Horrigan Award

Jack Horrigan (Photo Credit: Buffalo Bills)

Jack Horrigan (Photo Credit: Buffalo Bills)

The PFWA’s Horrigan Award is given to the league or club official for his or her qualities and professional style in helping the pro football writers do their job. In 2022, the PFWA honored the Horrigan family — father Jack and son Joe — for their contributions in assisting writers over the decades in several roles by renaming the original Jack Horrigan Award (1973-2021) to the Horrigan Award.

Jack Horrigan served in the Navy in World War II, and after the war, he was a sportswriter for United Press International and the Buffalo Evening News, publicity director for the AHL’s Buffalo Bisons, public relations director for the American Football League (1963-66) and vice president of public relations for the Buffalo Bills (1966-73).

Horrigan was the co-author of “The Other League: The Fabulous Story of the American Football League”.

Joe Horrigan (Photo Credit: Pro Football Hall of Fame)

Joe Horrigan served in a variety of executive positions in his first 42 years at the Pro Football Hall of Fame. He began his career at the museum as a curator/researcher in June 1977, and he was promoted to Vice President, Communications and Exhibits in 1996. Horrigan was the Hall of Fame’s Executive Vice President of Museums, Selection Process and Chief Communications Officer from 2014-17 before serving as Executive Director (2017-19). After retiring in 2019, he returned to the HOF in 2021 as a senior advisor.

Regarded as the foremost historian on pro football, he has authored, co-authored, and edited several books on the subject, including “The Pro Football Hall of Fame’s 50th Anniversary Book: Where Greatness Lives” and “NFL Century, The One-Hundred-Year Rise of America’s Greatest Sports League”. Horrigan is a regular contributor to NFL Films and NFL Network productions and has been featured in several films and documentaries on pro football. He received the PFWA’s Jack Horrigan Award in 2019.

NFL players were also eligible for the award from 1973-2004 until the PFWA’s Good Guy Award was established in 2005.

HORRIGAN AWARD WINNERS (To the league or club official for his or her qualities and professional style in helping the pro football writers do their job):
NOTE: Year indicates when award was presented for the previous season
1973 — John Breen (Houston Oilers)
1974 — O.J. Simpson (Buffalo Bills)
1975 — Art Rooney Sr. (Pittsburgh Steelers)
1976 — Floyd Little (Denver Broncos)
1977 — Jerry Wynn (San Diego Chargers)
1978 — Bob Peck (Denver Broncos)
1979 — John Madden (Oakland Raiders)
1980 — Bum Phillips (Houston Oilers)
1981 — Bob Sprenger (Kansas City Chiefs)
1982 — Joe Gordon (Pittsburgh Steelers)
1983 — Archie Manning (New Orleans Saints/Houston Oilers)
1984 — Art Rooney Sr. (Pittsburgh Steelers)
1985 — Joe Browne (NFL)
1986 — Dick Steinberg (New England Patriots)
1987 — Charlie Dayton (Atlanta Falcons)
1988 — Art Modell (Cleveland Browns)
1989 — Tom Landry (Dallas Cowboys)
1990 — George Young (New York Giants)
1991 — Jim Finks (New Orleans Saints)
1992 — John Robinson (Los Angeles Rams)
1993 — Warren Moon (Houston Oilers)
1994 — Don Shula (Miami Dolphins)
1995 — Leslie Hammond (NFL)
1996 — Ron Wolf (Green Bay Packers)
1997 — Don Smith (Pro Football Hall of Fame)
1998 — Tony Dungy (Tampa Bay Buccaneers)
1999 — Greg Aiello (NFL)
2000 — Ernie Accorsi (New York Giants)
2001 — Jeff Fisher (Tennessee Titans)
2002 — Charley Casserly (Houston Texans)
2003 — Herman Edwards (New York Jets)
2004 — Ozzie Newsome (Baltimore Ravens)
2005 — Rich McKay (Atlanta Falcons)
2006 — Floyd Reese (Tennessee Titans)
2007 — Steve Alic (NFL)
2008 — Mike Holmgren (Seattle Seahawks)
2009 — Dan Rooney (Pittsburgh Steelers)
2010 — Gil Brandt (NFL.com)
2011 — Rex Ryan (New York Jets)
2012 — Thomas Dimitroff (Atlanta Falcons)
2013 — Michael Signora (NFL)
2014 — Pete Carroll (Seattle Seahawks)
2015 — Bruce Arians (Arizona Cardinals)
2016 — John Elway (Denver Broncos)
2017 — Mike Mayock (NFL Network)
2018 — Randall Liu (NFL)
2019 — Joe Horrigan (Pro Football Hall of Fame)
2020 — Chris Ballard (Indianapolis Colts)
2021 — Brandon Beane (Buffalo Bills)
2022 — Michael Signora (NFL)

The Horrigan Award was previously known as the Jack Horrigan Award (1973-2021).

