Sep 23 2011

Graham to Participate in Ronald Reagan Centennial Coin Toss

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham will participate in the coin-toss before the Florida State-Clemson game tomorrow to celebrate the 100th birthday of Ronald Reagan, the 40th President of the United States.

This weekend Clemson University will be among the nearly 5,000 high school, college, and NFL teams across the United States who will be participating in the Ronald Reagan Centennial National Football Coin Toss.  The coin toss will use a special Ronald Reagan Centennial Commemorative Coin bearing the President’s image.

Additional information on the Reagan Centennial coin-toss is available online at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Foundation.


  • Ronald Reagan was a guard for the North Dixon (Illinois) Dukes high school.  He would later write in his memoirs that, “filling out one of those purple and white jerseys became the noblest and most glamorous goal in my life.” In college, he played guard and also punted for the Eureka College Red Devils.
  • In 1932, Ronald Reagan was a broadcaster for the University of Iowa Hawkeyes. Soon, he transferred to sister station WHO in Des Moines, Iowa, and was promoted to be a regular announcer for the station. He would later write, “for a twenty-one year old fresh out of college, broadcasting the Big Ten games was like dream.”  Ronald Reagan recalled in his memoirs that one of his most memorable games during his college football announcing career was one in which Gerald Ford played Center for the University of Michigan.
  • Ronald Reagan’s first film was playing a radio announcer in Love Is on the Air, which jumpstarted his acting career. In Hollywood, he played the role of Notre Dame legend, George “The Gipper” Gipp in the film Knute Rockne, All American; (1940) from it, he acquired the lifelong nickname, “The Gipper.”
  • President Reagan taped a public service announcement about college football
  • In 1983, the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) bestowed upon President Reagan the prestigious Tuss McLaughry Award. The Tuss McLaughry Award, established in 1964, is given to a distinguished American (or Americans) for the highest distinction in service to others. It is named in honor of DeOrmond "Tuss" McLaughry, the first full-time secretary-treasurer of the AFCA and one of the most dedicated and influential members in the history of the Association.
  • In 1985, President Reagan flipped the coin for Super Bowl XIX via video from the White House
  • In 1987, President Reagan signed into law legislation that allowed the AFCA to set up a qualified pension plan. Then-president of AFCA, Lavell Edwards of Brigham Young, called the signing, “One of the most significant events in the 65-year history of the Association.”
  • In 1990 President Reagan received the Theodore Roosevelt Award, the National Collegiate Athletic Association's (NCAA) highest honor to recognize an individual for whom competitive athletics in college and attention to physical well-being thereafter have been important factors in a distinguished career of national significance and achievement.