WASHINGTON – A pair of former Catholic University football players were honored at halftime of the Cardinals' football game vs. Randolph-Macon on Friday, October 7. Rich Brennan of Summit, N.J., was honored with the Anthony J. Bottoni Award, and Dwight Jones of Maplewood, N.J., received the Ronnie McManes Award.
The Anthony J. Bottoni Award was established in 2000 to honor the CUA football team's outstanding senior player. Brennan exemplified exceptional leadership skills on and off the field. A four-year starter, Brennan anchored the Cardinals offensive line and was named an All-Old Dominion Athletic Conference selection (ODAC) on three occasions, including first team honors in 2009.
Brennan graduated in 2011 with a degree in sociology and was a member of the ODAC All-Academic Team.
The Ronnie McManes Award was established in 1998 to honor the "CUA football player who has risen above adversity to excel athletically and academically." Jones was a four-year member of the Cardinals program and totaled 75 tackles along the defensive line.
Jones appeared in six games and registered 15 tackles last season before a foot injury ended his career. As he has done his entire life, Jones overcame the adversity and remained a vital part of the CUA team, attending practices and games and helping to mentor his younger teammates.
Jones will graduate from CUA in the spring of 2012 with a degree in sociology.
Brennan and Jones helped the Cardinals share the 2008 ODAC championship and win their first postseason game in 73 years.
The Bottoni Award is named in honor of Anthony J. Bottoni, a two-year (1998-99) starting right guard for the Cardinals who was killed in an automobile collision Dec. 28, 1999. Just a month prior, Bottoni helped CUA win its first league football championship with a 6-0 record in the ODAC. The 6-foot, 277-pounder played on three consecutive NCAA playoff teams (1997-99) that went 29-4 (.879) during his college career.
The McManes Award is named in honor of former Cardinal Coach Ronnie McManes, who in 1965 helped to rejuvenate football at CUA by becoming the school's first head football coach in 15 years. McManes (mick-maynz) had previously coached football, baseball, basketball and track for the No. 12 Metropolitan Police Boys Club in Washington, D.C. Former University of Notre Dame President, the Rev. Edward A. "Monk" Malloy, is among the boys club players he coached.