Countdown to Kickoff
Dwight Stephenson Named Recipient of 2010 Gerald R. Ford Legends Award



Sept. 1, 2010

NEW YORK - Dwight Stephenson has been named the 2010 recipient of the President Gerald R. Ford Legends Award.

The award will be presented during the 11th Annual Rimington Trophy Presentation banquet on Saturday, January 15, 2011 at the Rococo Theatre in Lincoln, Neb.

"I am honored to be included in such a prestigious class of individuals who have received this award in the past. Thanks to the Boomer Esiason Foundation for allowing me to be a part of this elite group," Stephenson said.

To be considered for the President Gerald R. Ford Legends Award, candidates must have either played the center position at the collegiate or professional level, made extraordinary contributions to his team during his football career, or have proven to be an exemplary citizen, philanthropist or leader in the business or football community. Previous winners of the award include President Gerald R. Ford (2005), Jim Otto (2006), Alex Kroll (2007), Bill Curry (2008), and Jim Ritcher (2009).

"We are delighted to name Dwight the recipient of this prestigious honor. As a former player, I can certainly appreciate all he accomplished at the highest levels of football, culminating with his rightful induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. As president of the Boomer Esiason Foundation, I have even more admiration for what he has done for the South Florida community through the Dwight Stephenson Foundation. I extend my sincere congratulations to Dwight and his family," BEF President Dave Rimington said.

Legendary Alabama head coach Paul "Bear" Bryant once famously remarked that Stephenson was "the best center I ever coached. He was a man among children." As the Crimson Tide's stalwart center, Stephenson was an instrumental part of Alabama's 1978 and 1979 national championship teams.

In the 1980 NFL Draft, Stephenson was made the second-round pick of the Miami Dolphins, the franchise with which he would ultimately spend his entire career. By his third year, Stephenson was selected to his first Pro Bowl and was widely recognized as the best center in the NFL. He earned both All-Pro and All-AFC recognition five straight years from 1983 to 1987. Stephenson was the Dolphins' starting center in the 1982, 1984 and 1985 AFC championship games and in Super Bowls XVII and XIX.

He retired from football in 1989 and was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1998.

Dwight has also experienced success off the field as President/CEO of D. Stephenson Construction Inc., a commercial general contractor founded in 1992. The company services various repeat clients in the educational, municipal, aviation and healthcare markets of South Florida.

In 2007, Dwight and his wife Dinah founded the Dwight Stephenson Foundation, which utilizes their sports and business connections to generate increased funding for local charities that support the needs of children and families.

For more information on the President Gerald R. Ford Legends Award, visit