TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – FSU legend Warrick Dunn has been named one of six recipients of the NCAA Silver Anniversary Award, it was announced Tuesday. He is the first Silver Anniversary Award winner from Florida State.
The Silver Anniversary Award, which was first presented in 1973, annually recognizes distinguished individuals on the 25th anniversary of the conclusion of their collegiate athletics careers. Representatives of NCAA member schools and conferences, along with a panel of former student-athletes, select each year’s recipients.
Dunn was a two-sport star at Florida State, earning All-America honors on the football field and as part of the Seminoles’ 4×100-meter relay on the track. He appeared in 41 games and rushed 575 times for 3,959 yards and 37 touchdowns while adding 132 receptions for 1,314 yards and 12 touchdowns. Playing in an era before statistics from bowl games counted toward career totals, Dunn became the first player in program history to rush for 1,000 yards in three different seasons and left FSU as the program’s career rushing yards record holder.
He still holds program records with 22 career 100-yard rushing games, including a school-record streak of six straight 100-yard games in 1995, a single-season yards-per-rush average of 7.5 from 1995 and a career average of 6.9 yards per rush. He ranks second all-time at FSU in career rushing yards while his career rushing touchdowns are third in program history. He broke the program’s single-season rushing record with 1,242 yards in 1995 and followed that with 1,180 yards, the third-highest total in program history at the time and still the school record for rushing yards by a senior, in 1996. He earned Freshman All-America recognition in 1993 while helping Florida State win its first national championship and was a first-team All-American in 1996 as FSU played for another national title. He was a three-time first-team All-ACC selection and was named MVP of the Sugar Bowl following the 1994 season after posting 182 yards of total offense, showing his versatility by rushing for 58 yards, completing a 73-yard touchdown pass and grabbing nine receptions for 51 yards.
Dunn was selected 12th overall in the first round of the 1997 NFL Draft by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and spent 12 seasons in the NFL for the Bucs and the Atlanta Falcons. He appeared in 181 games, including 15 or more in 10 of those seasons, and rushed 2,669 times for 10,967 yards and 49 touchdowns and also made 510 receptions for 4,339 yards and 15 touchdowns. He retired with 15,306 all-purpose yards, 14th in NFL history at the time, and his 10,967 career rushing yards were 19th on the NFL’s all-time list. His 4,986 rushing yards and average of 4.0 yards per carry with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers still rank third in franchise history, while his 19 rushing touchdowns for the Bucs still rank seventh in franchise history 13 seasons after his career concluded. He still ranks third in Atlanta Falcons history with his average of 4.2 yards per carry, fourth in franchise history with 5,981 rushing yards and tied for sixth with 30 rushing touchdowns for the franchise. He was a three-time Pro Bowl selection, the 2004 Walter Payton Man of the Year Award winner, the 2009 Bart Starr Award winner, the 2010 Heisman Humanitarian Award recipient and the 2011 Jefferson Humanitarian Award for Public Service winner. He was named 1997 NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year and was selected for the Pro Bowl during his rookie campaign. Dunn became a minority owner in the Atlanta Falcons in March 2010 and was inducted into the Falcons Ring of Honor in 2017. He was a Pro Football Hall of Fame nominee in 2021.
Off the field, Dunn’s impact has been immeasurable. He established his Homes for the Holidays program in 1997, which serves as the flagship program at Warrick Dunn Charities. That initiative has provided single-parent families with home furnishing and down-payment assistance on new homes. The program has helped 199 families reach the dream of home ownership. Warrick Dunn Charities also established the Count on Your Future program in 2014 to teach families how to achieve economic empowerment, the Hearts for Community scholarship program that provides financial needs-based awards to support students who are active volunteers in their community, and Sculpt workshops that teach families about the importance of healthy food choices and how to eat healthy on a budget. In 2007, he joined Andre Agassi, Muhammad Ali, Jeff Gordon, Mia Hamm, Tony Hawk, Andrea Jaeger, Jackie Joyner-Kersee, Mario Lemieux, Alonzo Mourning and Cal Ripken, Jr., to found Athletes for Hope. He was given the Giant Steps Award from former President Bill Clinton.
In addition to Dunn, the other Silver Anniversary Award recipients are Maiya Anderson, a swimmer from Air Force, Wake Forest men’s basketball’s Tim Duncan, Cmdr. Matthew Humphreys, a swimmer from UC Santa Cruz, Katie King Crowley, an ice hockey and softball player at Brown, and USC women’s basketball’s Tina Thompson.
The NCAA will recognize this year’s honorees Jan. 19 at the Honors Celebration during the 2022 NCAA Convention in Indianapolis. The awards ceremony will be streamed on the NCAA Twitter account.