Dr. Harry Edwards, the world-renowned sports sociologist and a San Jose State College record-setting two-sport student-athlete, is one of four inductees named to the 2018 class of the CoSIDA (College Sports Information Directors of America) Academic All-America Hall of Fame.
“I hold the CoSIDA Academic All-America Hall Of Fame Award in extraordinary esteem because it recognizes the highest ideals and aspirations of the collegiate student-athlete: excellence in academic achievement, in athletic performance, and in community service and commitment,” said Dr. Edwards, a three-season starting center and co-captain of the 1964 San Jose State basketball team and a school record setting discus thrower in track and field.
“I am truly honored to have this recognition as part of my career legacy and as a model and example for all of those young people - particularly in places such as my hometown of East St. Louis, Illinois - who are seeking paths both to personal development and to lifetime service toward the betterment of this society and this nation.”
Washington State University and Detroit Lions placekicker Jason Hanson; Florida International University baseball infielder Mike Lowell, a three-time World Series champion in a 13-season Major League Baseball career; and University of Tennessee and two-time Super Bowl winning quarterback Peyton Manning are joining Dr. Edwards as this year’s Academic All-America Hall of Fame inductees.
The induction ceremony is set for Thursday, June 28, at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center in National Harbor, Md., near Washington, D.C., during the annual CoSIDA Convention.
“On behalf of San Jose State University and our entire athletics department, we congratulate Dr. Edwards on this extraordinary recognition of his life’s work and accomplishments. He was an accomplished two-sport student-athlete; however, his true accomplishments are reflected in this award,” said San Jose State University director of athletics Marie Tuite.
“Today, he is an engaged participant on our campus as he shares his wisdom and knowledge with our University and, in particular, with our men’s and women’s athletics teams. His powerful comments address important issues that affect the lives of our student-athletes.”
ACTIVISM THROUGH SPORT, RACE & SOCIETY
The 1964 San José State graduate has an unparalleled professional career of activism centered on sport, race and society. He is acknowledged as the pioneering scholar in the founding of the sociology of sport as an academic discipline.
Dr. Edwards founded the Olympic Project for Human Rights in 1967. An iconic moment that remains in the forefront of many is the action on the 1968 Olympic Games victory stand by San Jose State’s Tommie Smith and John Carlos following Smith’s gold medal, world-record setting 200 meter dash performance in Mexico City, Mexico.
For 30 years, Dr. Edwards taught classes in introductory sociology, “The Family and Race Relations,” and “Sociology of Sport” at the University of California, Berkeley. A professor emeritus, his classes were among the popular averaging as many as 600 students.
A NFL PIONEER & THE INSTITUTE FOR THE STUDY OF SPORT, SOCIETY & SOCIAL CHANGE
In 1985, Dr. Edwards was named a staff consultant to the San Francisco 49ers. In conjunction with fellow San José State graduate, Pro Football Hall of Fame coach Bill Walsh, they formed the “Niners for Life” program, the first of its kind in the National Football League. Dr. Edwards and Coach Walsh established the league’s first drug counseling program, first financial classes for players, first college degree completion program and the Bill Walsh Diversity Coaching Fellowship. NFL head coaches Mike Tomlin of the Pittsburgh Steelers, Marvin Lewis of the Cincinnati Bengals, Ron Rivera of the Carolina Panthers, and Hue Jackson of the Cleveland Browns are graduates of the program.
More recently, Dr. Edwards, who earned his master’s and doctoral degrees from Cornell University, was awarded an honorary doctorate by San Jose State in 2016. That same year, he launched the Institute for the Study of Sport, Society & Social Change at San Jose State University dedicated to research analysis and education focused on developments at the intersection of sport and society.
“Dr. Harry Edwards, an accomplished student-athlete at San José State, became one of the most accomplished, passionate and articulate champions for human rights and social justice in this nation. We are honored by his continued engagement with his alma mater, and thrilled that he has been recognized with this honor. It is well deserved,” said Paul Lanning, San Jose State University vice-president for university advancement.
THE CoSIDA ACADEMIC ALL-AMERICA HALL OF FAME
Since 1988, 150 distinguished student-athletes have been named to the CoSIDA Academic All-America Hall of Fame based on graduating with at least a 3.00 grade-point average on a 4.00 scale, participation in intercollegiate athletics at a high level, and showing a proven record of career success and philanthropic service. Former U.S. Senator Bill Bradley (DEM. – N.J.), former United States Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, former Congressman Tom McMillen (DEM. – Maryland), Big East Conference Commissioner Val Ackerman, and legendary basketball coach John Wooden (1910-2010) are among the Hall of Fame members.
Dr. Edwards is the second San Jose State graduate to be inducted into the Academic All-America Hall of Fame. In 2017, 1980 U.S. Olympics team women’s fencer Dr. Stacey Johnson was inducted. She is a past president of USA Fencing and is the president of Valencia College in Orlando, Fla.