WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. – Former Lycoming College head football coach Frank Girardi was honored on Sunday night with a lifetime achievement award, presented by ESPN Radio 1050 at the inaugural Night of Champions. After receiving the award, it was announced that in years to come, the honor will be titled the Frank Girardi Lifetime Achievement Award.
Girardi, who was scheduled to be a guest speaker at the inaugural event hosted at the Holiday Inn Grand Ballroom, was surprised when an audio clip featuring former players from as far back as the 1970’s began playing. Players spoke about how Girardi helped to shape their lives, both on and off the field.
Next, Girardi’s four children made their way to the stage to honor him with the ESPN 1050 Lifetime Achievement Award, a fitting tribute on Fathers Day.
“I wondered why they were all here,” joked Girardi when he took the microphone. “I have been to countless events and games and it seemed odd that they would all come to this one.”
Following the presentation of the award, ESPN 1050 Sports Director Todd Bartley took the microphone for a special announcement.
“We felt that simply honoring him with this award was not enough,” said Bartley. “Therefore, in years to come, this award will be known as the Frank Girardi Lifetime Achievement Award.”
Girardi took the microphone and delivered one of the inspirational speeches he has become known for over his outstanding tenure at Lycoming. He spoke to the room, filled with the top high school talent in the county, about making good decisions throughout life and about staying on track for success.
The ESPN Radio Night of Champions event was held for the first time on Sunday evening. The night included a catered meal, messages from NFL and WNBA players, inspirational messages from Girardi and Bucknell head football coach Tim Landis and the presentation of numerous awards. Money was raised through a silent auction, a 50-50 raffle and a generous donation from M&T Bank, for the ESPN 1050 Scholarship fund, which will be granted to a graduating high school senior athlete from the area.
Bartley hopes that with the support of the community, the event will become an annual gathering to honor the accomplishments of the athletes in Lycoming County.