Scalise Receives Toner Award at 61st NFF Annual Awards Dinner

Scalise Receives Toner Award at 61st NFF Annual Awards Dinner

Tom Beckett and Bob Scalise (middle) receiving the John L. Toner Award Tuesday night (National Football Foundation).

NEW YORK -- Bob Scalise, The John D. Nichols '53 Family Director of Athletics, and retired Bulldogs Athletics Director Thomas Beckett were honored by the National Football Foundation (NFF) as the 2018 co-recipients of the NFF John L. Toner Award during the 61st NFF Annual Awards Dinner at the New York Hilton Midtown Tuesday evening.

In May, the NFF named Beckett and Scalise the 2018 co-recipients of the John L. Toner Award, which has been presented annually since 1997 to athletics directors who have demonstrated superior administrative abilities and shown outstanding dedication to college athletics and particularly college football. The award is named in honor of its inaugural recipient John L. Toner, former athletics director and football coach at Connecticut and NCAA President.

"Harvard-Yale is one of the most storied rivalries in college football, and honoring both the university's athletics directors with the Toner Award recognizes their extraordinary dedication to the scholar-athlete ideal at two of the finest academic institutions in the nation," said NFF President & CEO Steve Hatchell. "The leadership of Tom Beckett and Bob Scalise has spawned great success on the field and in the classroom at both universities. Their accomplishments place them at the forefront of their profession."

At the time of the announcement in May, they became the first-ever-sitting athletics directors from the Ivy League to claim the honor in the award's 21-year history.


Bob Scalise – Harvard

Robert L. Scalise, Harvard's John D. Nichols '53 Family Director of Athletics, has overseen an era of tremendous success for the nation's largest Division I athletics program since taking over in July 2001. The seventh person to hold the position, Scalise leads an organization made up of 42 varsity sports, a myriad of club and intramural programs, more than 1,200 intercollegiate athletes and a broad array of wellness and recreation programs and facilities.

In 17 years as director of athletics, Scalise has seen Harvard win 20 national team championships and 136 Ivy League titles, including a school-record 14 conference crowns in both the 2004-05 and 2013-14 seasons. In addition, the 46 Ivy League championships won by the Class of 2017 set a new Harvard record for most conference titles by a graduating class. While Harvard puts special emphasis on Ivy League championships, the department has had considerable success on a national level under Scalise by winning team and/or individual national championships in 10 of the last 12 seasons.

During his tenure, Harvard has claimed at least a share of the Ivy League football title eight times under the guidance of head coach Tim Murphy, most recently in 2015. Harvard has beaten archrival Yale 15 times in the 18 editions of "The Game" since Scalise became AD in 2001, including nine consecutive wins from 2007-15 and 135th edition of The Game held at Fenway Park in 2018.

His tenure has also encompassed the induction of former Harvard greats William Lewis (2009) and Pat McInally (2016) into the College Football Hall of Fame, and the recognition of former Crimson cornerback Andrew Berry as an NFF National Scholar-Athlete in 2008. Harvard has had 73 players honored since the launch of the NFF Hampshire Honor Society in 2007, which is comprised of college football players from all divisions of play who each maintained a cumulative 3.2 GPA or better throughout their college careers.

Under Scalise, Harvard has hosted several high-level NCAA tournaments, including the 2006 women's basketball Final Four at the TD Bank Garden, four men's lacrosse championships at Gillette Stadium and the 2010 fencing championships at Gordon Indoor Track.

Born in New York City, Scalise has extensive ties to Ivy League athletics. A 1971 Brown alumnus, Scalise was selected three times to the All-Ivy League lacrosse team and twice named All-America and All-New England. He led the nation in scoring as a junior, then co-captained the squad in 1971 when he set an NCAA record by scoring 11 times against Connecticut while helping the Bears advance to the inaugural NCAA men's lacrosse tournament. Scalise was inducted into the Brown Hall of Fame in 1991

Scalise entered the coaching ranks at Brown in the fall of 1971 as an assistant for the men's soccer and lacrosse teams. He was just 24 when he was named head coach of Harvard's men's lacrosse team in 1974. He led the Crimson to the 1980 Ivy League championship, the program's first league title in nearly two decades and an accompanying NCAA tournament bid. He coached 25 All-America selections and completed his tenure in 1987 with a 98-79 overall record.  Scalise was also the first coach of Harvard's women's soccer program, which began varsity play in 1977. He led that team to three Ivy League crowns and two NCAA tournament berths. In 1985, Scalise became the nation's first women's collegiate soccer coach to amass 100 victories, and he finished with a 113-38-11 overall record.

Scalise left coaching in 1987 to enroll in the Harvard Business School, where in 1989 he was awarded a Master of Business Administration. Later that year, he became director of MBA placement services, managing processes and products at the Business School. He held that post until 1992, when he accepted a position at Bain & Company to become director of recruiting, career development and alumni relations. 

Scalise returned to Harvard Business School in 1995 as its executive director of MBA program administration. He then assumed the role of Senior Executive Officer where he oversaw an annual operating budget of $200 million before being named director of athletics.

A leader in intercollegiate athletics, Scalise serves as a member of the inaugural NCAA Division I Council. He is the chair of the NCAA Student-Athlete Experience Committee and works as a member of the NCAA lacrosse rules committee.

Scalise is married to Maura Costin Scalise, an All-Ivy swimmer at Harvard who coached the Crimson women's swimming and diving team from 1985-98. In addition, four of Scalise's children have been athletes at Harvard. 

61st NFF Annual Awards Dinner

Beckett and Scalise were honored during the 61st NFF Annual Awards Dinner in New York alongside the recipients of the other NFF Major Awards, including Atlanta Hall Management Chairman and College Football Hall of Fame inductee from Dartmouth Murry Bowden (NFF Outstanding Contribution to Amateur Football Award) and longtime Voice of the Texas A&M Aggies Dave South (NFF Chris Schenkel Award for excellence in broadcasting).

In addition to the presentation of the NFF Major Awards, the 61st NFF Annual Awards Dinner provided the stage for the induction of the 2018 College Football Hall of Fame Class; the presentation of the 2018 NFF National Scholar-Athlete Awards; and the bestowing of the 29th NFF William V. Campbell Trophy® to the nation's top football scholar-athlete.

This year's College Football Hall of Fame Class included Trevor Cobb (Rice), Kerry Collins (Penn State), Dave Dickenson (Montana), Dana Howard (Illinois), Calvin Johnson (Georgia Tech), Paul Palmer (Temple), Ed Reed (Miami [Fla.]), Matt Stinchcomb (Georgia), Aaron Taylor (Nebraska), Charles Woodson (Michigan) and coaches Frank Beamer (Murray State, Virginia Tech), Mack Brown (Appalachian State, Tulane, North Carolina, Texas) and Mel Tjeerdsma (Austin College [Texas], Northwest Missouri State).

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