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June 21, 2012

Tiller, Armstrong, others honored at dinner

Anthrop given courage award


Last spring, Joe Anthrop found himself in a dire situation. Caught under his truck in the middle of the winter with no one at home, things didn't look good.

The only hope for Joe was his nephew Danny, who would hopefully would be returning from school soon. Sure enough Danny returned home to find his uncle, contacted authorities, and likely saved Joe's life.

"There was a lot of bad that came from that situation," Danny said. "But there was a lot of good that came from it. We are really happy that Joe is starting to get his independence back."

As fate had it, Danny wasn't playing baseball that spring as he had in past years. He had a torn ligament in his wrist and did not play that season, meaning he would come directly home from school.

"It's pretty crazy to think about all the factors that went into that scenario to make it possible," Danny said.

"It's humbling to get an award at this event to see guys like Joe Tiller and a video message from Drew Brees, it's really humbling."

Anthrop, who will begin his collegiate football career with Purdue in the fall, is excited to begin playing for his hometown team.

"It's weird to think about that one or two years ago, the guys I am working out with, I would have been asking them for autographs," Anthrop said. "I'm just really excited for the season to start. I think we are really going to have a good year."

Hummel honored for toughness

Although he wasn't able to attend due to his obligations in prepping for the NBA, Robbie Hummel won the Drew Brees Mental Toughness Award, the first even given to a non-football player.

The Tillers honored

Joe Tiller may have been elected to the Indiana Football Hall of Fame, but it was his wife, Arnette, who he felt deserved the most recognition Thursday night.

And she did, receiving the Indiana Football Coaches Association's Service to Football Award.

"I'm probably happier for him than I am me," Joe Tiller said. "I've received more honors than I've probably deserved and it's just long overdo (for her).

"…(Wives) are as dedicated to the sport as their husbands are. So I'm particularly pleased to see her being recognized. And for me, it's a great honor to represent Purdue University and go into the Indiana Football Hall of Fame."

Tiller, Purdue's all-time winningest coach, was inducted into the Hall, along with longtime high school coach Frank O'Shea and Big Ten official Tom Ransom.

Other award winners

• Former Boilermaker Otis Armstrong was recognized for his upcoming induction into the College Football Hall of Fame. His induction will be the third in the last six years for former Boilermakers.

• Longtime Purdue athletic trainer Denny Miller was honored with the Legends Award. Miller's award was presented by long-time Purdue surgeon Don Shelbourne, who has worked with Miller at Purdue for the past 30 years.

• West Lafayette's Dayton Snyder was awarded the Northwest Chapter's Scholar-Athlete of the Year. It was the fourth consecutive year that the chapter's winner was a West Lafayette alumnus.

Snyder will now advance to the regional level where he will hope to advance to the national award ceremony in New York. In 2010 and 2011, Matt Lancaster and Daniel Wodicka both advanced to the national ceremony. Snyder looks to be the third Northwest representative in four years.

• Chris and Clay Oppy of Lafayette are recipients of the Bernie Flowers Award for Outstanding Contribution to Amateur Football for their efforts with Dream Season, a program that works with people of special needs,

• Former Purdue wide receiver Kurt Lichtenberg was given the Citizenship Award for his mission work locally as well as in Haiti and South Africa. While Lichtenberg was unable to attend the ceremony, Purdue coach Danny Hope spoke on his behalf, commenting on Lichtenberg's hard work and commitment to outreach programs such as Dream Season.

Terrill in concert

Former Boilermaker, and recently retired NFL defensive tackle, Craig Terrill performed the music for the awards show, playing a set in front of the 500 or so patrons.

"I'm looking forward to it," Terrill said before the gig, when asked about singing for his former coach. "I know Joe likes music and he was a great coach for me. It was awesome playing those years here at Purdue."




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