The Cottage Hill Civitan Club has named Team Focus Founder Mike Gottfried as the 2010 Mobilian of the Year.
As Mobile’s most prestigious civic honor, the Mobilian of the Year award has been given annually since 1948 to an individual who has made an extraordinary, positive impact on the Mobile community.
Gottfried, who spent 12 successful seasons as a college football coach, is known as one of television’s most respected game analysts. Since 1990, he’s served as an ESPN college football analyst for ESPN’s Saturday Primetime telecasts. In 2000, Mike founded Team Focus, a comprehensive community outreach program for boys without fathers. Since then, more than 2,000 fatherless young men have been served and the chapters have grown throughout the United States.
The Mobilian of the Year banquet will be held on Thursday, April 7, at the USA Mitchell Center. A cocktail reception begins at 6 p.m., with dinner at 7 p.m.
The Civitan Club of Mobile sponsored the Mobilian of the Year program from 1948 until 2007, when the Cottage Hill Civitan Club began coordinating the event. In 2007, USA joined the Cottage Hill Civitan Club as a partner in the event. USA is not involved in the selection process for the award.
Randall “Randy” Eckhoff, Mobilian of the Year chairman for the Cottage Hill Civitan Club, said the Civitan Club is excited about the 2010 Mobilian of the Year award program.
“The Cottage Hill Civitan Club is excited to have Mr. Mike Gottfired as the Mobilian of the Year for 2010,” Eckhoff said. “Mr. Gottfried has promoted the City of Mobile for many years while working with ESPN TV as sports announcer for 18 years. He was one of the founders of the GoDaddy.com Bowl, formerly the GMAC Bowl.
“He has influenced thousands of young men as a football coach. He is now doing the same with Team Focus, which offers guidance and mentors to boys across the country. The program helps give them a sense of self-worth.”
Banquet tickets are available by contacting Cottage Hill Civitan Club President and MOY Chairman Randy Eckhoff at (251) 666-1973 or firstname.lastname@example.org. A portion of the proceeds from the ticket sales will be donated to Team Focus.
Mike Gottfried: A Legacy of Community Involvement
In 2000, Gottfried founded Team Focus, a comprehensive community outreach program for boys. His vision and drive for the program is based on his life experiences.
“Growing up without a father around and knowing what it feels like, I have a desire to provide a place for young men to come and be encouraged, motivated and challenged,” he said.
The goal of Team Focus is to provide fatherless young men ages 10 to 18 with leadership skills, guidance, Godly values and a continual relationship with a mentor. Through teamwork with the families, teachers and counselors, Team Focus offers support in a relaxed, cost-free atmosphere.
From 2000 to the present, over 2,000 fatherless young men have been served and the chapters have grown throughout the United States. Today, chapters are held in the following areas: Mobile, Birmingham, Auburn-Montgomery, Jacksonville, Fla.; Los Angeles, Calif.; Lexington, Ky.; Knoxville, Tenn.; Washington, D.C.; Keesler Air Force Base in Biloxi, Miss.; Las Vegas, Nev.; Columbus, Ohio; Sandusky, Ohio; Austin, Texas; Dallas, Texas; and Columbia, S.C.
Some of the functions of Team Focus include: individual tutoring and mentoring programs; academic support; scholarship opportunities; summer leadership camps; winter and spring Mini-Camps; monthly social activities; and monthly newsletters.
Gottfried, who spent 12 successful seasons as a college football coach, is known as one of television’s most respected game analysts. Since 1990, he’s served as an ESPN college football analyst for ESPN’s Saturday Primetime telecasts.
He also worked for the first half season of the Thursday Night Game of the Week, as well as the NFL Draft. Gottfried joined the network in 1990 and provided analysis on late afternoon CFA games for one season.
Gottfried began his coaching career in 1966 as a head coach at Roseville (Ohio) High School. His 12 years of college head coaching experience included stops at Murray State (1978-80), Cincinnati (1981-82), Kansas (1983-85), and Pittsburgh (1986-89).
During his four years at Pittsburgh, Gottfried compiled a record of 26-17-2, including two wins each over Notre Dame, Penn State and West Virginia. His total coaching record as a college head football coach is 77-54-6.
While at Pittsburgh, Gottfried hosted the Mike Gottfried Show on WTAF-TV (1986-89) and had a weekly radio show on WTAF-AM (1986-88). He served as an analyst on ESPN’s New Year’s Game Day before the 1989 Fiesta Bowl between Notre Dame and West Virginia.
Mike wrote the original playbook for the World League’s inaugural season (1991) with Bill Walsh and was the publisher of Mike Gottfried’s Top Recruit Magazine.
A sought after motivational speaker, Gottfried travels through out the United States speaking at colleges, high schools and corporations. He also has spearheaded fund-raisers for charitable organizations in Alabama and Ohio. Gottfried graduated from Morehead State (KY) in 1966 with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in education and in 1973 received his Masters Degree of Education. He has written two books, “Coach’s Challenge” and “Wisdom from Winners.”
He and his wife, Mickey, have two children and three grandchildren.
Civitan International is devoted to improving the lives of children and adults with developmental disabilities. Civitan International Clubs enrich communities across the globe by sponsoring summer camps, vocational programs and Special Olympics. Civitan International Research Center focuses its scientific energies on developing cutting-edge treatments for autism, cerebral palsy and Alzheimer’s disease.
The Cottage Hill Civitan Club
The Cottage Hill Civitan Club has worked with many local charities over the years. The group supports Augusta Evans Special School and the school’s Special Olympics Weight-Lifting Team. It has also given time and resources to the Mulherin Home, United Cerebral Palsy's Camp Smile, MobileARC, Penelope House and Wilmer Hall Children's Home. The group also sponsors Junior Civitan clubs at local area high schools, training the next generation in civic involvement.
Since 1948, area Civitan clubs have championed civic involvement through the Mobilian of the Year award, the most prestigious and longest-running award in the region.