FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Contact: Alvin Chang, President
THE BIG TEN CLUB OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA
ANNOUNCES STEVE ALFORD AS ITS 2015 PERSON OF THE YEAR
Pasadena (June 2, 2015) – The Big Ten Club of Southern California announced Indiana University Alumnus Steve Alford will receive the 2015 Person of the Year Award.
Steve Alford will receive the award during the Annual Big Ten Club’s Person of the Year Dinner to be held on Tuesday, June 9th at the Pasadena Tournament of Roses Headquarters – Tournament House. This is an exclusive dinner for Big Ten Club and Pasadena Tournament of Roses Association members, families, and friends. To join the club or for more information on tickets, please visit www.bigtenclub.com.
The Big Ten Club has existed in Southern California for over 80 years connecting conference graduates and offering members benefits, including events highlighting a long relationship with the Pasadena Tournament of Roses Association. The Annual Big Ten Person of the Year Dinner is a celebration honoring the successes and achievements of a Big Ten alumnus who has risen to the highest of ranks within their respective field and continues to carry themselves in a manner representative of the Big Ten Conference and Club. The event features docent-led tours of the famed Tournament House, presentation of the Person of the Year Award and an auction where proceeds will benefit a scholarship fund.
The prestigious Person of the Year Award has been presented in the past to the likes of visionaries and legends such as John Wooden, Tex Winter, Franco Harris, Bob Hope, Keith Jackson, Barry Alvarez, Archie Griffin, Mark Spitz, Drew Brees, Mark Murphy, 2014 Winner Bob Miller, and others.
This year, the Big Ten Club is excited to honor the on-court achievements of the Olympic gold medalist, NCAA National Champion, two-time 1st team All-American, 3-time first-team All-Big Ten, Big Ten MVP, and former Indiana Mr. Basketball. Steve Alford’s coaching credentials include 2 Mountain West Conference championships, 2 Big Ten Tournament championships, 2 Heartland Conference championships, and a Pac-12 Tournament championship. He most recently led the UCLA Bruins to a second consecutive Sweet Sixteen appearance in the NCAA Tournament.
This year we will also honor long-time member Al Freeman of Michigan State as the Big Ten Club Member of the Year. As a founding board member of the MSU Orange County Alumni Association, a Life Member of the Big Ten Club, and a member of our Board, Al has been an integral advisor to the Club promoting our key events and providing direction on the Club’s activities.
Go Big Ten!!
About the Big Ten Club of Southern California
In the depression year of 1932, Michigan alumnus Bob Hiller brought together some local Big Ten alumni for informal luncheon meetings in the Biltmore Hotel. The camaraderie caught on: early in 1933 the Big Ten Club was formally established to spread the good fellowship generated at the luncheon meetings. The Club grew steadily, even during the wartime years of the early ’40s, and in 1946 the signing of the Rose Bowl pact sparked an enthusiastic increase in membership and breadth of Club activities.
The Big Ten Club participates in many activities, including community service projects such as volunteering at the LA Food Bank; outings to the Hollywood Bowl, an annual football kickoff event and an annual luncheon honoring the Tournament of Roses’ Royal Court. Plus with our long standing association with the Tournament of Roses, Big Ten Club members enjoy access to special private events and allotted Rose Bowl Tickets.
About the Pasadena Tournament of Roses Association
Each New Year’s Day, the world focuses its attention on Pasadena, California, home of the Rose Parade and Rose Bowl Game. It’s a celebration more than a century old – a festival of flowers, music and sports unequaled anywhere else in the world. It’s America’s New Year Celebration, a greeting to the world on the first day of the year, and a salute to the community spirit and love of pageantry that have thrived in Pasadena for more than 100 years.
An event as large as the Tournament of Roses requires about 80,000 hours of combined manpower each year. That manpower is supplied by 935 members of the non-profit Tournament of Roses Association, a volunteer organization dedicated to presenting an internationally-recognized New Year’s celebration. Each volunteer is assigned to one of 31 committees, with responsibilities ranging from selecting parade participants to directing visitors on New Year’s Day, to hosting the press headquarters for media coverage of the Rose Bowl Game, to giving presentations about the Tournament to community groups.
Nicknamed “White Suiters” because of the distinctive white uniform every volunteer wears, these enthusiastic men and women give up their evenings, weekends and holidays to ensure the success of the parade and game. A small full-time staff provides support and continuity to the volunteer organization.
About Steve Alford
Steve Alford is a decorated former college basketball star and NBA player, born in Franklin, Indiana. He dominated the high school ranks and averaged 37.7 points per game, which led to his being named Indiana’s Mr. Basketball in 1983.
Alford then went on to Indiana University, where he became the university’s all-time leading scorer, an All-American, and Big Ten MVP. He led the Hoosiers to the NCAA Championship in 1987. Alford also participated for Team USA in the 1984 Summer Olympics under his Indiana coach Bobby Knight. Joining Michael Jordan, Patrick Ewing, Sam Perkins, and Chris Mullen, they went on to win gold at the games.
Following college, Alford played four years in the NBA for the Dallas Mavericks and Golden State Warriors. Shortly thereafter he began his coaching career and found success at every level. In 1992, coach Alford became head coach of Division III Manchester College, winning three straight conference titles. Then Alford moved to Southwest Missouri State University and advanced the Bears in 1999 to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament.
Alford then moved back to the Big Ten as coach of the University of Iowa Hawkeyes from 1999-2007. He led the Hawkeyes to two Big Ten Tournament Championships before moving on to New Mexico. He finally landed in Southern California in March of 2013 and has led the Bruins to the Sweet Sixteen in each season.