YEARLY FINALISTS (winners in bold)
1973
1974
1975 — Floyd Little (Denver Broncos HB), John Ralston (Denver Broncos head coach), Andy Russell (Pittsburgh Steelers LB), Art Rooney Sr. (Pittsburgh Steelers owner), Hank Stram (Kansas City Chiefs head coach)
1976
1977 — Andy Russell (Pittsburgh Steelers LB), Jim Murray (Philadelphia Eagles GM), Jerry Wynn (San Diego Chargers PR director)
1978 — Gil Brandt (Dallas Cowboys VP of player personnel), Bob Peck (Denver Broncos PR director), John Madden (Oakland Raiders head coach)
1979
1980 — Don Anderson (Seattle Seahawks PR director), Bum Phillips (Houston Oilers head coach), Rick Smith (San Diego Chargers PR director)
1981 — Sam Rutigliano (Cleveland Browns head coach), Bob Sprenger (Kansas City Chiefs PR director), Joe Theismann (Washington Redskins QB)
1982 — Joe Gordon (Pittsburgh Steelers PR director), Joe Greene (Pittsburgh Steelers DT), Archie Manning (New Orleans Saints QB)
1983 — Gil Brandt (Dallas Cowboys VP of player personnel), Doug English (Detroit Lions DT), Archie Manning (New Orleans Saints/Houston Oilers QB)
1984 — Bobby Beathard (Washington Redskins GM), Art Rooney Sr. (Pittsburgh Steelers owner), Sam Rutigliano (Cleveland Browns head coach)
1985 — Joe Browne (NFL director of communications), Dick Steinberg (New England Patriots director of player personnel), George Young (New York Giants GM)
1986 — Lee Remmel (Green Bay Packers PR director), Mike Singletary (Chicago Bears LB), Dick Steinberg (New England Patriots director of player development)
1987 — Charlie Dayton (Atlanta Falcons PR director), Tex Schramm (Dallas Cowboys president), Mike Singletary (Chicago Bears LB)
1988 — Dave Duerson (Chicago Bears S), Mark Malone (San Diego Chargers QB), Art Modell (Cleveland Browns owner), Ozzie Newsome (Cleveland Browns TE)
1989 — Tom Landry (former Dallas Cowboys head coach) – presented award by PFWA acclamation
1990 — Boomer Esiason (Cincinnati Bengals QB), Jim Finks (New Orleans Saints president/GM), George Young (New York Giants GM)
1991 — Tom Braatz (Green Bay Packers EVP of football operations), Steve DeBerg (Kansas City Chiefs QB), Boomer Esiason (Cincinnati Bengals QB), Jim Finks (New Orleans Saints president/GM)
1992 — Harry Hulmes (New York Giants assistant GM), John Robinson (former St. Louis Rams head coach), Dan Rooney (Pittsburgh Steelers owner)
1993 — Otho Davis (Philadelphia Eagles trainer), Warren Moon (Houston Oilers QB), Don Smith (Pro Football Hall of Fame VP of PR)
1994 — Steve Tasker (Buffalo Bills ST), Otho Davis (Philadelphia Eagles trainer), Don Shula (Miami Dolphins head coach)
1995
1996 — Mike McCormack (Carolina Panthers president), Carmen Policy (San Francisco 49ers president), Ron Wolf (Green Bay Packers EVP/GM)
1997 — Tony Dungy (Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach), Jim Irsay (Indianapolis Colts owner), Marv Levy (Buffalo Bills head coach), Don Smith (Pro Football Hall of Fame VP of PR)
1998 — Terrell Davis (Denver Broncos RB), Tony Dungy (Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach), Jeff Fisher (Tennessee Oilers head coach), Dick Vermeil (St. Louis Rams head coach)
1999 — Greg Aiello (NFL VP of PR), Carl Francis (NFLPA director of communications), Jim Steeg (NFL executive director of special events), Dick Vermeil (St. Louis Rams head coach), John Butler (Buffalo Bills GM)
2000 — Ernie Accorsi (New York Giants GM), Steve Beuerlein (Carolina Panthers QB), Jeff Fisher (Tennessee Titans head coach), Carl Francis (NFLPA communications director), Jim Steeg (NFL VP of special events)
2001 — Jeff Fisher (Tennessee Titans head coach), Carl Francis (NFLPA communications director), Joe Horrigan (Pro Football Hall of Fame VP of communications)
2002 — Charley Casserly (Houston Texans GM), Dave McGinnis (Arizona Cardinals head coach), Rich McKay (Tampa Bay Buccaneers GM)
2003 — Herman Edwards (New York Jets head coach), Rich McKay (Tampa Bay Buccaneers GM), Ozzie Newsome (Baltimore Ravens GM)
2004 — Tom Donahoe (Buffalo Bills GM), Ozzie Newsome (Baltimore Ravens EVP/GM), Peyton Manning (Indianapolis Colts QB), Rich McKay (Atlanta Falcons GM), Floyd Reese (Tennessee Titans GM)
