DALLAS (FWAA) – Roosevelt University coach Jared Williamson is this week’s nominee for the 2022 Capital One Orange Bowl-FWAA Courage Award. Williamson was seriously injured in a car accident in October, resulting in several broken bones and multiple surgeries.
Williamson returned home to his wife and five children on Nov. 12, after more than a month spent in a trauma center and rehab hospital. He still has in-home therapy, and he has an additional 10 weeks of non-weight bearing on his leg, limiting him to a wheelchair most of the time.
More than $81,000 has been raised as part of a GoFundMe that was started to help alleviate the financial burden on the Williamson family.
“I don’t know if words can express enough how grateful and thankful we are to the many generous donors following such a tragic event in our lives,” Kelsey Williamson, Jared’s wife, said on the GoFundMe page. “The love and support has been overwhelming. We love you and appreciate you all so much.”
Roosevelt, an NAIA school whose football field is located just outside of Chicago in Arlington Heights, won its first three games without Williamson and finished its season with a 7-3 record. Associate head coach Mike Murray took over in Williamson’s absence. Williamson has been the only full-time head coach in the program’s history, taking over as Robert Morris University Illinois’ head coach in the 2011 season. Roosevelt and Robert Morris merged in 2020 under the Roosevelt name.
Williamson, who also serves as the school’s deputy athletic director, has had the Lakers ranked in nine of his 12 seasons in the NAIA Top 25 poll. Roosevelt has gone 66-55 overall in its program history, with one postseason appearance (2016).
Williamson was injured after the Lakers’ Oct. 8 homecoming win over Missouri Baptist. He had surgeries on his hip, pelvis, right forearm and left clavicle, among other procedures. He was able to attend several team meetings through Zoom, uplifting the spirits of his players in the process.
The Courage Award was first presented by the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA) in 2002. A select group of writers from the FWAA vote on the winner each year. The requirements for nomination include displaying courage on or off the field, including overcoming an injury or physical handicap, preventing a disaster or living through hardship. The winner of the award will be included in festivities during Capital One Orange Bowl week and receive his trophy at an on-field presentation.
Previous winners of the Capital One Orange Bowl-FWAA Courage Award are the University of Utah football Team (2021), Arkansas State analyst Alex Charlton (2020), Arkansas State coach Blake Anderson (2019), SUNY Cortland linebacker Kyle Richard (2018), Wisconsin safety D'Cota Dixon (2017), Pitt running back James Conner (2016), Miami offensive lineman Hunter Knighton (2015), Duke offensive lineman Laken Tomlinson (2014), San Jose State defensive lineman Anthony Larceval (2013), Clemson wide receiver Daniel Rodriguez (2012), Michigan State offensive lineman Arthur Ray Jr. (2011), Rutgers defensive tackle Eric LeGrand (2010), the University of Connecticut football team (2009), Tulsa's Wilson Holloway (2008), Navy's Zerbin Singleton (2007), Clemson's Ray Ray McElrathbey (2006), the Tulane football team (2005), Memphis' Haracio Colen (2004), San Jose State's Neil Parry (2003) and Toledo's William Bratton (2002).
About Orange Bowl
Orange Bowl is a 391-member, primarily-volunteer non-profit sports organization that promotes and serves the South Florida community. With its primary mission since being created in 1935 to bring tourism to South Florida through an annual football game and events, it has also maintained a legacy of charitable contributions and community outreach. Orange Bowl’s community outreach is embodied by the four pillars of its Orange Bowl Cares program: Youth Sports, Education, Community Engagement and Legacy Programs. Orange Bowl features a year-round schedule of events culminating with the 2022 Capital One Orange Bowl on Dec. 30. For more information on the 2022 Orange Bowl events, including promotional inquiries and volunteer opportunities through the Ambassador Program presented by Panera Bread, log on to orangebowl.org or follow @OrangeBowl on social media.
Founded in 1941, the Football Writers Association of America consists of journalists, broadcasters, publicists, photographers and key executives in all areas of college football. The FWAA works to govern media access and gameday operations while presenting awards and honors, including an annual All-America team. For more information about the FWAA and its programs and initiatives, contact Executive Director Steve Richardson at 214-870-6516 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
To submit a nomination for the Capital One Orange Bowl Courage Award, contact Matt Fortuna at email@example.com.