Ducey, Bidwill to be Inducted into NFF Hall of Fame

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Gov. Doug Ducey and Michael Bidwill to be Inducted into the National Football Foundation Leadership Hall of Fame

Arizona leaders will be honored Jan. 7 in Phoenix as the kickoff event for the College Football Playoff National Championship.


IRVING, Texas (Nov. 19, 2015) – The National Football Foundation (NFF) & College Hall of Fame announced today that Arizona Governor Doug Ducey and Arizona Cardinals President Michael Bidwill have been named co-inductees into the NFF Leadership Hall of Fame. They will be honored together Jan. 7 at the Arizona Biltmore in Phoenix during an affair that will serve as a kickoff event leading up to the College Football Playoff (CFP) National Championship, which will take place Jan. 11 at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Ariz.

“Governor Ducey and Michael Bidwill share many similar traits, and they have developed a close relationship with the singular goal of making Arizona a better place,” said NFF Chairman Archie Manning. “They have formed a powerful public-private partnership, and we are proud to recognize them for their joint leadership and their efforts to unify their state and promote its reputation as a prime place to conduct business with an unmatched quality of life.”

Established in 2013, the NFF Leadership Hall of Fame provides the NFF with a powerful platform for recognizing the country’s most influential individuals who have ascended to the highest levels of success and exhibited the critical leadership qualities that transcend ordinary enterprises. Members of the NFF Leadership Hall of Fame must embody the same qualities in amateur football that define excellence in American life: hard work, discipline, determination, teamwork, integrity and the relentless pursuit to improve.

“Both Governor Ducey and Michael Bidwill realize the significance of being in a position where they can make a difference,” said NFF President & CEO Steve Hatchell. “Both have had successful careers in the private sector, and they have stepped forward to give back. They are both proven leaders, and we are proud to shine our national spotlight on them by inducting them into the NFF Leadership Hall of Fame.”

At the Jan. 7 event, Bidwill and Gov. Ducey’s outstanding records of leadership and many contributions to the State of Arizona will be highlighted. Bidwill and Gov. Ducey become the seventh and eighth inductees into the NFF Leadership Hall of Fame, joining New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, the father or aerobics Dr. Kenneth Cooper, legendary attorney Joe Jamail, Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, Bruin Sports Capital CEO George Pyne and Wasserman Media Group Chairman and CEO Casey Wasserman. Each inductee’s accomplishments are enshrined in an exhibit at the College Football Hall of Fame in Atlanta as role models for future generations to emulate.

The Jan. 7 event marks the continuation of a tradition that began with the inaugural CFP National Championship last year, and each year the NFF will stage an NFF Leadership Hall of Fame induction as part of the kickoff celebration in the title game’s host city. The next championship game will be played in Tampa, Fla., on Jan. 9, 2017, and the NFF will stage a Leadership Hall of Fame induction on Jan. 5, 2017.

“Led by its executive director Bill Hancock, the College Football Playoff has done a marvelous job of using the title game’s national stage to shine a light on everything right with our great game,” said Hatchell. “The NFF Leadership Hall of Fame plays an important role in highlighting the value of football off the field, and I want to thank Bill Hancock and his incredible staff for all their support that will allow us to recognize Governor Ducey and Michael Bidwill with a kickoff event for the 2016 CFP title game. We truly appreciate their efforts.”

Other NFF events scheduled to take place during the national championship weekend include the announcement of the College Football Hall of Fame Class on Jan. 8; the participation of several members of the newly elected College Football Hall of Fame Class during the coin toss of the title game on Jan. 11; and the recognition of the 2015 recipient of the William V. Campbell Trophy, presented by Fidelity Investments, on the field between the first and second quarters of the title game.

The NFF Leadership Hall of Fame events serve as a centerpiece of the NFF’s annual fundraising efforts, providing critical support for the organization’s outreach efforts that emphasize the value of football to society. By creating a powerful fundraising opportunity, the NFF Leadership Hall of Fame allows those who have reached the pinnacle of success to help the NFF strengthen its programs and fulfill its mission of Building Leaders Through Football.

Click here to learn more about the NFF Leadership Hall of Fame.

Governor Doug Ducey’s Bio

Governor Doug Ducey was elected on November 4, 2014 and was sworn into office on January 5, 2015, becoming Arizona’s 23rd Governor.

