April 30, 2008
Terry Donahue, who served as head coach at his alma mater from 1976 through 1995, has been selected as the 2008 Edward A. Dickson Alumnus of the Year. He will be honored, along with other award recipients, at an invitation-only ceremony scheduled for Sunday, June 1, at 3:00 pm on the UCLA campus.
Each year, the UCLA Awards are bestowed by the UCLA Alumni Association to honor the best of UCLA. The awards pay tribute to alumni and friends who manifest outstanding achievement in their professional fields, in service to their communities, in public service, in academic pursuits and in service to the University.
The tradition began in 1946 when the Edward A. Dickson Alumnus of the Year Award was first presented as UCLA's highest alumni tribute to M. Philip Davis '28. Since then, this achievement award has been bestowed annually to distinguished alumni who have rendered special and outstanding service to UCLA or have brought honor and distinction to the University. Additional prestigious awards were to follow, recognizing specific areas of service and achievement.
From his time as an undergraduate student to his two-decade reign as head coach of UCLA football, Donahue has devoted the vast majority of his adult life to the Bruins. As a student-athlete, Donahue embodied the 1965 "gutty little Bruin" football team that upset heavily favored USC, and later, No. 1 Michigan State in the Rose Bowl game. After graduating, he remained a driving force behind Bruin football, working in the early 1970s as an assistant coach to the team that won another Rose Bowl championship against Ohio State in 1976.
Named head coach that same year, Donahue built his team into one of the top programs in the country. During his 20-year career with the University, he became the coach with the most wins in Pac-10 (98 league victories) and UCLA (151 wins) history. The team also played in 13 bowl games, including four Rose Bowls and five Pac-10 championships. Most notably, Donahue finished his career with a 10-9-1 winning record against USC.
Under his guidance, UCLA also produced 34 first-team All-Americans and had 14 players selected in the first round of the NFL draft. In honor of his achievements, Donahue was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2002.
Donahue's career path took him to CBS Sports as a lead college football analyst, 1996 to 1998. In 1999, he was hired by Bill Walsh to become the director of player personnel for the San Francisco 49ers, and in 2001, he was named the general manager of the team, a position he held for four years. Currently, Donahue works as a college football analyst for the NFL Network and for Fox Sports covering NFL games and the Bowl Championship Series.
Donahue has remained dedicated to UCLA long after his 1995 resignation as coach. He speaks to various groups within the UCLA community and has joined the UCLA Campaign Cabinet. In light of his longstanding commitment to the school, Chancellor Emeritus Charles Young M.A. '57, Ph.D. '60 confirms "there are few other individuals during the last 30 years who have been more of a representative of UCLA in the public arena." Though athletic performance has defined Donahue's history as a coach, Young points out Donahue's strength where it counts most. "He always conducted himself... not only as a head football coach that epitomizes sportsmanship but also as a true university citizen at all times."
Coach John Wooden acclaims Donahue's devotion to the entire UCLA community, explaining, "I believe that a head coach, particularly at UCLA, should be judged by his or her peers within the university community-at-large as to whether the student-athletes with whom the coach was entrusted become not only excellent athletes but also, and more importantly, better students and better all-around individuals. There is no doubt in my mind that Terry Donahue deserves the recognition of having achieved that very ethereal form of success."
For information about UCLA Awards, visit: www.UCLAlumni.net/2008Awards.