Posted: Sep 17, 2011 11:51 PM
Louisville native Dexter Heyman was named the Howard Schnellenberger MVP Award as Louisville defeated Kentucky 24-17 at Commonwealth Stadium in Lexington, Ky on Saturday.
Heyman, a senior linebacker and graduate of Louisville's Male High School, was selected after a vote of the working press covering the game as identified by the sports information directors from each school. Heyman led the Cardinals defensive attack with 12 tackles, one off his career high, and a forced fumble. It was the third forced fumble of his career and first since 2009.
This is second consecutive season that the Louisville Sports Commission has presented the Howard Schnellenberger MVP Award to the most valuable player on the winning team in the annual rivalry between the University of Louisville and University of Kentucky football teams.
Schnellenberger was recruited to UK out of Louisville Flaget (fla-jay') High School by the legendary Bear Bryant, earned varsity letters in 1952-53-54-55 and was an All-American tight end for the Wildcats under Blanton Collier as a senior. Schnellenberger was an assistant coach at UK under Collier in 1959 and 1960. As the head coach at UofL for 10 years (1985-1994), Schnellenberger is credited with rejuvenating the football program and boosted support for a new, on-campus stadium. He led the Cardinals to victories in the Liberty and Fiesta Bowls.
The 77-year-old Schnellenberger is in his final year as the head coach at Florida Atlantic University. The veteran coach announced his retirement August 10, effective at the conclusion of the 2011 season. He is 6-0 in career bowl games as a head coach, including the Miami Hurricanes' watershed victory over Nebraska 31-30 in the Orange Bowl January 2, 1984, and FAU's 24-20 win over Central Michigan in the 2008 Motor City Bowl.
The Howard Schnellenberger Award trophy is a genuine Louisville Slugger bat, hand made in Louisville, Kentucky. The renowned bat maker has crafted bats in the colors of both schools, Cardinal red for U of L and Wildcat blue for UK. The red bat is engraved with the Louisville Cardinal logo and the blue bat has the inter-locking block UK logo. Louisville Slugger will engrave the name of the MVP on the bat representing his school.