John Harbaugh was surprised by finding out he was receiving the Amos Alonzo Stagg Coaching Award on Monday, presented to him during his Monday press conference.
Harbaugh said he had no indication he was going to receive the award, which is given annually by the United States Sports Academy.
Previous winners of the award include Duke basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski, legendary UCLA basketball coach John Wooden, Patriots coach Bill Belichick, former Florida State football coach Bobby Bowden, former North Carolina basketball coach Dean Smith, former MLB manager Tommy Lasorda and former NBA coach Phil Jackson.
"This is something that means a lot personally and for our family," Harbaugh said after he was presented with the award. "My dad and I were just talking about it. ... Knute Rockne said - ‘All football runs through Coach Amos Alonso Stagg,' and he innovated so many things, including the jersey number [and] reverses, which we ran one yesterday. Maybe we did it in his honor. And there were all kinds of other plays. The huddle - there are just a number of things that Coach Stagg changed in football. I believe the forward pass as well. It's a great honor, but more for what the award is for and the foundation. Thank you very much. It means so much for a coach and the son of a coach and for our family, too, to be involved with such an award. So, thank you very much; it will be treasured."