Haley comes to town as a coach for one of the Jacksonville Jaguars opponents,
he always makes a point to stop at the University of North Florida to “see how
the place is growing.”
graduating in 1991 with a bachelor’s degree in communication, Haley says UNF
has grown dramatically and he is proud to call UNF his alma mater.
returned the compliment recently when Haley, now the head coach of the Kansas
City Chiefs, was named the recipient of the Distinguished Alumni Achievement
Award. At the alumni recognition dinner where the award to Haley was announced,
several other alumni also received awards.
am truly humbled to receive UNF’s Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award. I
hold my education from UNF in very high regard, and I would be proud if any or
all of my children decided to follow in my footsteps someday,” Haley said.
Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award is the highest award given to a UNF
graduate by the Alumni Association and recognizes alumni who have made
significant contributions to their professions or communities.
Dunning, president of the UNF Alumni Association, said Haley honored UNF by
rising to the rank of NFL head coach. “While there are many collegiate football
programs that have never produced a NFL head coach, UNF forever can say it has
by living what the University seeks to excel in – true transformational
grew up eating and breathing football. His father, Dick Haley, was director of
player personnel for the Pittsburgh Steelers from 1971 to 1991, when the team
captured four Super Bowl titles. Todd Haley was a towel boy and water boy for
the Steelers and remembers such legendary players as Franco Harris and Jack
UNF didn’t have a football team, Haley exhibited his competitive nature on the
golf course. He played a season on the Osprey golf team after transferring from
the University of Miami.
at UNF, Haley considered a career in advertising or public relations. “I’ve
always found the creative side of advertising intriguing. Thinking back on it
now, I suppose that was the direction my career would have taken had I not
become so involved in sports,” he said.
sports proved to be a stronger draw. Haley served stints in various assistant
coaching capacities with NFL teams, including the New York Jets, the Chicago
Bears, the Dallas Cowboys and the Arizona Cardinals, where he reached the Super
Bowl as coordinator of one of the country’s most exciting offenses.
was named head coach of the Chiefs in February of 2009 becoming the 11th
head coach in the team’s history and the second youngest. Fittingly, Haley’s initial home win as
Kansas City’s head coach was an overtime victory over the Steelers as his
father looked on.
are only 32 jobs of this kind in the world and getting one of them is truly
special,” he said.
and his wife, Chrissy, now live in Mission Hills, Kan. with their five
children: Taylor, 12, Peyton, 8, Kady, 4, Ella, 3, and Todd, 1.
the same time Haley received the Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award,
several other UNF alumni also were recognized.
graduate Kara Tucker received the Young Alumni Award. The 2010 Honorary Alumni
Awards were presented to Adm. Jonathan T. Howe, Irene J. Lazzara, Jim Milligan,
Susan Ryzewic and A. Hugh Greene.
And six alums received Outstanding Alumni Awards: Anna Brosche (Coggin
College of Business); Jason Burnett (College of Arts and Sciences); Donna Jones
(Brooks College of Health); Jennifer Jones (Thomas G. Carpenter Library); Earl
Shimp (College of Computing, Engineering and Construction); and Joni Shook
(College of Education and Human Services).
contributed to this report.
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