As governor, Ducey’s priorities are growing the economy, creating jobs, improving outcomes in K-12 education and balancing the budget. A champion of limited government, economic development and Arizona businesses and families, Governor Ducey has pledged to work every day to ensure “Opportunity for All.”

Prior to taking his oath as governor, Ducey served as Arizona’s 32nd state treasurer, a position he held since his oath of office in January 2011. As Arizona’s chief banker and investment officer, Ducey managed more than $13 billion in state assets and served as an investment manager for local governments.

As state treasurer, Ducey notably led the opposition of Proposition 204, a tax increase that would have cost Arizona taxpayers $1 billion per year. With Ducey’s leadership, the proposition was soundly defeated by a nearly two-to-one margin. During his tenure, Ducey also oversaw the Permanent Land Endowment Trust Fund. Under his watch, the trust fund surpassed $5 billion for the first time, with 90 percent of the earnings allocated toward K-12 education.

Before being elected state treasurer, Ducey was chief executive officer of Cold Stone Creamery. An Arizona-born concept, Cold Stone expanded from a handful of locations to more than 1,400 worldwide under Ducey’s management. 

Governor Ducey was born in Toledo, Ohio. He moved to Arizona to attend Arizona State University’s business school, where he earned his bachelor of science in finance in 1986. Governor Ducey and his wife, Angela, live in Phoenix with their three sons, Jack, Joe and Sam.

Michael Bidwill’s Bio

Michael Bidwill joined the Cardinals in 1996 after six years as a federal prosecutor in Phoenix. Since he took over as team President in 2007, the Cardinal have gone .500 or better in six of eight seasons (just twice in previous 20 years) and have posted three double-digit win seasons (none in previous 20 years). The 2015 Cardinals are currently 7-2 and in position to add to those impressive totals.

Michael notably spearheaded the effort that led to the creation of University of Phoenix Stadium where the Cardinals have sold out every game played since it opened in 2006. The iconic, award-winning stadium has been a major factor in the transformation of the Cardinals and a catalyst for the team’s success. It also hosted its second Super Bowl this past February as well as the 2015 Pro Bowl a week before. Bidwill was influential in landing both events which combined to deliver an economic impact of $720 million to the region.

Michael has taken on an increasing role in the NFL and the greater Phoenix business community. In addition to serving on four NFL committees – Business Ventures, Stadium, NFL Foundation and Workplace Diversity – he chairs the Security and Fan Conduct Committee and last December was tapped by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell to chair the league’s new Conduct Committee.

Locally, he is co-chair of the Arizona Zanjeros, a nonprofit business leadership group founded by Governor Ducey to promote the state, past chairman of the Greater Phoenix Economic Council and serves on the boards of the Arizona Commerce Authority, Greater Phoenix Leadership, Arizona Super Bowl Host Committee and the Pat Tillman Foundation. Bidwill earned a B.S. in Finance from St. Louis University and a law degree from Catholic University in Washington, D.C. where last May he was awarded an honorary doctorate of Humane Letters and delivered the school’s commencement address 25 years after his own graduation.

ABOUT The National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame

Founded in 1947 with early leadership from General Douglas MacArthur, legendary Army coach Earl “Red” Blaik and immortal journalist Grantland Rice, The National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame is a non-profit educational organization that runs programs designed to use the power of amateur football in developing scholarship, citizenship and athletic achievement in young people. With 120 chapters and 12,000 members nationwide, NFF programs include FootballMatters.org, the College Football Hall of Fame in Atlanta, The William V. Campbell Trophy presented by Fidelity Investments, annual scholarships of more than $1.3 million and a series of initiatives to honor the legends of the past and inspire the leaders of the future. NFF corporate partners include the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl, Delta Air Lines, Fidelity Investments, Herff Jones, New York Athletic Club, Pasadena Tournament of Roses, PrimeSport, SKP, the Sports Business Journal and Under Armour. Learn more at www.footballfoundation.org.


The National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame
Building Leaders Through Football & Supporting

  • 773 Colleges & Universities • 70,000 College Football Players
  • 15,585 High Schools • 1.1 Million High School Football Players

Read original press release here.

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