By David Ruth
This week Chuck Pool wrote a news release about Rice football. That’s not really anything new for Pool, assistant athletics director for sports information at Rice, because he’s been writing sports-related news releases for years.
Pool was a media relations representative for the Nebraska Cornhuskers, the Houston Astros and the Florida Marlins before coming to Rice in 2006. However, this week Pool found himself writing a news release like none before.
Rice senior running back Kevin Pool is among 55 college football players who have been nominated for the 2010 Rudy Awards. Fans can have a hand in the selection process through an online voting option:http://www.collegerudyawards.com/cfra-ballot.htm
his week it was announced that Kevin Pool, Chuck’s son, was nominated by Rice head football coach David Bailiff for this year’s Rudy Award. The award is named after Notre Dame football player Daniel “Rudy” Ruettiger, whose efforts on and off the field were made into the Hollywood blockbuster movie “Rudy.”
Kevin came to Rice from Pearland High School and earned his way onto the Owls as a walk-on – working hard and putting in the hours without assistance from his dad.
“It’s been a unique experience the past three years to have my son on the team, and I’ve learned that it’s something that few sports information directors at the Division I level have experienced,” Chuck Pool said. “I’ve probably erred on the side of being overcautious in my approach with him, as opposed to his teammates. But that was only because I wanted whatever might come his way to be a product of his own efforts. He’s earned his place on the team and his time on the field, and coach Bailiff felt he was a perfect match for what the Rudy Awards honor each year.”
When the elder Pool learned of his son’s nomination, he did what he does every day – he wrote a news release.
“It still feels a little odd writing a release about him, because I can’t totally divorce the ‘father’ from the ‘sports information director’ at moments such as this,” Chuck said. “I am proud of what he’s accomplished as a representative of Rice and proud to do whatever I can to promote his effort to be named a finalist.”
Following is Chuck Pool’s news release about Kevin’s nomination for the Rudy Award:
HOUSTON – (Dec. 1, 2010) – Rice senior running back Kevin Pool is among 55 college football players who have been nominated for the 2010 Rudy Awards. Fans can have a hand in the selection process through an online voting option: http://www.collegerudyawards.com/cfra-ballot.htm. Fan voting will run from Dec. 1 to 13, with the three finalists being announced Jan. 11 in Dallas.
A senior walk-on from Pearland, Pool was nominated by head coach David Bailiff, who praised his contributions to the Owls as a member of the scout team the last three years.
“As a scout team member the entire time, his personal motivation and encouragement to his teammates never waned,” Bailiff said. “As a scout team member he gave 110 percent every day despite the realization he would receive a minimum amount of time on the field of competition. Kevin has never complained about the absence of playing time, as his primary drive and purpose were to contribute to the strength and success of the team. Kevin never presumed that being a Rice Owl football player was all about him – quite the contrary. His self determination and motivation to accomplish his personal best always has been as a team member, for the overall success of the team.”
After three years of work, Pool made his college debut in the Owls’ recent 62-38 win over East Carolina Nov. 20 at Rice Stadium. He carried the ball three times for a net of one yard. He was named as one of the game captains for the Owls finale against University of Alabama at Birmingham and made the start at running back.
The Rudy Awards were created by Daniel “Rudy” Ruettiger in 2007 to honor to honor Division I football players who brought that “something extra” to their team. Rudy, whose own story of pursuing his dream to play football at Notre Dame inspired the movie “Rudy,” wanted to find the most inspirational and motivational players in America who best defined what he refers to as “The Four C’s”: character, courage, contribution and commitment.
Any Division I college football player, scholarship or walk-on that satisfies the following eligibility requirements may be nominated:
Nominees will be chosen by a national selection committee consisting of such esteemed sports figures as June Junes and Chuck Knox. The selection process also incorporates a fan vote for supporters of the College Football Rudy Award. The selection committee will vote on three finalists. Each selection committee member will evaluate nominees on a points system. The athlete receiving the most total points and votes will be the College Football Rudy Awards winner.
The winner will have an academic scholarship awarded in his name to his university and will be presented the College Football Rudy Award by Rudy Ruettiger at the fourth annual College Football Rudy Awards Ceremony Jan. 11 in Dallas at the Hilton Anatole Hotel. The two runners-up will each receive an academic scholarship awarded in their name to their respective universities and the Runner’s-Up Award.