William G. “Billy Coward” is a graduate of the D.C. Public Schools. He attended Garnet Patterson Jr. High School and played and participated in touch football, basketball, softball and track. During his last year at Garnet Patterson, the basketball team won the city championship for the Division II D.C. Public School System. Upon graduation, he won the Walker Memorial medal as the outstanding athlete in the school. He attended Dunbar Sr. High School where he played football, basketball and baseball. In his senior year, he was one of only three 3 Lettermen in the school. After graduation from Dunbar in 1949, he received a football scholarship to attend North Carolina College (now North Carolina Central University). He lettered three of the years of attendance and earned a trophy in his sophomore year as the “Player Contributing Most to the Development of the Team”.
In 1966, he began teaching at Bell Vocational High School and became an assistant football, basketball and track coach. He became head basketball and head track coach in 1969. The Bell Vocats were vocational high school champions during the 1970-71 and 1972-73 basketball seasons as well as runners-up in the City Championship games for both seasons.
In 1973, he became the associate athletic director, basketball and track coach at Federal City College (now the University of the District of Columbia). In 1976, Billy returned to the D.C. Public Schools as dean of students at McFarland Jr. High School. In 1977, he became an assistant principal at Woodrow Wilson Sr. High School. In June 1980, he retired from the D.C. School System to become a stress management consultant with Control Data Corporation.
In July 1981, he began his employment at Howard University as assistant director of recreational activities for students, faculty and staff. He retired in June of 1993 and became the kicking coach on the Howard University football team. The football team was National Black College Football Champions in 1993 and again in 1996. At the end of the 1999 football season, he was asked by the president of the University to become the interim men’s basketball coach. Billy assumed that position in January 2000 until the end of that basketball season.
In 2006 the Pigskin Club of Washington began to present the annual William G. "Billy" Coward award to the National Black College Football Champions. Additionally, he was inducted into the Pigskin Club's Hall of Fame in 2008.
He became an author having written and published "An Exposure to Sports: A Reflection of My Involvement in Sports as a Participant, Spectator and Coach". This is a memoir that delves into his involvement in sports (in one capacity or another) over a period of seven decades.
FRANK P. BOLDEN, SR. AWARD
Frank P. Bolden, Sr – served 33 years as a high school teacher, coach and administrator in the DC Public Schools, he dedicated his life to being a positive force in the lives of thousands of young people and helping the community. He also played a major role in developing one of the best inner-city scholastic sports programs in the country. He coached the Cardozo Clerk’s basketball team in the late 1950s and early 1960s when Cardozo was one of the dominant teams in the league. Coach Bolden's teams were Public High School Champions in 1957, 1958, 1959, 1964 and 1965. In 1957 and 1958, they were City Champions. The City Title victory in 1957 over Gonzaga is noteworthy because it was the first Inter-High-Parochial Title Game played after schools in the District of Columbia were integrated.
Mr. Bolden's outstanding contributions have been widely recognized by both local and national organizations including: American Alliance for Health, Physical Education in 1976; City and County Directors of Health and Physical Education in 1975; The Pigskin Club of Washington, DC in 1980, 2003; the DC Alumni of Ohio State University in 1976; and National High School Athletic Coaches Association in 1983. From 1980 to 2003, he has served as an unpaid consultant or volunteer for every major Inter-High and DCIAA athletic activity in the District of Columbia. To him his teaching experiences cannot be compared with anything else in his life. Coaching and teaching gave him a lot; he just tried to give a little back.
Mr. Bolden served as President of the Pigskin Club of Washington from 1990 to 1996 and was elected to the District of Columbia Interscholastic Athletic Hall of Fame in 1999. However, it is the arena of physical education and athletic administration where he will be remembered most. His contributions were numerous. He was the catalyst for the development of a strong health and physical education program in the elementary schools, the Swimming Program of for the DC Public Schools, the building of nine swimming pools in DC Schools, gymnastic programs, fitness testing programs, and a strong driver education program.
Mr. Bolden received his early education in the very schools he served for so long. He attended Shaw Junior High and graduated from Dunbar High School. He went on to earn a BS Degree in Health and Physical Education at Wilberforce University, Wilberforce, Ohio, the nation's oldest private African-American university, and a Master’s Degree from Ohio State University, Columbus Ohio.
LENNY GUY FORD, JR. AWARD
Lenny Ford, born on February 18, 1926, in Anacostia, was Washington's first African-American born member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame. While at Armstrong Technical High School, Lenny earned nine varsity letters playing baseball, basketball, and football. In his senior year he captained all three teams", two of which won championships. Black colleges vied for his talents. Lenny finally chose Morgan State College. He played 'Varsity Men's basketball and football in 1944 and CIAA honors.
Lenny's dream was to play in the Rose Bowl. Fiercely self-confident, Lenny presented himself in the fall of 1945 at the University of Michigan and asked to try out for the football team. A few days he was in uniform and enrolled in the University. While at Michigan, Lenny was a three-time All-American football end and realized his dream by starring in Michigan's triumph over the University of California in the 1948 Rose Bowl.
