the study of the kicking components within sports

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Joe Allison Wins 1992 Lou Groza Award



"Former University of Memphis place-kicker Joe Allison enjoyed a record-setting career and a brilliant season in 1992, but he never dreamed that, in doing so, he would receive the Lou Groza Award, which is presented to the nation's top college kicker. Allison, a native of Atlanta, Ga., led the nation in field goals per game, average field goals made per game, and kick-scoring for the final nine weeks of the 1992 season. His 23-of-25 field goals made were the most in the nation, according to the NCAA, and his 92.0 percent made rated best among all kickers for the year.


'I did not know about the Lou Groza Award until we played Tulsa in late October,' said Allison. 'After the game, Bob Winn (Assistant Athletic Director/Communications) came up to me in the locker room and said that I was a candidate for the award. I didn't even know who Lou Groza was at the time. 'As soon as we returned to campus, I looked up Mr. Groza's statistics in the NFL record book, and I talked to Coach Armstrong (UM kicking coach) about his career with the Cleveland Browns.' Allison continued on his torrid streak of field goals made throughout the remainder of the `92 season. Week after week, his name appeared at the top of the NCAA statistics for kickers and a campaign was started to let sports writers and voters throughout the country know about Allison's feats....

Following the Thanksgiving holiday, Allison suffered an attack of appendicitis and had an emergency appendectomy. The surgery kept Allison from traveling to Hollywood, Calif., to appear on the Bob Hope Christmas Special, and it was while he was in the hospital recovering from his surgery that Allison learned that he had won the Lou Groza Award. 'Mr. Winn called and told me that I had won the award and it made me feel a whole lot better,' Allison stated. 'I was determined that I was going to get well and travel to Florida for the awards ceremony.' Allison did indeed recover from his surgery and, with the assistance of former head coach Chuck Stobart and kicking coach Murray Armstrong, traveled to West Palm Beach, Fla., to receive the first national award ever won by a Memphis player. The December 10th program was emceed by ABC sportscaster Curt Gowdy, and Baylor University head coach Grant Teaff was the guest speaker. In accepting the Lou Groza Award from 'The Toe' himself, Allison credited his snapper and holder and the entire Tiger special teams unit. 'Out of the 57 snaps during the season,' Allison said, 'I was the only one who made a mistake. Chad (Williams) did not have a bad snap, Andy (McWilliams) did not have a bad hold, but I missed two field goals. I couldn't have done it without their help'." - Tigers

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