OKLAHOMA CITY–(BUSINESS WIRE)– College football’s top defensive backs will learn Thursday night who among them will take home the coveted Paycom Jim Thorpe Award. Presenting the award on behalf of the Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame (OSHOF) and sponsor Paycom Software, Inc. (NYSE:PAYC) will be Bob Stoops, former University of Oklahoma head football coach. Once a defensive back standout at the University of Iowa, Stoops will appear as part of ESPN’s The Home Depot College Football Awards show, scheduled to air live at 7 p.m. ET Thursday, Dec. 6, from the College Football Hall of Fame in Atlanta.
“As the former head football coach at the University of Oklahoma, I am honored to present the Paycom Jim Thorpe Award again, and I look forward to recognizing the best defensive back in America at Thursday’s awards show,” said Stoops. “This award is named after an Oklahoman who is one of history’s greatest athletes, Jim Thorpe, and is sponsored by one of the state’s and nation’s most innovative and fastest-growing companies, Paycom.”
A four-year starter and 1982 All-Big Ten selection as a defensive back at Iowa, Stoops holds the record for most wins as a head coach at the University of Oklahoma, where he led the program to more than three times as many conference championships (10) as the next closest school in the Big 12, before retiring at the end of the 2016-17 season. During his 18-year career at OU, Stoops’ program produced two Thorpe Award winners in Derrick Strait (2003) and Roy Williams (2001).
“It’s an honor for us to sponsor the Paycom Jim Thorpe Award, and the fact Bob Stoops has agreed to present the award for a second consecutive year makes it even more special,” said Paycom’s founder and CEO Chad Richison. “Stoops is known for his play as a defensive back and his ability to develop high-character players. This year’s finalists will remember Thursday’s event and their experience in Atlanta for the rest of their lives and I am excited Coach Stoops will be the one presenting this accolade.”
Now in its 32nd year, the Paycom Jim Thorpe Award is presented annually to the outstanding defensive back in college football and is the OSHOF’s most distinguished national accolade.
Paycom Jim Thorpe Award Finalists
- Julian Love, University of Notre Dame (junior)
- Greedy Williams, Louisiana State University (sophomore)
- Deandre Baker, University of Georgia (senior)
About the Paycom Jim Thorpe Award
The Paycom Jim Thorpe Award is presented to the outstanding defensive back in college football each year on ESPN and is the OSHOF’s most distinguished national honor. Established in 1986, this accolade is based on performance, athletic ability and character.
The Paycom Jim Thorpe Award is a member of the National College Football Awards Association (NCFAA), which encompasses the sport’s most prestigious honors. Founded in 1997, the NCFAA and its 23 awards now boast more than 800 recipients, dating to 1935. Visit NCFAA.org to learn more.