WASHINGTON – Two former football standouts will join a prestigious list of men who have left a lasting impression on and off the football field here at CUA. This year’s Anthony J. Bottoni and Ronnie McManes award recipients are Ryan Klein of Pennsylvania and Kenny Meyer of New York, respectively.
The Bottoni Award was established in 2000 to honor the CUA football team’s outstanding senior player. Klein made an immediate impact on and off the field when he arrived at Catholic. As an engineering major, Klein excelled in the classroom and his name became a permanent fixture on the dean’s list during his entire matriculation. On the gridiron, Klein was a defensive back and apart of the special teams. He was consistently among the top defenders in the conference, boasting honors in the tackle and pass defense category. He concluded his time as a student-athlete with 37 tackles including six for loss.
Off the field, Klein received several internships with numerous engineering firms, while also being heavily involved in the community. He led CUA football’s community service effort by spearheading their participation with the Armed Forces Retirement Home here in Brookland. In his final year as a Cardinal, Klein was awarded the Old Dominion Athletic Conference Sportsmanship award, which is given to the student-athlete who makes a significant contribution on the field and also does outstanding work in the classroom and in the community.
The McManes Award was established in 1998 to honor the “CUA football player who has risen above adversity to excel athletically and academically.” Meyer exemplified this behavior while overcoming a tragedy. Meyer started his collegiate athletic career as a linebacker before he was involved in a serious car accident. Following the accident, doctors were not sure if he would ever run again, let alone return to the football field after suffering a broken hip and undergoing two shoulder surgeries. On the heels of a long and strenuous rehabilitation regimen, Meyer decided he wanted to give football another shot, against his doctor’s advice. He reported to camp his senior year, and moved to center, despite weighing significantly less than the offensive lineman. By the end of camp, Meyer won the starting spot and had a brilliant senior campaign. Due to his injuries prior to his return, he was awarded a medical redshirt and allowed to return for a fifth season. In spite of his numerous job offers, Meyer returned for the 2012 season. Along with his return to the field, Meyer also expanded his transcript by adding a second major to an already notable 3.80 grade point average.
He started every game of 2012 and became the foundation of an offensive line that averaged 122 rushing yards per game and only allowed 8 sacks in 10 games. He graduated from CUA with honors, completing his degree in both finance and economics. Meyer now lives in New York City and is working in finance.
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.