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UofL’s DeVante Parker Wins 2014 Schnellenberger Award

Award Given Annually to MVP from Winning Team in UofL-UK Football Game

Louisville, KY – November 29, 2014 – University of Louisville’s DeVante Parker has won the 2014 Howard Schnellenberger Award, given to the MVP from the winning team in the University of Louisville versus University of Kentucky’s annual Governor’s Cup football game. The Louisville, Ky., (Ballard High School) native caught six passes for 180 yards and three touchdowns during Louisville’s 44-40 win today.

“Number nine had some big plays,” Louisville Coach Bobby Petrino said, referring to Parker’s number. “He’s amazing. He really is. He came up with some big plays.”

Parker notched his ninth 100-yard receiving game and tied UofL’s record for career touchdown receptions with 33, previously held by Ibn Green. Parker’s three touchdowns were the most by a Louisville receiver this season.

“I wish I would have been able to have him the entire year,” Petrino said. “When I saw him in spring ball for the first time I thought, ‘Wow, we have a guy here who is really special.’”

Although Parker missed the first six games of the season, he has since accumulated 735 yards receiving, five touchdowns and 35 catches.

Parker was the standout performer in a wild back-and-forth game that included 84 points and nearly 800 yards of total offense. Kentucky took an early 13-0 lead after a pair of field goals by Austin MacGinnis, one from 22 yards and one from 45 yards, in the first quarter and a 11-yard touchdown run by Stanley “Boom” Williams at the beginning of the second quarter.

After Louisville starting quarterback Reggie Bonnafon left the game with a knee injury, Louisville regained the lead 14-13, scoring back-to-back touchdowns with Lexington-native Kyle Bolin under center. Bolin hit Parker for a 45-yard touchdown and then led a six-play, 62-yard drive that was capped by a three-yard touchdown run from Michael Dyer.

Bolin was intercepted by UK’s Fred Tiller for a 40-yard touchdown return with 3:30 left in the second quarter, but Louisville regained the lead 21-20 just before half on a one-yard touchdown scamper by Brandon Radcliff.

Louisville took a 28-20 lead after halftime when Parker caught a pass from Bolin at the 12 yard line, broke a tackle and evaded several defenders for a 33-yard touchdown. Kentucky cut Louisville’s lead to 28-23 with 1:40 to go in the third quarter on a 40-yard field goal by MacGinnis. The field goal gave MacGinnis the Kentucky record for field goals in a season with 20. MacGinnis set the Governor’s Cup record with his fourth field goal with 9:48 left in the fourth quarter.

Kentucky regained the lead 33-28 when Bolin was hit as he tried to pass the ball and Kentucky’s Mike Douglas picked up the fumble and ran 30 yards into the end zone. Louisville marched down the field 96 yards and scored on a 45-yard pass from Bolin to Parker with 7:58 left to take a 34-33 lead.

Louisville added to its lead with a 36-yard field goal by John Wallace with 6:30 left, but Kentucky wasn’t done. The Wildcats scored again with 5:31 left in the fourth quarter on a 14-yard run by Williams. The Cardinals put together a game-winning 81-yard touchdown drive to win the game on a four-yard run by Radcliffe with 2:47 left.

This is fifth consecutive season that the Louisville Sports Commission has presented the Howard Schnellenberger MVP Award to the most valuable player on the winning team in the Governor’s Cup annual rivalry between the University of Louisville and University of Kentucky football teams.

The trophy for Howard Schnellenberger MVP Award is one-of-a-kind, genuine Louisville Slugger Bat with one side Wildcat blue and the other Cardinal red. The unique bat, crafted with Louisville Slugger’s proprietary spray finish system and emblazoned with the unmistakable Louisville Slugger oval logo, was handmade at the factory in downtown Louisville. The engraving on the bat reads:


DeVante Parker’s name will be engraved on the bat as the fifth winner of the Award.

The Howard Schnellenberger MVP Award was created in 2010 by the Louisville Sports Commission and received the blessing of  the University of Louisville and University of Kentucky and Schnellenberger, who has strong ties to both programs and remarkable football credentials. The award winner is selected by a vote of the working press covering the annual game as identified by the SIDs from each school; the Award will be presented on the field immediately following the game.

Previous Schnellenberger Award Winners:

2013 Schnellenberger Award Winner. Teddy Bridgewater captured his second consecutive MVP Award when he threw to seven different receivers in UofL’s 27-13 win over UK at Commonwealth Stadium. For the day, Bridgewater was 16-28 passing for 250 yards and one TD with no interceptions. He lofted a second quarter TD pass to wide receiver Devante Parker deep in the corner of the end zone for the go-ahead score.

2012 Schnellenberger Award Winner. Louisville quarterback Teddy Bridgewater earned the Award with a sterling performance in UofL’s 32-14 win over UK at Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium. He completed 19-21 passes for 232 yards and no interceptions and set a UofL single-game record with a 90.5 percent completion rate. He led UofL on a 15-play 99-yard scoring drive on the Cardinals’ first possession and a six-play 85-yard scoring drive on their second possession for a lead they would never relinquish.

2011 Schnellenberger Award Winner. A senior linebacker and Louisville native, Dexter Heyman earned the 2011 Award as the Cards defeated the Wildcats 24-17 at Commonwealth Stadium. Heyman made 12 tackles, two for a loss, and a forced fumble recovered by a teammate, leading the Cardinal defense that limited the Wildcats to 35 yards rushing in 32 carries.

2010 Schnellenberger Award Winner. UK senior running back Derrick Locke was named the inaugural recipient of the Award for his performance in the Wildcats’ 23-16 win over Louisville at Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium. Locke registered 150 all-purpose yards, including 104 rushing yards on 23 carries. He scored two first quarter TDs for a lead UK would never surrender.


A Louisville native, Schnellenberger was recruited to UK by the legendary Bear Bryant, earned varsity letters in 1952-53-54-55 and was an All-American tight end for the Wildcats under Blanton Collier as a senior. Schnellenberger later served as an assistant coach at UK under Collier in 1959 and 1960. As the head coach at UofL for 10 years (1985-1994), Schnellenberger is credited with rejuvenating the football program and boosting support for a new, on-campus stadium. He led the Cardinals to signature victories in the Liberty and Fiesta Bowls.

As a result of his contributions to college football in the Commonwealth of Kentucky, Schnellenberger is the only person enshrined in the athletic halls of fame at both the University of Kentucky and the University of Louisville.

Schnellenberger recently published his memoirs in the book: Passing the Torch: Building Winning Football Programs…with a Dose of Swagger Along the Way

During his storied career, Schnellenberger was offensive coordinator for national championships at Alabama in the 1960s and Super Bowl wins with the Miami Dolphins in the 1970s, then led the Miami Hurricanes to national prominence and the 1983 national championship. Schnellenberger was an integral part of four national championships in college football and two Super Bowl victories. He coached the University of Miami to the 1983 national championship and was offensive coordinator under Bryant at Alabama for national titles in 1961-64-65. He was the offensive coordinator for the Miami Dolphins under Don Shula, including the 17-0 season in 1972. Schnellenberger went on to build and coach an NCAA Division I (FCS) football program at Florida Atlantic University. At Miami, Louisville and FAU, Schnellenberger-coached teams were a remarkable 6-0 in bowl games. He retired as FAU coach following the 2011 season and now works in the University’s Division of Community