BIRMINGHAM, Ala. -- Archie Manning, legendary football and baseball player at Ole Miss, noted humanitarian and father of two Super Bowl-winning quarterbacks, has been named recipient of the Michael L. Slive Distinguished Service Award, SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey announced Thursday.
The Michael L. Slive Distinguished Service Award is presented on special occasions to former student-athletes, coaches, graduates or administrators of SEC institutions or the conference office who have maintained a lifetime of interest in college athletics and who, over a significant period of time, have exhibited superior leadership qualities and made a significant impact to the betterment of the mission of the Southeastern Conference.
"Archie Manning is more than a football legend in the Southeastern Conference. His integrity, leadership and contributions to society make him a pillar of a wider community that transcends sport," said SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey. "Archie has left an indelible mark on the SEC through his participation in athletics, his service organization leadership and his dedication to family values. We are pleased to honor Archie Manning with the Michael L. Slive Distinguished Service Award."
Manning will be honored during the annual SEC Legends Dinner on November 30, the night before the SEC Football Championship Game, and also in on-field activities before the SEC title game at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on December 1.
A native of Drew, Mississippi, Manning attended Ole Miss where he was the starting quarterback for three seasons. He was a two-time All-Southeastern Conference selection and finished third in the Heisman Trophy voting in 1970. He was the first Ole Miss player to have his number (18) retired. Manning was also an outstanding baseball player, having been drafted four times by major league teams.
Manning was the second overall pick in the 1971 NFL Draft and played 11 seasons for the New Orleans Saints. He earned two Pro Bowl selections and was the NFC Player of the Year in 1978. He concluded his professional career with the Houston Oilers (1982-83) and Minnesota Vikings (1983-84), passing for 23,911 yards and 125 touchdowns in his NFL career.
As a former student-athlete at Ole Miss, Manning has never hidden his allegiance to the Southeastern Conference. Not only has he become an ambassador for the league, he is recognized nationally as a leader in college athletics. Manning has used his national platform to promote the ideals of the SEC and he encourages student-athletes to take advantage of the educational opportunities the SEC and its member institutions provide.
For more than 20 years, Manning has impacted the lives of young athletes through the Manning Passing Academy, which uses current and former SEC athletes as counselors, and many of the campers go on to attend and become student-athletes at SEC schools.
His impact has also been felt for over 30 years with his loyal service to the Allstate Sugar Bowl Committee, a post-season bowl game which has a storied history with the Southeastern Conference.
Manning's superior leadership qualities were evident early in his college career when he became Ole Miss and SEC legendary coach John Vaught's first sophomore to ever start at quarterback. His leadership qualities were of significant importance during his NFL career, and those qualities have led him to serve on numerous committees and to champion many worthy causes.
In 1993, Manning joined the Board of Directors of the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame, 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. Manning became chair of the board in 2007, leading a nationwide network of 120 chapters in 47 states with more than 12,000 members.
Manning's stature in the college football community earned him a prestigious spot on the inaugural College Football Playoff Selection Committee in 2014.
In recognition of his exceptional leadership and unblemished reputation, Manning was the recipient of the National Football Foundation's 2016 Gold Medal, the highest and most prestigious award presented by the NFF which recognizes an outstanding American who has demonstrated integrity and honesty; achieved significant career success; and has reflected the basic values of those who have excelled in amateur sport, particularly football.
He is a member of numerous halls of fame, including the College Football Hall of Fame, the Mississippi and Louisiana sports halls of fame, the Sugar Bowl and Gator Bowl halls of fame, the New Orleans Sports Hall of Fame and the Ole Miss Sports Hall of Fame.
Following his playing career, Manning created a reputation as a leading humanitarian, assisting with a variety of causes, including cystic fibrosis, Special Olympics, Boy Scouts, and Salvation Army.
Manning was the recipient of the Byron "Whizzer" White NFL Man of the Year Award, the highest honor given by the NFL Players Association, as well as the Spirit of Good Sports Award from the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association. Manning and his wife Olivia were recipients of the National Pathfinder Award for their work post-Hurricane Katrina.
Manning recently was named the 2018 recipient of the American Spirit Medallion, given by the National World War II Museum to an individual who demonstrates extraordinary dedication to the principles that strengthen America's freedom and democracy, and he will be honored in January 2019 with the Walter Camp Football Foundation's Distinguished American Award.
A current resident of New Orleans, Archie and Olivia Manning have three sons, Cooper, Peyton (a 1998 Walter Camp All-American quarterback at Tennessee) and Eli (a two-time Second Team All-America quarterback at Ole Miss). In 2006, the National Father's Day Council named him "Father of the Year," and in honor of his college football accomplishments, the Sugar Bowl has created the Manning Award which goes to the nation's top college quarterback.
The Michael L. Slive Distinguished Service Award is named for Mike Slive, commissioner of the SEC from 2002-14. Slive was named the first winner of the award upon his retirement in 2014 and the award was subsequently named in his honor.
Last year the award was given to four former Kentucky football players and two former Vanderbilt basketball players who helped break the color barrier in the Southeastern Conference in those sports.
|2014||Michael L. Slive - SEC Commissioner|
|2017||SEC Pioneers of Integration
(Nate Northington, Wilbur Hackett, Houston Hogg, Greg Page - Kentucky Football;
Perry Wallace and Godfrey Dillard - Vanderbilt Basketball)
|2018||Archie Manning - Ole Miss Football/Baseball|