are NFF board member George Plaster, Rebecca and Sloan Regen (niece and nephew) and NFF board member Reno Benson.
Donelson Christian Academy Head Coach Paul Wade (second from left) was recognized for leading his team to a 2021 Division II Class A state championship. Joining Wade in the presentation was NFF board member Ronnie Carter, DCA’s Gunner Schierling (also the recipient of the Admiral William P. Lawrence Award) and DeJeay Woods, NFF board member.
Lipscomb Academy Head Coach Trent Dilfer (third from left) was recognized for leading his team to a 2021 Division II Class AA state championship. Joining Dilfer in the presentation was NFF board member Ronnie Carter, Lipscomb Academy’s Alex Broome (also the recipient of the Bob Sullins Inspiration Award) and DeJeay Woods, NFF board member.
Presentations were made to five adult honorees representing a wide range of accomplishments throughout their careers. Beginning with third person from left, are Derek Brookshire, Art Demmas Outstanding Officials Award honoree; Randall Boldin, Bonnie Sloan Courage Award honoree; Suzanne Regen, accepting Rick Regen Community Volunteer of the Year Award on behalf of her late husband; Ronnie Carter, Roy Kramer Contribution to Football Award honoree; and Butch Spyridon, Fred Russell Distinguished American Award honoree. Joining them on left are NFF board members Curt Baker and Wally Conyers and on the right are NFF board members George Plaster and DeJeay Woods.