After graduating from the University of Michigan, he went on to play with the Las Angeles Dons of the All-American Football Conference for two years and the Cleveland Browns of the National Football League for eight years, where he finally received the attention, he deserved. While with the Broncos he was named as defensive end to the All-NFL team five times, played on three championship teams and was named to four Pro Bowls. He was credited with changing quite a few rules in pro football. He was ultimately named a defensive end on the All-Pro 1950’s-decade team of the National Football League. He finished his professional football career with the Green Bay Packers, playing for Vince Lombardi. Upon his retirement from football in 1958, Lenny settled in Detroit, Michigan, where he worked as assistant director of the Considine Recreation Center until his death on March 13, 1972.
Leonard Guy Ford, Jr. was no ordinary man. From the day of his birth, he aspired to excellence.In his lifetime he combined some of the finest attributes of human character – courage, perseverance, stamina totally committed to the fullest development of his potential. He stands tall among the giants of men not only because he was one of the greatest defensive ends in the history of football, but also because he dared to hope, he dared to dream, and he dared to conquer. The quality of his person brought pride to his family, to the school system, and to the citizens of the District of Columbia.
The enshrinement of Leonard Guy Ford, Jr., in the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1976 as a fitting climax to the life of the man whose favorite saying was "A winner never quits, and a quitter never wins." Leonard Ford won the ultimate in the annals of football. It is with pride and humility that the Pigskin Club of Washington, D.C., Inc., honors you, as an outstanding defensive football player, by presenting this trophy, bearing the name of a great athlete.
JOHN L. YOUNG AWARD
John L. Young, a star athlete and a kind and thoughtful friend of young people, was born August 17, 1903, in Alexandria, Louisiana. He attended school in Jonesville, Wisconsin where his performance at Jonesville High School won him a football scholarship to Howard University. Upon his graduation from Howard he was employed as Assistant Football Coach for his Alma Mater. John L. Young or "Jack Young" as he was affectionately known was a teacher of Physical Education and Coach at Cardozo High School in Washington, D.C. from 1931 to 1941. During this decade, he laid the foundation for the championship teams for which Cardozo is still noted.
While serving at Cardozo, Jack Young was also a director of the first Police Boys Club for Black Youth. In 1942 he became Assistant Superintendent of the D.C. Recreation Department in charge of all Negro Centers and held this position until his death. John Young was a faithful member of the Pigskin Club. He also affiliated with Kappa Alpha Psi, the Eastern Board of Officials and the D.C. School Club.
He died in 1952 survived by his wife, Carrie, and one son, John L., Jr. In commemoration of his contributions to the recreation program of this City, a playground at Tenth and R Streets, N.W., was named for him in "grateful acknowledgement of his dedicated service and his profound influence on youth." In the John L. Young Award, the Pigskin Club commemorates his life and salutes an outstanding NCAA offensive athlete.
JOHN W. POSEY AWARD
John W. Posey was born in Colonial Beach, Westmoreland County, Virginia, January 8, 1919. He received his early education in Virginia and in the public schools of the District of Columbia. After graduation from Armstrong High School, he enrolled at the Miner Teachers College from which he received the B.S. degree. This was followed by his appointment as a teacher in the elementary schools of the District and, in succession, as military instructor at Cardozo and Phelps High Schools; principal of the Veterans High School Center; principal of Phelps Vocational High School; and Director of the Department of Vocational Education. During this period in his professional career, he received the M.A. degree from New York University and continued his studies at Maryland, Temple, and New York Universities and attended a number of U.S. Armed Forces service schools.
John W. Posey had a distinguished career in the service of his country. He interrupted his education at Miner Teachers College to enter the U.S. Army during World War II as a private and rapidly advanced to the rank of Major. His experience included service overseas and afforded him many opportunities as an Engineer Commander to instruct and train military and civilian personnel.
After active service, he continued in the U.S. Army Reserve until his retirement as a Lt. Colonel.
A second career in education began after retirement from the Public Schools of the District of Columbia, when he accepted a position Deputy Director of Veterans Affairs at the District of Columbia Teachers College. Upon the merger of DCTC with the Washington Technical Institute and the Federal City College to become the University of the District of Columbia, Col. Posey became the Director of Veterans Affairs at the new University. He retired from the University as Director, Center for Student Financial Assistance in 1982.
Col. Posey's multiple careers were not confined to the armed services and the field of education. Along with his wife, Teresa, they were named the Catholic Couple of the Year, Archdiocese of Washington, in 1965 and he received the Papal Award, the highest award given by the Pope to Catholic Laymen. He served as President of the Saint Vincent de Paul Society, Chairman of the Board of the Overstreet Foundation, Chairman of the Hospital Board of the Greater Southeast Community Hospital Foundation, Inc., and as Treasurer of the D.C. Lottery Board. He was an avid sports fan, having lettered in baseball and is supportive of football particularly and all other sports.
Colonel Posey served brilliantly as President of the Pigskin Club of Washington, a fitting climax to a life of service to human beings. He was married to the former Teresa Braxton and is the father of John W. Posey, Jr., a Catholic Priest and army chaplain, and a daughter, Rita T. Posey-Moore, teacher of Special Education.
Pigskin Club of Washington, Inc., PO Box 91675, Washington D.C. 20090