2005 — Tom Donahoe (Buffalo Bills GM), Jerry Jones (Dallas Cowboys owner/president/GM), Rich McKay (Atlanta Falcons GM), Floyd Reese (Tennessee Titans GM), Dick Vermeil (Kansas City Chiefs head coach)
2006 — Bob Harlan (Green Bay Packers president), Mike Holmgren (Seattle Seahawks head coach), Joe Horrigan (Pro Football Hall of Fame VP of communications), Marty Hurney (Carolina Panthers GM), Floyd Reese (Tennessee Titans GM)
2007 — Steve Alic (AFC information director), Charley Armey (St. Louis Rams pro personnel director), Brian Billick (Baltimore Ravens head coach), Mike Holmgren (Seattle Seahawks head coach), Jerry Jones (Dallas Cowboys owner/president/GM)
2008 — Roger Goodell (NFL commissioner), Mike Holmgren (Seattle Seahawks head coach), Jerry Jones (Dallas Cowboys owner/president/GM), Bill Polian (Indianapolis Colts president/GM), Dan Rooney (Pittsburgh Steelers owner)
2009 — Roger Goodell (NFL commissioner), Jerry Jones (Dallas Cowboys owner/president/GM), Dick LeBeau (Pittsburgh Steelers defensive coordinator), Dan Rooney (Pittsburgh Steelers owner), Mike Smith (Atlanta Falcons head coach)
2010 — Gil Brandt (NFL.com), Jerry Jones (Dallas Cowboys owner/president/GM), Bob McNair (Houston Texans owner), Rex Ryan (New York Jets head coach), Michael Signora (NFL director of media relations and international communications)
2011 — George Atallah (NFLPA assistant executive director of external affairs), John Mara (New York Giants president/CEO), Mike Mayock (NFL Network analyst), Rex Ryan (New York Jets head coach), Michael Signora (NFL information manager)
2012 — Thomas Dimitroff (Atlanta Falcons GM), Roger Goodell (NFL commissioner), Jim Irsay (Indianapolis Colts owner), Mike Mayock (NFL Network analyst), Jeff Pash (NFL EVP/general counsel)
2013 — George Attalah (NFLPA assistant executive director of external affairs), John Mara (New York Giants co-owner and president), Mike Mayock (NFL Network analyst), Bill Polian (ESPN analyst), Michael Signora (NFL VP of football communications)
2014 — George Attalah (NFLPA assistant executive director of external affairs), Pete Carroll (Seattle Seahawks head coach), John Fox (Denver Broncos head coach), Leslie Frazier (former Minnesota Vikings head coach), Mike Mayock (NFL Network analyst), Bill Polian (ESPN analyst)
2015 — Bruce Arians (Arizona Cardinals head coach), John Fox (former Denver Broncos head coach), John Harbaugh (Baltimore Ravens head coach), Joe Horrigan (Pro Football Hall of Fame EVP of museums, selection process & chief communications officer), Mike Mayock (NFL Network analyst)
2016 — John Elway (Denver Broncos EVP of football operations/GM), Jerry Jones (Dallas Cowboys owner/president/GM), Mike Mayock (NFL Network analyst), Brian McCarthy (NFL VP of communications), Ron Rivera (Carolina Panthers head coach)
2017 — Dean Blandino (former NFL SVP of officiating), Jerry Jones (Dallas Cowboys owner/president/GM), Mike Mayock (NFL Network analyst), Brian McCarthy (NFL VP of communications), Rick Spielman (Minnesota Vikings GM)
2018 — Chris Ballard (Indianapolis Colts GM), Jerry Jones (Dallas Cowboys owner/president/GM), Randall Liu (former NFL senior director of football communications), Brian McCarthy (NFL VP of communications), Les Snead (Los Angeles Rams GM)
2019 — Chris Ballard (Indianapolis Colts GM), Jerry Jones (Dallas Cowboys owner/president/GM), Joe Horrigan (Pro Football Hall of Fame executive director), Andrew Howard (NFL Network communications manager), Sean McVay (Los Angeles Rams head coach)
2020 — Chris Ballard (Indianapolis Colts GM), Kevin Byrne (Baltimore Ravens EVP of public & community relations), Jerry Jones (Dallas Cowboys owner/president/GM), Anthony Lynn (Los Angeles Chargers head coach), Brian McCarthy (NFL VP of communications)
2021 — Brandon Beane (Buffalo Bills GM), Jerry Jones (Dallas Cowboys owner/president/GM), Brian McCarthy (NFL VP of communications), Dr. Allen Sills (NFL chief medical officer), DeMaurice Smith (NFLPA executive director), Troy Vincent (NFL EVP of football operations)
2022 — Kevin Colbert (Pittsburgh Steelers GM), Kevin Demoff (Los Angeles Rams COO), Brian McCarthy (NFL VP of communications), Michael Signora (NFL SVP of football and international communications), Les Snead (Los Angeles Rams GM)