SMU Athletic Forum Announces
2004-05 Luncheon Speakers
DALLAS, TEXAS -One of the greatest guards in NBA history, a four-time World Series Champion manager, the best female soccer player of all time, and the commissioner of the National Football League comprise the 2004-05 SMU Athletic Forum lineup.
The annual luncheon series gets underway on Wednesday, September 15 with Jerry West, president of basketball operations for the Memphis Grizzlies. West was a 14-time NBA All-Star for the Los Angeles Lakers and was the third player in league history to surpass the 25,000-point plateau.
Joe Torre , who has led the New York Yankees to four World Series Championships in five appearances, will speak on Thursday, November 18. An All-Star player for the St. Louis Cardinals in the 60’s-70’s, Torre is the only person to be named both MVP and Manager of the Year.
The most recognized female soccer player in the world, Mia Hamm will speak on Tuesday, March 8, 2005. Hamm holds the all-time international scoring record for both men and women and has led the United States to two World Cup titles.
The Forum concludes on Tuesday, April 12, 2005, with Paul Tagliabue, the fourth commissioner of the National Football League. Under Tagliabue’s tenure, the NFL has expanded from 28 to 32 teams, has instituted a salary cap, and helped the NFL become the number one sport in America.
The highlight of the 2004-05 SMU Athletic Forum season is the 15 th annual Doak Walker Award Presentation Banquet to be held at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, February 15, 2005. The Award is presented annually to the nation’s leading college running back. ESPN’s College GameDay hosts, Lee Corso, Chris Fowler, and Kirk Herbstreit, will serve as keynote speakers at the event. The recipient of the 2004 Doak Walker Award will be announced on December 9, live on The Home Depot College Football Awards on ESPN.
The SMU Athletic Forum also will present the 2004 PricewaterhouseCoopers Doak Walker Legends Award to a former running back who excelled at the collegiate level and went on to distinguish himself as a leader in his community. The SMU Athletic Forum Board of Directors will announce the recipient of the 2004 Legends Award in November.
“The array of superstar speakers that we will be bringing to Dallas far exceeds our expectations...literally, the top names in athletics. This will be a phenomenal year for both the SMU Athletic Forum and the Dallas sports community,” said Chris Rentzel, Chair of the SMU Athletic Forum Board of Directors.
Additionally, the SMU Athletic Forum announced today that they will continue their partnership with ThinkSpark Web Services and Solutions, a subsidiary of Dallas based Axtive Corporation, to produce the Athletic Forum’s websites, www.athleticforum.com and www.doakwalkeraward.com, through the 2006 season. As part of the partnership, Axtive will provide up-to-date statistics on each Doak Walker candidate and will soon launch on-line ticketing for the Forum. G. C. "Scooter" Beachum III, President and COO of Axtive added, “Axtive is proud to continue its support of SMU, and these preeminent and nationally recognized events that recognize athletic accomplishments, community citizenship and academic achievement. We are enthusiastic about introducing new and efficient ways for SMU to utilize these websites.” Axtive acquires and operates technology products and service companies including IT professional services, business application software and managed hosting/application service providers targeting middle market companies.
All SMU Athletic Forum events are held at The Fairmont Hotel in downtown Dallas. Other SMU Athletic Forum sponsors include American Airlines, The Dallas Morning News, NBC 5, and Sportsradio 1310 the Ticket. For more information, please call (214) 768-4314 or visit www.athleticforum.com.